Nobody’s Gonna Believe Me Anyway
The drama is based on the fate of Barbara Zdunk, the last person in Europe to be burnt at the stake (in 1811). This simple peasant woman, mother of several illegitimate children, was accused of witchcraft and setting fire to the town of Reszel in revenge against her unfaithful lover. Her trial lasted four years – during this time, the woman was imprisoned in horrible conditions, raped and tortured. Jolanta Janiczak tells a moving story about a mother and daughters, about sexual abuse and its consequences, and finally about the situation of women whose voices have been deprived their credibility by culture.
Two students – he is black and she is white – spend the night together. They drank a lot earlier and were to a party together. It will soon turn out that what happened next has been remembered completely differently by each of them. She says it was a rape, whereas he refers to it as sex with mutual consent. Anna Ziegler’s play, composed of poetic monologues and dry accounts, juggles with the emotions of the reader who views the credibility of the characters’ accounts through the prism of how likeable they are.
The Sun over the Very Warsaw
The main character of the drama lives in limbo between the capital, where she went to university and now works in a corporation, and the smaller city she comes from. She feels like a stranger in Warsaw, although she goes to yoga classes, therapy and trendy cafes. Returning to her home town confronts her with a world to which she no longer belongs. Neither the traditional family (and the pressure to start one's own) nor the old friendships, now lined with jealousy, seem to provide support any longer. She is torn, as is the whole country. This problem is hardly new but it gains a new dimension here thanks to the play’s poetic, grotesque form.
A Long Life
Two old people live in a house off the beaten track. He constantly cooks broth and eats plate after plate, because it is the only pleasure he has left. She is trying on tights in different colours because pretty legs are now her only asset. In the middle of the room is a boat filled with rubbish - souvenirs of old life. The characters have a daily conversation with each other, which breaks and loops, revealing their memory gaps and old secrets. In passing, their dramatic experiences during the war are revealed. Rafał Wojasiński’s poetic play does not say anything conclusive to the end.
An interview with Witold Mrozek about the situation of Polish theatres during the pandemic crisis and about the normalization of artistic propositions and methods of action, which until now were reserved for the ruling camp, and which are about to permeate the mainstream.
The season in the face of climate disaster
In the 2019/2020 theater season, it is clearly visible that the repertoire has been expanded to include shows that problematize the climate crisis. The artists have had to answer the following questions: how to build a discourse on ecology and global overheating of the planet? What is the most appropriate language: pedagogical, eschatological, philosophical, sociological, legal, or maybe metaphorical and pictorial?
Witches and cyclists
Violence has always ruled. It has always been here, only overlooked. In fact, there is consent to it, provided that it is traditional violence. Or traditional vandalism, such as patriotic graffiti. Or traditional profanity, i.e. rebellious expressions of toughness by traditionally tough groups.
The recognition of the past related to the hunt for women has been taking place slowly but consistently thanks to historical and journalistic publications andartistic reinterpretations. The emphasis in telling this story has shifted from the word "witch" to the word "woman". The reflection on what happened at the dawn of modernity should be the driving force behind this necessary change.
Life: the worst thing one can see
On the visual representation of childbirth and the critical and empathetic potential of the work of female artists who deal with the issue of the invisibility of childbirth in Western culture. How can artistic representations make the birthing process – on the one hand, a private experience intimately connected with the body of the birthing person, and on the other, part of a highly politicized economy of reproduction – visible?
Euphoria and education
A conversation by Ewa Hevelke, Justyna Jaworska, Katarzyna Szumlewicz and Katarzyna Wężyk on Anna Ziegler’s Actually, and Sex Education and Euphoria TV series.
The premiere of Heroes of the Fourth Turning at the off-Broadway Playwrights Horizons theatre has been an extraordinary event. Will Arbery’s drama depicts young Catholic conservatives voting for the Republican Party and recognizing the historical necessity of the presidency of Donald Trump, and yet the characters are not reduced to the caricature level.
Modest benefits from small homelands
Let’s have a look at the young Polish prose of recent years. In debut books, entering adulthood may focus on a peculiar subculture of gymnasiums. This may involve the female characters discovering their homosexual identity, but it may also mean describing the beginnings of a professional career and personal dramas taking place in the background. So is politics present in the youngest literature? Of course. It is just that for problems which politicians try to solve violently, writers use more subtle terms.
We need storytellers, their activities, practice, energy, ideas and stories, if we do not want to stay in the enchanted circle of decayed buildings, where more and more generations of officials are wondering how to make Chopin attractive to young people, draw people to the Philharmonic and encourage them to the (national) reading of Prus or Sienkiewicz’s novels.
Piotr Morawski, Justyna Drath, Marek Beylin, Pedro Pereira
Notes on plays: Filip Grujić Ne pre 4:30 niti posle 5:00; Przemysław Wojcieszek Scenariusz dla trzech aktorek, Lotus Flower, Fuck The System!; Natalia Błok Bomba