• Marszałkowska 8

David Is Going To Israel

dir.Jędrzej Piaskowski
  • Directed by 

    Jędrzej Piaskowski

  • Dramaturgy

    Hubert Sulima

  • Premiered

    September 8, 2018 (Museum Of The History Of Polish Jewish POLIN, Warsaw)

  • Duration

    1 h 30 min (no intermission)

  • Tickets

    70 PLN – regular

    40 PLN – concessionary

    30 PLN – rush

About

The performance דוד נוסע לישראל  („David is Going to Israel”) by Jędrzej Piaskowski and Hubert Sulima is a theatre fantasy on centuries-old history and culture of the Jews in Poland.

It’s March 1968. In Poland the antisemitic campaign is on. A Polish couple who brings up an adopted boy decide to restore his previously hidden, Jewish identity. Their struggles with the existing narratives and stereotypes regarding the Polish-Jewish relationships finally lead to an unexpected outcome.  

For the creators of the performance, 50th anniversary of the events of March ’68 was a starting point to examine, from different points of view, a broadly defined contemporary Polish-Jewish discourse and the rhetoric it involves, as well as the narratives and figures that dominate it. 

The performance’s thematic axis consists of stories and narratives that evolved around the cultural figure of a Jew, present in Polish collective memory, both in the past and today. The overlapping time plans create a fairytale, grotesque reality of the Polish-Jewish universe, in which a typical “PRL-era” Polish family meets historical figures, such as Władysław Gomułka, Aldona Giedyminówna – the wife of Kazimierz the Great and even with the Queen of Poland, Mary of Nazareth. At the same time, the performance has a parabolic component to it, based on a reaction to political events, similarly to the famous “March” novel by Andrzej Szczypiorski: “Mass for the city of Arras”

 

The performance is coproduced by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and TR Warszawa.

From the creators

We want to adopt a connecting perspective that would elude the existing narratives. In our opinion, the nature of the discussion on ‘Polish-Jewish topics’ very often, generates only divisions (sometimes unconsciously) and perpetuates in the collective consciousness the stereotype of  the “Stranger-Jew”. Therefore, we deliberately undermine the clichés that are present in these discourses, and we also deny the cult of memory and national suffering that is common for both nations. We do not turn to political correctness. We want our play, that was in advance classified as a statement on ‘Jewish subjects’, to spin out of this label and to touch also the ‘Polish themes’, including Polish patriotism, national identity or commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of independence.”

Creators

direction: Jędrzej Piaskowski

dramaturgy: Hubert Sulima

script: Jędrzej Piaskowski, Hubert Sulima

set design: Kornelia Dzikowska

costume design: Hanka Podraza

music: Jan Tomza-Osiecki

choreography: Mikołaj Karczewski

Production

director’s assistant: Wojtek Sobolewski

stage manager: Malwina Szumacher

production manager: Magdalena Igielska

Gallery

Maciej Jaźwiecki photo

Estranged. March ’68 and Its Aftermath.

From March to September 2018 POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews realized the project ‘Estranged. March ‘68 and Its Aftermath’ to recall the causes, course and results of the antisemitic campaign from 50 years ago. The program was aimed at encouraging reflection on what can passivity lead to when it comes to discrimination, xenophobia and human rights violation. Apart from the temporary exhibition ‘Estranged. March ’68 and Its Aftermath’ POLIN Museum together with TR Warszawa announced a closed competition dedicated to young theatre creators for a theatrical performance inspired by the Jewish experiences from March ‘68. In July and October 2017 the first two stages of the competition were completed. Five projects were presented in October 2017 as workshop performances.

 

In March 2018, as an element of Warsaw anniversary events connected with ‘Estranged. March ’68 and Its Aftermath’, the audience watched three final performances – ‘Second-hand ’68’ by Patrycja Kowańska, ‘Four Weeks by Aleksandra Jakubczak and Krzysztof Szekalski and ‘Juden R(Aus) Arras’ by Jędrzej Piaskowski and Hubert Sulima. The winning project was ‘Juden R(Aus) Arras’. The premiere of the play (under revised title): ‘David Is Going to Israel’ was held in September 2018 in POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. After the premiere, the performance was staged in TR Warszawa and POLIN Museum.

 

Curators of the theatre project “Estranged. March ’68 and Its Aftermath”:

Karolina Sakowicz (Museum POLIN)

Roman Pawłowski (TR Warszawa)

Curatorial cooperation: Paweł Kulka (TR Warszawa)

project coordinator: Iwona Oleszczuk (Museum POLIN)

producers: Katarzyna Białach, Marta Bielska, Magda Igielska, Natalia Starowieyska (TR Warszawa) / Ewa Opawska, Iwona Oleszczuk (Museum POLIN)

 

Reviews

  • “The brightest star of the mid-season. TR Warszawa and POLIN Museum created a real gem.”

    Jeremi Pedowicz, Glamour
  • “Sebastian Pawlak as Halina simply rocks. However there’s more to “David…” than the amazing quartet on the stage. This performance comes dangerously close to crossing a certain barrier of the taboo, that the March events are connected with, namely – it’s funny.”

    Rafał Turowski, Rafalturow.ski
  • “Jędrzej Piaskowski and Hubert Sulima (…) open up the semi-mythological, semi-historical archive to ask if it is possible to write a new chapter in the Polish-Jewish relationship. They ask if it’s possible to create a stage world, that would not refer to the historical context, settle old scores or commemorate the past, but rather become an alternative political space, where both nations (or maybe one, unified?) could find a place for themselves. For that purpose they draw upon substantive residues, exaggerations, legends and afterimages. It doesn’t matter that such a world would have to be full of absurdity that will overturn political correctness. Such theatrical fantasy is very tempting. And what’s more – on the map of theatrical experiments inspired by the events of the antisemitic campaing of March ’68 – it is also unique.”

    Katarzyna Dudzińska, Czas kultury

Partners

  • The performance is coproduced by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and TR Warszawa.

The new talents line 

The performance was produced within the frame of the new talents line programme. TR Warszawa for many years now has been promoting new artistic talents through such projects as:  Warsaw Area [orig.: Teren Warszawa], TR/PL, Field TR [orig.: Teren TR], Young TR [orig.: Młody TR], TR Debut [orig.: Debiut TR], artistic residencies, guest showings of diploma works and performances, repertoire showings of performances co-created by new artists and production of selected projects in cooperation with foreign partners. TR Warszawa provides artistic shelter, where artists may experiment and implement their ideas for theatre.

Within the new talents line in the past artistic seasons, the following directors presented their productions: Wojciech Blecharz (“Soundwork”), Klaudia Hartung-Wójciak (“The Chinese”), Grzegorz Jaremko (“Woyzeck”), Katarzyna Kalwat (“Holzwege”, “Rechnitz. Opera – The Exterminating Angel”, “Maria Klassenberg. Ecstasies”, “Staff Only” – coproduced by Biennale Warszawa and TR Warszawa), Anna Karasińska (“Ewelina’s Crying” and “Fantasia”), Katarzyna Minkowska (“Stream”), Jędrzej Piaskowski (“Puppenhaus. Treatment”, “David Is Going To Israel”), Piotr Trojan (“Grind/r”), Magda Szpecht (“The Possibility of an Island”, “Always Coming Home”), and Małgorzata Wdowik (“The Footballers” and “Fear”).

Patrons