Issue 7-8/2019



Fern Flower

Maria Wojtyszko

A text for children and young people about Stanisław Wyspiański. The artist is presented here in three forms: as a seriously ill man reaching the end of his short life, as an orphan boy searching for the title flower of fern (puppet figure), and as an internal critic. In the finale, these three characters merge into one, and the magic flower that gives immortality turns out to be art. Maria Wojtyszko, in an accessible and humorous way, and at the same time bolder than in school curricula, presented Wyspiański's tragic biography. The story of loneliness, rejection and dying woven into a spectacular fairy tale becomes touching and understandable for audiences of various ages.

A Butterfly

Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

A play for young audiences, written for the puppet theatre. A girl is afraid of the dark, and her parents leave her alone in her room every evening to teach her to fall asleep on her own. Her fairy tale friends and magical powers come to help her, transforming her into a butterfly at night. At first, she rescues a dog tied to a tree, and then the whole world against an evil sorcerer hypnotist, wielding power over adults through television. It turns out that the evil wizard also feared the dark as a child. The play encourages independent thinking and cleverly combines therapeutic message with political warning.


Claudia Piñeiro

Three sisters and a brother meet in their family home on the occasion of their mother's seventy-fifth birthday. Conversations about trivia quickly give way to litigation on more serious topics. Among them is the most important - the matter of caring for the mother suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Egoisms will be heard between the lines, as well as conflicts between family members who, once close, have now arranged their lives away from each other.

We Don't Know What's Buried Here

Grace Dyas

Two adult women dig the ground in the garden looking for evidence of the past - years ago this area belonged to one of the Irish monasteries that ran a centre for unmarried pregnant women. The story of the centre is full of mysteries - it has already been pointed out that many children were lost in rather obscure circumstances, corpses being found in the garden. Now a big hotel is to stand here, so there is less and less time to examine the area. Inspired by the history of Ireland, Grace Dyas does not create a simple documentary theatre - the overriding in the story are the perspective of maternal tragedy and the desire for moral evaluation of the events from the past.

Our Father

Mariusz Bieliński

A minimalist, poetic record of a father's illness and death. The narrator travels by trains "from Warsaw to Non-Warsaw" (and back) to visit his father in the family home, and then in the hospital. Dying turns out to be tedious, first of all. It is hard to talk to one’s loved ones - cliches and ritual words of consolation are spoken out loud, the farewell endures unbearably, and eventually death comes as a surprise. The text is built on repetitions, as if the intrusive phrases, like mantras, could enchant the reality. And at the same time, thanks to its simplicity, it guides the reader through the description of the deepest crisis movingly and without exaltation.

Essays, Studies

The end of the Poets’ Republic

Jolanta Kowalska

Recent performances by Anna Augustynowicz and Piotr Cieplak give testimony to a puzzling transformation of theatre self-awareness. The performance by Anna Augustynowicz at the Polski Theatre in Warsaw is a staging of Wyspiański's Liberation. The Legnica Liberations by Cieplak is a contemporary variation on the play, based on the text by Magdalena Drab. They share a number of characteristics, above all, the intention to examine the vitality of the symbolic culture of Polish Romanticism.

Maria Wojtyszko’s stories

Andrzej Lis, Marianna Lis

Maria Wojtyszko’s characters mature and change over time, time after time returning to the pages of her stories. Stories are the most important here. Both the ones that the author finds in the world of her own imagination, and the ones created on the motifs and themes drawn from the imagination of her predecessors.

Go and watch

An interview with Marek Waszkiel, puppet theatre historian and director of puppet theatres. Further talk in the Weather Forecast cycle about the situation of Polish theatre in the context of the social situation and the cultural policy of the state.

To treat the audience seriously

Zuzanna Berendt, Dominik Gac, Henryk Mazurkiewicz, Piotr Morawski and Sandra Szwarc talk about the contemporary Polish theatre for children and youth.

Hens, Kobro and other puzzles

Wojciech Szot

For the reader who deals with Polish prose every day it is surprising that while Polish prose still tries to settle accounts with the past using traditional, not very complicated narratives, in the dramas of Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk, thanks to the introduction of situations and characters from other orders, the author manages to create new ways of talking about us.

The critic’s sieve

Michał Pospiszyl  

Sifting does not try to pretend to be objective, withdrawn, or performed alone. To separate the wheat from the chaff, the farmer must toss them so that the wind would dissolve the lighter husks and only the correct content would fall on the sieve. The indispensable condition for this process is therefore a whole range of external and uncontrollable circumstances: the wind cannot be too weak or too strong, the wheat too moist or too dry. Therefore, criticism as sifting, if it is to succeed, must give up the role of the instructive judge, an expert or institution of authority, and become the work of all multitude.

And the outcome is to be a masterpiece

Marta Keil

In Polish theatre after 1989 various critical actions were undertaken - more or less radical, more or less opportunistic, but sometimes introducing new ideas into circulation. These actions, however, stopped at the program level and did not fit into the institutional structure. And the way of making theatre is crucial here - and certainly more important than any ideological declarations.

Alternative motorics. Disabilty and identity according to Rafał Urbacki

Ewelina Godlewska-Byliniak

Rafał Urbacki (1984-2019), director, choreographer and performer. In his performances he exposed the hypocrisy and stereotypes behind thinking about disability. He opposed them to the identity project which was not only a suggestion of a new thinking about disability as a socially constructed identity and its weave with other identity experiences, but also a proposition of a new disability theory derived from practice.

Disability as seen by critical art

Justyna Lipko-Konieczna

A counterbalance for the representations placing disability in the trap of a culturally inherited stigma is the social model of disability being developed in the West since the 1970s by representatives of the movement for the rights of people with disabilities. Disability is treated here as the effect of social practices, and the emphasis is on the study of symbolic structures, meanings, stigmata shaping the image of identity and disability.

Extraordinary bodies

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

 “A preface” written twenty years after the publication of the book, Extraordinary Bodies. Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature (1997), which is considered the basis of the canon of critical disability studies, and together with other publications published at similar times, has contributed to what we call “disability studies in the humanities" and sometimes "new studies on disability.”

Metaphysical dolby surround

Jacek Kopciński

The death of a parent is a topos of contemporary Polish literature. Since Tadeusz Różewicz published his Matka odchodzi (Mother Departs) volume in 1999, contemporary Polish poetry has turned into lamentations and obituaries, and prose - into memories, partings and farewells. In Mariusz Bieliński's new drama, Our Father, the first words of the prayer are a prelude to a positive re-evaluation of the relationship with the father, and at the same time reveal a deep crisis of faith experienced by the protagonist.


Tadeusz Bradecki, Tadeusz Nyczek, Piotr Morawski


Contexts: Ida Ślęzak on the margin of Ismaël Jude’s Sur le théâtre de Philippe Quesne. L’anthroposcène et ses troglodytes, Editions L’Harmattan, Paris, 2018. Notes on plays: Igor Martinić Bilo bi šteta da biljke krepaju; Claudia Piñeiro Cuánto vale una heladera; Necati Öziri Die Verlobung in St. Domingo – Ein Widerspruch; Berlin: Autorentheatertage. Playbill