Theatre in the Basket (Ukraine)
Theatre in the Basket is an independent and non-profit organisation founded in 1997 by Irina Wolicka and Lidia Danilczuk. Their artistic quest has been concentrated on re-interpretation of classical Ukrainian texts through a synthesis of spoken language, visual arts and music. The performance ‘The Stolen Happiness’ was premiered in 1998. ‘It is based on sounds and rhythms – universal signs of the Ukrainian culture. From the rhythm can be derived everything that is most intriguing in this culture – dances of free warriors, women’s laments, great emotions’, says Olga Ostrowech.
White Butterflies, Plaited Chains was premiered in 1997. The spectacle is inspired by Stefanik’s prose, which is a peculiar blend of the recollections from his childhood, myths and a tragedy of human existence. ‘Employing various theatre means the actress was changing the tone of her monologue from fairy-tales and children’s jokes, through witchcraft, prayers, songs and whisper to crying and breathing’. – Jarosław Hibiszczuk.
The Rivers Ensemble (New Mexico, USA)
This company was founded and has been run by Joe Pesce. They toured the United States with The Beard based on a play by one of the cult beatnik writers, Michael McClure. The first performances were a real scandal, the actors were even arrested in Los Angeles.
Its main protagonists, Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid, build a dangerous, intriguing and saturated with eroticism picture of man’s nature, celebration of one’s own existence. This obscenity and vulgarity is a provocation – an attempt at openness and tolerance directed at the audience.
Teatr 36 złotych (Łódź)
The company was founded by Mirosław Wasiewicz, a history teacher at a secondary school in Żyrardów. He has directed twenty-five performances premiered by the group, including ‘Paragraph 22’, ‘Mother Joanna of the Angels’, ‘Waiting for Godot’, ‘The Earth’. From 1997 the company has worked in two groups, affiliated to the Polish Art Centre and to the school (XXXIII LO). The company has performed at numerous festivals, including the 4th International Festival ‘Theatre Confrontations’ in Lublin (off Confrontations), the Łódź Theatre Encounters, Theatre Reminiscences Kraków 2000.
The Time Immemorial is based on Olga Tokarczuk’s prose. Its visual inspiration came from the paintings of Tadeusz Makowski, Pablo Picasso and Maciej Gryglaszewski. Music is a combination of archaic Slavonic and Lithuanian songs, religious hymns, carols, the Aborigines’ rhythms, songs of ‘Armia’, with a leading motive of Eric Satie’s ‘Gymnopedies’ (1888).
Teatr Wiczy (Toruń)
The company was founded by Romuald Wiczy in Brodnica in 1991. They have realised seventeen indoors and outdoors performances, along with over a dozen happenings, including ‘Dwórko’92’, ‘Seichce’94’, Krzesłościan’94’, ‘Sarkazja’96. The company makes ‘the tough movement, image synthesis and reduced word’ the foundations of their work. Teatr Wiczy has been winning the growing interest of the audience and critics.
‘A Season in the Hell’ is based on Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry.
‘… we want to tell a short story of man, who regardless of his intentions is a puppet governed by his passions. The passions are so powerful that they can play games with us, ridicule us in front of ourselves and shape us in any way they like… Thus do I still know the nature, do I still know myself?
Komuna Otwock (Otwock)
An anarchistic community. From 1989 they have been running an independent, local, social and cultural project aiming at expanding the boundaries of freedom, tolerance and social awareness. The community organises concerts, runs the Miejsce Gallery in Otwock, actively participating in ecological programmes. Komuna Otwock has performed at the Street Theatre Festival in Jelenia Góra, the Malta Festival in Poznań, the Counterpoint in Szczecin, the Łódź Theatre Encounters, the Theatre Reminiscences in Kraków, the International Theatre Festival in Brno etc.
„You Have to Kill the First God’ is related to the myth about the first God who was chaos and nothingness. The world came into being against his will, from his semen he lost while sleeping. His children killed him before he managed to do it. The performance talks about the fear of responsibility, eternal desire to return to the non-existent Arcadia…
Teatr Międzymiastowa (Rzeszów-Warszawa)
It was founded in mid-1998, although the company’s history goes back to the early 1985 when the co-operation between Grupa Teatralna Karolina & Tina from Rzeszów and Teatr E under the vocation of Pious Wzooyboute began. Its members come from different towns and different libraries, therefore each attempt at choosing a work to base a new performance on usually ends up with discussions about things that escape discussing. In this situation the most useful turns out to be working with their own texts. The company realise scenography, music and direct their performances.
Teatr Międymiastowa has realised four spectacles: ‘On the Estonian Potato-Divers’, ‘A Fairy-Tale About What Escapes’, ‘A Working Day’, ‘A Fieldfare’. At the festival a new version of ‘A Working Day’ will be presented.
In 1998 the company was awarded the Grand Prix and John Paul’s II Award for the ethical values comprised in their spectacle ‘On the Estonian Potato-Divers’ at the Student Theatre Festival.
‘We believe in theatre, but we believe even more in what theatre allows us to do. We believe in what makes us forget that the towns in which we live are separated by the distance. We believe in what we share and what makes us work laboriously with the stubborn matter and look for beauty and wild joy in it.’
Teatr Konsekwentnie Niekonsekwentni (Warsaw)
The group was founded at the end of 1997. It is affiliated to the Warsaw Culture Centre. The six students have presented so far : ‘Tempting the Idiot’, based on S.Tym’s ‘Treasure’ and ‘ A Play’ by Yasmina Reza.
‘The aim, path and potential of the company is a mystery (even for its creators), therefore it can be called an astonishing theatre’.
A Credit.A Lesson. was based on a film novel by K.Zanussi and A.Żebrowski, and E.Ionesco’s Lesson. This is a parabolic grotesque and absurd performance with puzzling changes of action.
The Taos Indians (New Mexico)
The Taos Indians came to Poland on the invitation of Włodzimierz Staniewski as a part of his project for Kraków 2000 Festival – ‘Mystery, Initiations’. They will take part in ‘Gardzienice’s Cosmos’ , run workshops and hold a meeting – ‘A History of beliefs and religion’.
Their village is the oldest settlement in North America. Their legends and oral tradition go back to the origins of human culture. Their language, tiva, has only an oral form and they want it to remain like this. In 1992 their village was registered on the UNESCO list of the World’s Heritage.
Encountering the Lithuanian Theatre
Theatre Lithuania is a project, realised as a part of the Festival, offering the audience an encounter with the Lithuanian theatre. The project is realised by Łukasz Drewniak, a theatre critic associated with ‘Tygodnik Powszechny’, in co-operation with Polish and Lithuanian theatre critics.
Three Polish and three Lithuanian critics and the festival guests will discuss a phenomenon of the Lithuanian theatre in Poland and the reception of the Polish theatre in Lithuania.
Vaidas Jauniskis – a theatre critic, ‘Kauno Diena’,Vilnius.
Ramune Marcinkeviciute – a critic, ‘Kulturos Barai’, a magazine on culture, holding an academic post at the Vilnius University, at present researching Eimuntas Nekrosius’ theatre.
Rolandas Rastauskas – a critic and an essayist, on the jury of numerous theatre festivals, a theatre director.
Piotr Gruszczyński – a theatre critic, ‘Tygodnik Powszechny’.
Roman Pawłowski – a theatre critic,‘Gazeta Wyborcza’.
and Łukasz Drewniak
Promotion of a book by Kazimierz Braun A Pocket History of the World Theatre in the Twentieth Century.
Kazimierz Braun’s photograph by Zofia Braun
Kazimierz Braun is a director, writer and theatrologist. In 1967-1974 he was a director of the Juliusz Osterwa State Theatre in Lublin, in 1974-1984 – Teatr Współczesny in Wrocław. He lectured at the Wrocław University and the State Theatre College in Wrocław. As a theatre director he was recognised for the cycles of dramas by Norwid, Wyspiański, Różewicz, Shakespeare and Brecht, as well as Mickiewicz’s ‘Dziady’, Gombrowicz’s ‘Operetta’, Camus’ ‘Plague’ and Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. He wrote several books on theatre, including ‘Teatr wspólnoty’ (1972), ‘Nowy teatr na świecie 1960-1970’ (1975), ‘Przestrzeń teatralna’ (1982), ‘Wprowadzenie do reżyserii’ (1988).
He has lectured and directed in the United States from 1985.
A Pocket History of the World Theatre in the Twentieth Century is a kind of a guide. Just like a guide it takes us around ‘the cathedral of theatre’ (Adolf Appia). This little book tells a history of the world theatre in the twentieth century in a synthetic way, setting it against the background of historical events and cultural transformations, also presented in a synthetic way. The material is arranged chronologically, geographically and hierarchically. The author attempted at choosing from the theatre life of different continents and countries and presenting the phenomena which influenced and altered the course of theatre history, and the artists who had the most powerful impact on it.
Therapy Workshops – Theatre therapy – ‘Confession in Wood’ performance.
For many years theatre was a place with no access for handicapped people. Whereas theatre is a perfect medium for integrating different social groups, overcoming prejudice and discovering the common ground. Therapy through theatre, its purifying influence, both for the audience and actors is a widely discussed method, already common in primitive cultures.