Issue 2/2020 (759)




Agnieszka Jakimiak

A daring play inspired both by Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style and an open letter in which some of the Troubleyn theatre company team members accused Jan Fabre of sexual harassment and manipulation. One chosen story, an incident of public humiliation of a dancer who gained weight, is told, like in Queneau, from different angles and in different languages. Some passages are quotes from Jan Fabre. The text is funny, being a mockery of the Belgian artist, but above all it shows the linguistic oppression suffered by #MeToo victims, and the fight of contradictory arguments.


Natalia Fijewska-Zdanowska

The play refers to the novel Disgrace by John Maxwell Coetzee, but the story is transferred to Polish reality. The main character is the owner of the warehouse, who gets attracted to his young worker, a Ukrainian woman. The transition from enchantment and flirting to rape is shown in a shaded way - he talks about his fantasy and from his point of view the relationship is romantic. Only the final brings about a confession of guilt. A subtle, non-obvious text about the difficulty of recognizing someone else's borders and about social inequalities, which lead to harm.

Waiting for the Storm (Warten auf Sturm)

Peter Thiers

The debut drama of the German director and curator, nominated for the Osnabrücker Dramatikerpreis and awarded the Kleist-Förderpreis in 2019  is a futuristic tale about the world without water. The action takes place in an ore mine. The miners, deprived of the chance to choose another job, accept the inhumane conditions of existence, also because in the world after the ecological disaster such categories as "dignified living standards" or "decent work" have a completely different meaning than today.

Essays, Studies

Testmonies or/and performances

Monik Kwaśniewska  

Very slowly revealed in performances, dramas, gossip, and less often - in real complaints, the stories of sexual violence in theatres and art schools which have occurred, and are undoubtedly still occurring, testify to how often people experiencing sexual violence remain in a professional relationship with the perpetrators for years, in symbolic and psychological subordination.

The change – now or when?

Ewa Hevelke

The first day of the "Change - now" conference, organized by the Theatre Academy in Warsaw in October 2019, ended with a report on real change on Polish soil, and the formulation of specific challenges faced by the entire academic circle. The second day was devoted to assessing the resistance and the level of relationship complexity in Polish schools. The cultural boundary between the Western European work model and the Eastern European approach to education was also discussed.

Don’t judge

Jacek Sieradzki  

The deeply rooted and very human passion to judge others and to set collective rules, which the individual must not depart from, in order not to be stigmatized, marginalized, or, let's not be afraid of the word, excluded - this passion will reincarnate and has already been taking over. All this is confronted merely by a shy squeak of deficient liberals, more and more pathetically reconciled with failure. They may only stare helplessly at such features of public life as the collectiveness of reactions, as well as the subsequent susceptibility to more and less obvious manipulations.

All this that the mine gives to us

Rafał Pokrywka

Waiting for the Storm by Peter Thiers is an artifact of its time, referring to perhaps the most current themes at the end of the second decade of the 21st century. First of all, it describes the world of working people mining the precious coltan in dark mines. Thus, it is still inscribed in the new literature of work and exploitation, which has rediscovered the human mass - though not like the classics of naturalism in farmers (Reymont), weavers (Hauptmann) or miners (Zola).

Stomach issue

Anna R. Burzyńska

In the spring of 1831, during school celebrations at the end of the winter semester, an 18-year-old Georg Büchner gave the Latin speech Rede des Menenius Agrippa an das römische Volk auf dem heiligen Berge. The text of the speech has not been preserved, but this episode was immortalized in documents and memories by other students, Büchner's speech being very highly rated in terms of rhetorical artistry.

Meta-, post- or just

Stanisław Godlewski

When one talks or writes about theatre criticism, one usually means something completely different: theatre, art, politics, culture, and the public sphere. Of course, more or less allusively, writing about theatre criticism means formulating one’s own cultural programme, responding to tradition, and shaping the world around us.

An editorial to the bloc of papers from the conference organized on 14 June 2019 in Poznań. Blind spot? Contemporary Criticism. They were divided into two blocs - the second will be published in the next issue of "Dialogue".

A post-critic and patriarchal fetishists

Joanna Krakowska

The essence of post-criticality is not to read against the text and track its weaknesses or latent meanings. On the contrary, post-criticality is in contradiction to the "hermeneutics of suspicion," as Paul Ricoeur described the critical practice derived from Marx, Freud or Nietzsche (and their followers), who in reading and culture see hidden structures of their truths.

Everybody knows

Anna Majewska

“Everyone knows, but nobody says anything,” remarked an anonymous figure who puts on an alien costume in order to be able to publicly refer to silence about sexual violence in the theatre. Anchois courage! is the title of a video posted on youtube in which two blindfolded female performers talk about what people are talking about and what they have heard about the abuse of power by theatre directors and lecturers of art colleges.

A triumph of criticism, and fans' submission

Agata Łuksza

The nineteenth-century battle of theatre critics with fans in Warsaw fits into the broader context of taming the theatre audience - moving from "stage etiquette" dictated by viewers to "theatre etiquette" imposed on them. In Western culture, public practices typical of early theatre fans were relegated to the sphere of entertainment and sport, where there was no imperative of restrained, balanced behavior.

The end of accompanying criticism

Ewa Guderian-Czaplińska

The accompanying criticism, which we most often think about when citing this term, is already a historical entity and does not need to be announced closed down or proclaimed exhausted, because it has long been exhausted by itself. What can this term be used for today? On its ruins, the author proposes a new approach, not finding - among the existing ones - a better term to refer to when considering today's tasks and the position of theatre criticism.


Piotr Gruszczyński, Tadeusz Nyczek, Marek Beylin, Tadeusz Bradecki, Piotr Morawski


Contexts: Olga Byrska on Jeremy Adelman’s essay What is Global History Now?, Notes on plays: Jeton Neziraj Pesë stinët e armikut të popullit; Paco Bezerra Grooming. Playbill