This year’s programme of the 14th The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival in Cracow includes as many as four performances from the repertoire of TR Warszawa. The Polish Competition INFERNO of the 14th International Theatre Festival Divine Comedy will include “ONKO” directed by Weronika Szczawińska. In the program of the Young PARADISO Competition, the festival audience will see “HEART” directed by Wiktor Baginski and “CLUB” directed by Weronika Szczawińska – a production of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw co-produced with TR Warszawa. In this year’s festival program, within the PURGATORIO section, there will also be screenings of “3SIOSTRY” directed by Luka Perceval, a co-production of TR Warszawa and the National Old Theatre in Krakow.
The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival
The The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival has been organized since 2008 in December by the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Krakow and the Krakow Festival Office. The festival is one of the most important events in the Polish theater calendar. The artistic director of the festival is Bartosz Szydłowski. The International Divine Comedy Festival consists of several sections: INFERNO section, i.e. Polish Competition, PARADISO section, i.e. review of performances by directors of the young generation, PURGATORIO – performances and meetings accompanying the main programme. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was moved online; Divine Comedy 2020 online version was held without competition. After a one-year pandemic hiatus, the Festival returns to the INFERNO competition, featuring 9 performances produced in the passing season. The competition will also include a review of 10 performances by young artists and PARADISO creators. Both competitions will be judged by jurors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Greece, Spain, Lithuania, Germany, Russia and Romania. In the INFERNO category the jury will consist of Marina Davidova, Katerina Evangelatos, Oana Cristea Grigorescu, Rolf C. Hemke and Haris Pašović, while in the PARADISO category Carlos Aladro, Geoliane Arab, Peter Carp and Kristina Savickienė. The festival awards were funded by Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of the City of Krakow. The gala ceremony will be held on the 11th of December in the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Krakow.
The 14th The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival takes place in Krakow from 3rd to 12th December 2021. In the INFERNO section of this year’s festival, in addition to TR Warsaw’s play “ONKO” directed by Weronika Szczawińska, there are such titles as: “Red Noses” directed by Jan Klata, “Uncle Vanya” directed by Małgorzata Bogajewska, “THOUSAND NIGHTS AND ONE. Scheherazade 1979” directed by Wojciech Faruga, “TIKI AND OTHER FUN” directed by Dominika Knapik, “Shame” directed by Małgorzata Wdowik, “Halka” directed by Anna Smolar, “COMEDY. WUJASZEK WANIA” directed by Jędrzej Piaskowski and “Autumn Sonata” directed by Grzegorz Wiśniewski.
In the PARADISO section in addition to the TR Warsaw production “HEART” directed by Wiktor Bagiński and the performance “CLUB” directed by Weronika Szczawińska from the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theater Academy and TR Warsaw, such performances will be shown as: “Paradise. Deluge” directed by Grzegorz Jaremko, “Silenzio!” directed by Ramona Nagabczyńska, “Machine” directed by Jagoda Szelc, “Safe Place” directed by Tomasz Fryzel, “Arians” directed by Beniamin M. Bukowski, “Look at Me” directed by Ewa Kaim, “Darwin or the Children of Evolution” directed by Magdalena Miklasz and “Hey U” directed by Agnieszka Glińska.
Presented as part of the INFERNO competition section at the The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival on December 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the chamber stage of the National Old Theater, the play “ONKO” by TR Warszawa, directed by Weronika Szczawińska, is based on personal experiences that brought together the director and Sebastian Pawlak, an actor from TR Warszawa. What turned out to be the most difficult, instilled in them the belief that even the darkest scenario of life can be changed and a new role can be played. You can read more about the performance here.
As part of the PARADISO section, “HEART” directed by Wiktor Baginski, winner of the 2019 TR Debut Award, will be shown on December 9 at 6:00 p.m. on the chamber stage of the National Old Theatre as part of the The Divine Comedy International Theater Festival. “HEART” is the documentary story of a young, black Polish man who sets out to find his biological father. The script, inspired by a short story by Joseph Conrad, is based on the autobiographical notes of the director, Wiktor Baginski, and is an attempt to bring out the political meanings hidden in the director’s personal story. You can read more about the performance here.
As part of the PARADISO section, on December 7th at 9 p.m. on the classical stage of the Stanisław Wyspiański Academy of Theatrical Arts in Cracow, the festival audience will also see a performance by Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy and TR Warszawa titled KLUB directed by Weronika Szczawińska. This story, based on a reportage by Matilday Voss Gustavsson, does not take place in Poland, is not set in a theater environment and has nothing to do with a theater school. You can read more about the play here.
In the PURGATORIO section, presenting the most interesting productions of the season, on December 11 at 19:15 on the big stage of the National Old Theatre the performance “3SIOSTRY” produced by TR Warszawa in co-production with Helena Modrzejewska’s National Old Theatre in Krakow will be shown. Luka Percevala. The Belgian director, one of the most important contemporary theater creators, made his production for the first time in Poland as part of TR Warszawa’s international line-up. Based on the motives of Anton Chekhov’s drama, “3 SISTERS” is a portrait of aging Europe that refuses to yield to the passage of time. The daily routine of the title characters is interrupted by an attempt to recall events from the past. In a metaphorical nursing home, ageing Europe is confronted with the new energy of immigrants. What is the result of this encounter? What are the political and social consequences of the aging of entire societies? How do we cope with old age, loss of memory, idealized past? You can read more about the performance here.
It is also worth mentioning that during the festival, on December 8, at 5 p.m., on the small stage of the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Krakow, within the Paradiso section, a performance “A Safe Place” directed by Tomasz Fryzel, winner of an honorable mention within this year’s Debut TR 2021 award, will be presented. “A Safe Place” has its beginning even before the pandemic. Four students under the supervision of Marcin Wierzchowski prepared an examination, which is an answer to the question: who is the protagonist of our times? The etude about the generation of contemporary catastrophists, shown in March 2020, turned out to be a concept so capacious that it became the starting point for work on a larger whole – “A Safe Place”.