Co-produced by Theater 21 and TR Warszawa
Partner of the production: Centrum Sztuki Włączającej [Centre of Inclusive Art]
Premiere: September 30 th , 2022 on TR Warszawa/Marszałkowska 8 stage
Premiere will take place within the frame of the Festival of Culture Without Barriers and a series of events titled “Let’s talk about (dis)abilities”.
concept: Jakub Drzewiecki, Justyna Sobczyk
director: Justyna Sobczyk
script, dramaturgy: Natalia Fiedorczuk
dramaturgical consultations: Jakub Drzewiecki
set design: Barbara Hanicka
costumes: Wisła Nicieja
music: Krzysztof Kaliski
choreography: Aleksandra Bożek
lighting director: Aleksandr Prowaliński
Cast: Monika Frajczyk, Izabella Dudziak, Daniel Krajewski, Sebastian Pawlak,
Magdalena Świątkowska, Piotr Swend, Michał Pęszyński
In this performance a combined team of Theater 21’s and TR Warszawa’s artists explore the subjects of modern family and relationships within a family. Actors and actresses from both theatres will build on their personal experiences and their previous movie and stage roles to create a family comedy of errors, where the dark side of family relationships meets desires and fantasies about a harmonious family straight from Polish TV series. Can a person with a disability be a fully recognized
member of a family – not only a son or a daughter but also an aunt, an uncle, a mother, or a father? Can an actor/actress with a disability be a full-fledged member of a theatrical family?
From the creators:
In real life there is no one perfect model of a family but what is common for all of them is this dream of being a member of a harmonious family unit. It’s this need for safety, love, acceptance, and understanding that pushes us to take the risk and try to start a family because we believe that we are able to unlock its nurturing and supporting potential. On the stage we want to set up an inclusive lab to take a closer look at the social model of a family, which is inaccessible for half of the actors
involved in the project (representatives of Theater 21). In accordance with Polish law, persons with intellectual disabilities can’t enter into a marriage. What are the consequences of this restriction? What concerns does it result from and what truth does it reveal about the majority of our society? What does it say about the state and its rules that govern the everyday life of its citizens? Can we create in a theatre situations that are otherwise socially unacceptable? These are the questions that we want to ask ourselves and the audience.
„Family as a concept can be incoherent because people who form the family(Agata Stanisz, Family made in Poland. Anthropology of consanguinity and family
oftentimes have different worldviews. Each relationship with another person has a
conflict potential. Family ties – a network of pulsating relationships, usually come with
a not entirely successful execution of standardized models and ideas. This effective
differentiation from the level of declarations and collective expectations is one of the
most significant qualities of Polish family relationships.”
life, Poznań, 2014)
Theater 21 – a theatre company that employs primarily actors and actresses with Down syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder. During 16 years of its operations it has produced more than a dozen performances presented in theatres and institutions all over Poland. The group has performed at festivals in Poland (Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Cracow among others) and abroad (Prague, Berlin, Helsinki, Freiburg). In addition to its artistic activity, Theater 21 is involved in educational work, theatre pedagogy, publishing, organization of conferences and lectures, and international
cooperation. In 2021 Theater 21 was awarded Polityka’s Passport in the “Theatre” category.
Centrum Sztuki Włączającej [Centre of Inclusive Art] – a social cultural institution established by Teatr 21 in 2020, co-financed by the Capital City of Warsaw, fully dedicated to promotion of artists with disabilities and focused on including various social groups into the field of art, culture and science. Centre of Inclusive Art and the Theater 21 Foundation are planning to open its venue in the Praga Północ district in Warsaw. At present, they are raising funds for the necessary renovations.
“Let’s talk about (dis)abilities”
A series of debates, meetings and artistic projects organized by TR Warszawa in the 2022/2023 season aimed to effectively eliminate barriers in accessing culture and creating art by persons with disabilities, and to cross borders between artists that have various experience and professional status. The project will include staging performances with actors with disabilities as well as debates and meetings where the topic of presence of persons with disabilities in social and cultural life will be discussed. Experts, invited guests and persons with disabilities will meet to better understand the human condition and mechanisms that govern human existence. Why do we want to talk in a theatre? Because this may be the last safe space, where we can talk openly about human problems without a threat of being judged or subjected to moralizing. That’s what theatre has done from day one: it shows people what they are like, what they would like to be, and what they could be, if only they’d wanted to.
Sweet and romantic (working title)
Authors of the script and directors: Wera Makowskx and Jakub Zalasa
Premiere: February 24, 2024 on TR Warszawa/Marszałkowska 8 stage
Wera Makowskx and Jakub Zalasa, laureates of TR Debut, created a script that is inspired by the works of a Spanish philosopher and writer Paul B. Preciado and by a novel by Mary Shelley “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus” from 1818. It’s a twisted love story that calls the established rules of love, gender, family and social roles into question. Protagonist of the play wants to love whomever she cares about without being labeled a daughter of her mother, a partner of her girlfriend or a lover of a guy from a call-center. She takes synthetic testosterone not with the aim of gender transition but rather to become someone between a woman and a man, a human
being of many qualities modeled after the creature created by Frankenstein. By enjoying the pharmaceutical benefits of the system, she rebels against it. Love for someone so indefinable causes conflicts. Mother’s, partner’s and/or friend’s love suddenly becomes only a vessel that may be filled with advertising content. Viagra – for a man, contraceptive pills – for a woman. Does our identity and love preferences need to bring the maximum profit?
From the creators
The subtitle of Mary Shelley’s novel refers to the myth of Prometheus, who in the name of love for people had rebelled against divine rights. We want to explore what could be classified as today’s Prometheism. If transformation of bodies, which are longer fully male or female, may contribute to bringing down the patriarchal system based on violence? Can the fight for gender equality be replaced by – simply – the equality of human bodies? Can the heterosexual masculinity become only one of many options, a “retro” style – and not an authority or power model. What can we gain from the awareness that the system changes our bodies into products?
The International Line
an imperfect utopia
A performance based on lies about life.
Co-produced by TR Warszawa and Munich Kammerspiele
Preview in Munich: July 17, 2022
Premiere in Warsaw: October 21, 2022
director: Noémi Ola Berkowitz
dramaturgy: Martyna Wawrzyniak
set-design: Miriam Pleines
costumes: Florian Buder
Cast: Stefan Merki, Edith Saldanha, Tomasz Tyndyk, Justyna Wasilewska
In this world of meticulously constructed gender norms, do people even have a chance to be themselves? Is everything that has been instilled in us since childhood as “natural behavior” not only an oppression for those who deviate from cultural norms, but also a prison for all of us?
Can we dream of a world without shame and stigma? With a love of freedom for all, instead of power for the select few? These are the questions that the creators of this German-Polish performance project, directed by Noémi Oli Berkowitz, endeavour to explore. Actors and actresses from the Munich Kammerspiele and TR Warszawa will jointly research various strategies to shake off experiences of oppression and problematic mechanisms.
“an imperfect utopia” is an immersive performance. During an evening in the theatre performers and spectators will be close to one another. Not only social norms will be questioned, but also theatrical norms. The audience will be on the stage with the performers and a DJ will design sound and beats. The performance form, workshopped at the Sopot Non Fiction Theatre Festival in 2021, is inspired by underground drag shows and Ballroom scenes, where the line between spectator and participant is blurred. A hybrid of liberation and camp, of intimate confessions, queer theories and private enlightenment, of lies and truths, of various languages and their moments of failure – an evening when impossible dreams come true on stage in all their extravagant glory!
A TRILOGY OF DONBASS
Pre-premiere and Polish premiere
Premiere on April 28, 2023 on the TR Warszawa/ Marszałkowska 8 stage
text: Lena Laguszunkowa (UA)
director: Aleksandra Popławska
A series of three plays by a young, Ukrainian playwright that depict the history of a community from a small town in Donbass, in east Ukraine – the author’s hometown. The plays encompass the period from the fall of the Soviet Union, through the Euromaidan, the war in Donbass in 2014 until the Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2022 Lena Laguszonkowa wrote the last part of the trilogy in the spring of 2022 in a bomb shelter in Kiev, during bombing. It’s a family saga based on personal
experiences, told from a woman’s perspective. Short dialogues and monologues are saturated with frill-free, direct language and sharp wit. Funny and terrifying, grotesque and painfully real – “A Trilogy of Donbass” does not only provide a context of the current war with Russia but, most of all, it shows the stories of people who try to stay alive and maintain their dignity under the pressure of history.
From the director:
„It’s me. Hello. It’s 2000, and I’m in the 9 th grade.”
This is the opening line of the first part of Lena Laguszonkowa’s „A Trilogy from Donbass”, a place where the main protagonist grew up. Going back to her childhood days she starts a story about a hard life in a small border town, about her family, about her Russian mother, who believes in UFOs and an Ukrainian father who reads “The World of Crime”. About the friends from school that has no number because there is no other school in town, about Jewish roots of her family and about an anti-Semitic grandfather who uses urine therapy. About Grandma Luda, who constantly argues with Grandma Luba, and about her dream to get out of the sticks and go to Moscow to study. We observe how, with the passing of time, her ideals are crushed, and the Russia she’s dreamt of becomes an abuser, who brutally destroys her country and murders her friends and family. The strength of Lena’s dramas lies in the language she employs to describe the world and the sense of humor, which can be very moving when used in a tragiccontext.
When following the harrowing story of her family, who’s lived in a town so affected by the current war, we can better understand the essence and complexity of the difficult history of the entire region. I believe that “A Trilogy of Donbass” will be a very moving production and that it will help the Polish audience to understand the experiences of our neighbors, who’ve found here a temporary home, fleeing the war. Our hearts are with them. A story about them should be another expression of our support.”
The work on this production started in May 2022 with a performative reading of the III
part of the trilogy: “A kitty peed on my banner” directed by Aleksandra Popławska.
Lena Laguszunkowa – a Ukrainian playwright from Stanytsia Luhanska in Donbass. She has graduated from a history department at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Luhansk and debuted as a playwright in 2018. Her play “Basis” – about women and prostitution – was presented during the Contemporary Art Week in Kiev. In 2021 she participated in a competition organized by the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, where the main prize is Aurora – the Drama Award of the City of
Bydgoszcz. “Gorky’s Mother” – the second part of “A Trilogy of Donbass” got into the final of the competition. In 2022 Lena Laguszonkowa won the prestigious European Drama Award 2022 for a New Drama Talent, awarded by Schauspiel Stuttgart in Germany. The author presently resides in Bydgoszcz.
“Let’s talk about (dis)abilities”
Performances – debates – meetings
Partners: Centrum Sztuki Włączającej [Centre of Inclusive Art], Migawka Foundation, Automatophone Foundation
A series of debates, meetings and artistic projects aimed to effectively eliminate barriers in accessing culture and creating art by persons with disabilities, and to help artists that have various experience and professional status to cross any borders between them. The project will include staging performances with actors with disabilities as well as debates and meetings where the topic of presence of persons with disabilities in social and cultural life will be discussed. Experts, invited guests and persons with disabilities will meet to better understand the human condition and mechanisms that govern human existence. Why do we want to talk in a theatre? Because this may be the last safe space, where we can talk openly about human problems without a threat of being judged or subjected to moralizing. That’s what theatre has done from day one: it shows people what they are like, what they would like to be, and what they could be, if only they’d wanted to.
The programme includes
“Family” – co-produced by Theater 21 and TR Warszawa, dir. by Justyna Sobczyk,
premiere on September 30, 2022
September 2022: meetings accompanying the premiere of “Family”
November 2022: “Sisterhood” – a production by Migawka Foundation in cooperation
with the Słowacki Theatre in Cracow
Directed by: Dominika Feiglewicz
What is sisterhood? What exactly does it mean and how can it be implemented in real life? Do you notice everyday sisterly acts? Take a moment to ponder if you can support someone in beliefs that are drastically different from your worldview? Is a community of experiences sufficient to be a support for each other? Do you share your experiences to strengthen other people? Follow rebellion, powerlessness, strength and individual stories. Enter the space marked with invisibility, judgement, evaluation and stigmatization and participate in the creation of a new world founded on sisterly values.
Artistic residencies. Belarus and Ukraine
Since 2021 TR Warszawa has engaged in a programme of artistic residencies for artists – refugees from Belarus and Ukraine. In May 2022 a group of 5 theatre artists from Belarus, who’s left their country as refugees and now reside in Poland, started their 6-month residency. The first effect of their work is a performance titled “Heather Ale” based on Ulyana Mihalcova’s text, directed by Andrei Bardukhayeu-Arol. It’s a sensory performance – the audience watches it blindfolded, experiencing the show with their hearing, sense of smell and touch. The text is based on a ballad from 1880,
titled „Heather Ale” by a Scottish poet – Robert Louis Stevenson. The audience is transported to a medieval Scottish village, where a tragedy of the local community of Picts, attacked by the Scottish army, takes place. A family of ale brewers hides a secret heather ale recipe that interests the Scottish king. The father and son, captured by the Scotsmen, protect the formula at the cost of their own lives. The performance is staged in Belarusian and Russian language, without Polish
translation. Belarusian Youth Hub of Warsaw is a partner of the show.
The performance premiered on June 4th, 2022. Next presentations are scheduled to take place on September 24 th and 25 th 2022 in the TR Warszawa.
Тим Театр / Team Theatre
An independent theatre company established in Homel (Belarus) in 2016 by a group of actresses and actors led by director Andrei Bardukhayev-Arol. Due to political reasons, in the fall of 2020 the company was left without a stage to perform on. In 2021 the artists had to emigrate to Poland, where they were granted political refugee status.
Belarussian youth Hub
Belarussian youth Hub is a community of Belarussian activists in Warsaw, that brings together people who moved to Poland. The main goal of this organization is providing help to Belarussians, who had to leave their country, and building a place where Belarussian diaspora will develop cultural and educational projects. Belarussian Youth Hub unites Belarussians living in Warsaw, activates youth and helps refugees from Belarus, also with regard to issues like life in Poland and adaptation.
TR ON TOUR
TR Warszawa continues its #TRontour programme. After a festival run in 2021/22 and guest performances in w Avignon, Athens & Epidauros Festival and Romauropa we plan to stage “Pieces of a Woman” directed by Kornél Mundruczó on the most important stages throughout Europe. “Pieces of a Woman” has been invited to the Comédie de Genève – a theatre that houses one of the most modern stages in Europe and co-produces performances created by artists that take the festival world by storm, like Christiane Jatahy and Tiago Rodrigues (November/December 2022); to the International Theatre Amsterdam – the greatest artistic company in Europe, who’s been led by Ivo van Hove for many years now (October 2022); to Centro Dramático Nacional in Madrid dedicated to modern drama (December 2022) and in March 2023 the performance will be staged for a week in Teatro Bellini in Naples. We are also working on a special show of “an imperfect utopia” by Noémie Oli Berkowitz within the frame of Sopot Non-fiction Festival.