“Our Class”, a play by Tedeusz Słobodzianek has already been presented at the Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival. Two years ago a play reading of “Our Class” was enthusiastically applauded by the festival audience. This year it will premiere in Lublin. It is a story about school pupils, Poles and Jews, from a little town in the east of Poland, a town like Jedwabne or Radziłów. We follow their life from their first day at school in the 1920s, through German and Russian occupations, the Polish People’s Republic until 10 July 2001. The author’s inspiration to write the play was an old school photograph of little Jurek Laudański (judged guilty of murder in Jedwabne), Jadzia Śleszyńska (the daughter of the owner of the barn, where the Jews were burnt in Jedwabne) and Szmul Wasersztajn (one of the few survivals, who moved to Costa Rica, his mother and brother were killed in the barn). They were all in one class at school. By referring to the events that took place in eastern Poland the play touches the still controversial problem of responsibility for the crimes committed during the war. It has been discussed for many years by both Polish and Jewish people, often radicalized by politicians. “Our Class” is an important voice in this discussion. It asks questions about the source for anti-Semitism, about our right to morally judge those who took part in those tragic events. It presents the complexity and ambiguity of people who commit horrible crimes without judging them. “Our Class” tells a story that is universal and will be understood in every country with a history of deep ethnic conflicts.

Laboratorium Dramatu was founded in Warsaw in 2003 by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, a dramatist, director, theatre critic and producer. Its main goal is to develop and popularize contemporary Polish drama and educate playwrights. It experiments with drama giving the young artists a possibility to express their views on society and human relations through theatre.