Request Concert 


Yana Ross’s show is based on a text by a German playwright, Franz Xavier Kroetz. Unlike classically constructed dramas, this play is comprised only of side text that serves as a score and a commentary on the stage action. The protagonist here is a 50-year-old woman who works as a stenographer. She lives in an apartment with modern middle class décor. Surrounded by colorful advertisements and packages, overly-organized and pedantic, she cannot overcome her loneliness. The society that she lives in also doesn’t help, condemning her to exclusion and isolation. Kroetz creates a world where the individual feels very much alone, lost in the manic tempo of the big-city. The playwright closely observes the behavior patters and morality of the bourgeoisie, as it faces cultural and social transformations that force it to re-establish its identity. The lead (and only) role in Yana Ross’ piece is played by Danuta Stenka.

“Karl Marx defines a time ripe for revolution when the  masses are fed up with oppression and elite is no longer able to control them. But what if financial elite has adapted with times and worked out  a way to keep the masses more or less occupied with consumerism,  keeping them   busy  with daily small rewards and pleasures enough to forget the pain of a  senseless cycle of life? Kroetz's provoking thesis questions  the act of suicide as a manifestation of free will as a sign of revolt which  paradoxically turns  in on itself and becomes  an instant failure (by self-cleansing society of the rebel itself)” – says the director, Yana Ross, right before the premiere of the play. 

TR Warszawa in coproduction with Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Cracow and Divine Comedy.




  • Yana Rossdirected by
  • Aśka Grochulskadramaturgy
  • Franz Xaver Kroetztext
  • Danuta Żmij-Zielińskatranslation
  • Aśka Grochulska / Tomasz Wyszomirskimusic
  • Marcin Zawadaproject curator
  • Wojciech Mannbroadcast
  • Mats Öhlinlighting director
  • Simona Biekšaitėscenography and multimedia

The entire play is one woman's lonely night with a dramatic climax. Stenka's minimalistic acting, though wordless, is nevertheless quite powerful...Through invisible walls we bear witness to reminiscences, lonliness, depression and neurosis. Is this banal? In Stenka's execution it is actually moving at times. The actress employs the sort of sharp, focused expression that is so characteristic of her.

Xavier Kroetz's "Requests Concert", coproduced by the Łaźnia Nowa theatre from Nowa Huta and the TR Warszawa theatre, starring the extraordinary Danuta Stenka, is a suspenceful vision of the boredom of life not unlike watching a Hitchcock thriller. Not one word is spoken during the play, but we come out feeling that everything that needed to be said was...Danuta Stenka is at arm's length, it's almost possible to feel her breath as she acts out her silent cantata with total concentration. Perhaps this is why the audience feels itself to be more than witnesses to a woman's silent tragedy, but participants as well. It always looks the same. From the loud beginings of life to the muffled, unrustled end.

Łukasz Maciejewski, WPROST

The "Requests Concert" appears to be unique in Polish theatre. The play's theme and aesthetics set it apart from our mainstream theatre. Yana Ross presents us with something akin to a railroad switch. One must move in the direction of hybrid forms bordering on performance and minimalism, away from blabbering on stage and actus iaculatoriae on the part of the actors - if only for a moment.
Łukasz Drewniak, TEATRALNY.PL

The idea to tinker with time was an amazingly good one. The equation of fictional time with real time is one of many factors giving audiences the impression that they have become actors in Yane Ross's play. It makes them feel as if they were right in the middle of the action, at the side of the heroine struggling through her difficult life...In this game, the heroine's life is ideal, her fate appears to be sealed, cursed and immutable. Having grown accustomed to her everyday life, she does the same things over and over every day for the hundreth time. She goes to work, she comes home, she eats, she rests, she bathes, she sleeps. And on it goes. She begins each day with the same belief that things will be different. And yet there is no cure for solitude, there is only hope. It is hope that fades in our heroine and this condemns her to defeat.
Agnieszka Kobroń,