December 13, 2018
2 h 30 min (no intermission)
Gymnase du lycée Aubanel
14 Rue Palapharnerie
The performance includes some nudity. Smoke and strobe light are used in the performance.
For more details, please contact the education department: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A feminist family drama set in present day Warsaw, powered by the strength and determination of female characters. A family get-together shows, as if through a lens, the problems and internal conflicts of Polish society.
The protagonist of the play, 30-year-old Maja struggles with a personal tragedy. In order to get back on track, she must question her old life and rebuild from scratch the relationships with her family. “Pieces of a Woman” is an evocative picture of modern women who fight for the right to decide about their own life. Kornél Mundruczó – director, and Kata Weber – author of the script, portrait each character with great empathy – they don’t judge or criticize any of the characters gathered around the family table. The performance employs cinematographic means of expression and captivates the viewers with intimate narrative, the realism of the details and tenderness of the actor’s creations. “Pieces of a Woman” is a second, after “The Bat” (premiere 2012, prod. TR Warszawa), Kornél Mundruczó’s play produced in Poland. Both performances have gained recognition of Polish and international audiences.
From the director:
“The path taken by Maja is the everywoman’s path. Maya experiences what all women experience when their longings are squashed. The are crushed by pain untill the time when they can unfurl and re-open, ready for a life of greater awareness, depth and, of course, joy. The combination of feminine relationships shown in our play is authentic. It contains love, rage, disappointment and healing, associated today with intimacy.”
director: Kornél Mundruczó
text and dramaturgy: Kata Wéber
assistant playwright: Soma Boronkay
translation: Jolanta Jarmołowicz
set and costume design: Monika Pormale
music: Asher Goldschmidt
lighting design: Paulina Góral
director’s assistant: Karolina Gębska
stage manager: Katarzyna Gawryś-Rodriguez
translation during rehearsal: Patrycja Paszt
physical training: Aleksandra Woźniak
scenographer’s assistant, production manager: Karolina Pająk-Sieczkowska
costumographer’s assistant: Małgorzata Nowakowska
language consultation: Andreas Jönsson, Sindre Sandemo
fot. Natalia Kabanow
Copyright of Jolanta Jarmołowicz (translator) to the play “Parts of a Woman” is represented by Agencja Dramatu i Teatru ADiT.
(…) TR Warszawa – a Polish theatre company, one of the best in the world (…)
(…) The play by a Hungarian playwright Kata Wéber, turned into a Netflix movie directed by Kornél Mundruczó, was a great success in Avignon. Author of the text analyzes the trauma of miscarriage with great precision and without cutting any corners. (…) The performance exceptionally effectively transcends dramatic conventions thanks to masterful performances by the actors, who (…) artfully bring their characters to life even if their lines are limited to small talk – which, by the way, makes the reception of a show in Polish with French surtitles quite manageable. (…) The Avignon audience fell in love with this Polish play from 2018. The performance is very intriguing if only because it depicts certain social roles and brings them to the limits. In Poland the show enjoyed a great success and its creators were showered with various prestigious awards. So far in Europe, “Pieces of a Woman” have been included in the programmes of the most important festivals, such as: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Athens & Epidaurus Festival and Festival Romaeuropa. The movie adaptation gave Vanessa Kirby an Oscar nomination and a Volpi Cup at the Venice International Film Festival.
“The Director allows the actors to create original characters and the entire cast takes advantage of this opportunity. They fit in quite effortlessly in the performance’s form that is close to film realism.”
(…) The play by TR Warszawa, that premiered in Warsaw in 2018, proves that theatre is nothing without the actors. Especially the Polish ones. In this performance they are all magnificent.
(…) The performance “Pieces of a Woman” by a Hungarian movie and theatre director – Kornél Mundruczó is a big thing. (…) Mundruczó and his playwright Kata Weber had the courage to take on the most unmodern of theatrical forms: a family drama. (…) brilliant writing meets here an acting craft that astounds with authenticity and spiritual depth. (…) Never before have we seen a performance where dramatic gravity and power of the word seem to interpenetrate so strongly. Wéber’s tale is very Ibsenian in its dynamics, in combining the intimate with the social (…).
(…) Pieces of a Woman say a lot about our anxious, turbulent western society, lost between the traditional and modern lifestyle. Naturalism of the topic is perfectly yet mysteriously confronted with the magic of theatre – Kornél Mundruczó is a real master at mixing stage styles. With realism, which is the base of his production, the director sneakily introduces us to the secrets of suddenly bared souls and bodies. Bared as they can be during childbirth, which is the center of act one. Would Kornél Mundruczó do so well without the bona fide actors, who stand before us? Actors: the very principle, source, essence and genius of theatre… In TR Warszawa’s production all of them are very impressive.
(…) The most beautiful part in Pieces of a Woman is the young mother, who decides to experience her loss in a way that she finds fit, without any denial or pretense. This grief belongs to her; Maja doesn’t want to benefit from it in any way. The actress who plays this young woman is absolutely brilliant. Justyna Wasilewska, full of grace and internal strength, is the driver of the entire performance.
Filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó gave the Festival in Avignon a theatrical slap in the face with his guest performance of Pieces of a Woman. This deeply emotional, shocking play portraits a woman overwhelmed by tragedy, struggling with the family and social pressure. (…) Justyna Wasilewska in a very sophisticated manner takes on the leading role and with extraordinary sensitivity expresses the suffering and deep loneliness of the protagonist who is also an observer to her own story. (…) Kornél Mundruczó – a master of hyperrealism, creates a very refined, distinctive and conscious staging, as usual. Intensity of the presence of the exceptional actors and virtuosity of the performance allow the audience to fully immerse into the intimacy of theatre (…) and confront both disintegration and an attempt at recovery (…).
Pieces of a Woman” performed by Polish actors from TR Warszawa company is a deeply moving work. (…) The performance is a unique stage experience, all thanks to fervent acting. Emma Dante and the artists of “Misericordia” have already raised the bar at this year’s festival but TR Warszawa company has hoisted it even higher. The Avignon Festival owes them a lot.
The closing night in Cannes, the opening night in Avignon: director Kornél Mundruczó and scriptwriter Kata Wéber are everywhere! They detonated a real bomb during the second half of the Avignon Festival. (…). We haven’t experienced such quality of acting, such directing, such vision and staging for a very long time. (…) The performance, which consists of two acts – first one entirely cinematic and the second theatrical ‒ presents a perspective we have never before seen on a stage. In the first act, thanks to the camera-eye close-ups we are able to cope with what we’re hearing and seeing. The second act, on the other hand, opens before us a wide perspective on the a design presented in the cinematic 16/9 format, with an infinite stage where a whole palette of family tensions play out. It vaguely resembles the Festen, but these protagonists do not sit at the table to supper with others. They mess with the food with their fingers, as if they’d forgotten all about good manners and savoir-vivre. Dobromir Dymecki, Monika Frajczyk, Magdalena Kuta, Sebastian Pawlak, Marta Ścisłowicz, Justyna Wasilewska and Agnieszka Żulewska are real stage animals. They act as a team, they share the space though they disappear from view from time to time. Kata Wéber’s text includes many fascinating and intimate topics such as the confrontation of your mourning with the perspective of other members of the family, another – observation of dementia creeping into the life of people who are getting old.
Kornél Mundruczó directs TR Warszawa actors very skillfully. He creates a painful and
penetrating performance that shocks, moves and knocks you off your feet. A great art about
(…) Kata Wéber does not employ any fandangles; her writing is very similar to a spoken language. The playwright shows us everyday life of the protagonists. She depicts their conflicts, hidden grudges and how they cope with the truth. And so, the audience – like a privileged witness – sits at the dining table with the protagonists who get drunk on vodka, participates in their explosive, sometimes brutal discussions and witnesses rare moments of understanding, when the characters – seemingly from different worlds – find something that they have in common. The magic works. This is a captivating, mesmerizing and absorbing performance… The drama, seemingly embroiled in the banalities of thediscussions presented on stage, takes on a new meaning. Kornél Mundruczó’s hiperrealistic production is a real breakthrough and a milestone. The performance shall be remembered as one ofthe greatest moments of the 75 th Avignon Festival.
Poland imprisoned in the fanatic Catholicism
Through Maja’s story, the author and the director paint a portrait of Poland and they are not holding back. They show a country that is getting entangled in a deadly religious fanaticism. The insightful and radical play by Kata Wéber and Kornél Mundruczó is a true theatre experience; it brings to mind Alexander Zeldin’s works. Thanks to a powerful and so very realistic acting, the performance grabs the audience by the throat and moves to the bone. Moments in life go by without bringing any solutions and thus reveal the drama of human beings who roam a brutal and sexist world. Pieces of a Woman hits hard; the performance calls into question what seemed to be certain. It touches the audience so much it hurts!
“Pieces of a Woman” by TR Warszawa
This is the great theatre – a production by a scriptwriter Kata Wéber, director Kornél Mundruczó and talented Polish actors from TR Warszawa theatre. Monika Frajczyk, Magdalena Kuta, Sebastian Pawlak, Marta Ścislowicz, Justyna Wasilewska and
Agnieszka Żulewska create a story where weak and irresponsible men pull back and leave the women – the fighting guardians from Eastern European countries. Women who experienced painful and authoritarian past and whose present is marked by materialism, egocentrism and nationalism. We find here traces of Bergman and Festen; what happens on the stage captivates us with naturalness, ease and precision. From a perceptible alchemy between the director and the exceptionally talented actors a performance, that squeezes your heart and throat, is born.
Director Kornel Mundruczo with his Pieces of a Woman showed up at the Avignion Festival like a firecracker. A stunning, powerful feministic Festen with passionate actors and actresses.
(…) An unparalleled, astonishing show – filmed and performed by actors whose mastery makes your head spin. This is not only a family story, but first and foremost – a female story.
(…) The actors perform phenomenally, with an orchestra-like precision.
(…) Pieces of a Woman is about women, about a sense of community that they find in a certain country; the country – Poland – where women’s rights are trampled on a daily basis. When the heroines sing the chorus of an Italian hit – Felicita, we can feel with them, that the happiness is back…”
“’Pieces of a Woman” is concert of acting skills.”
“(…) it’s the highest form of art. To create theatre as if it wasn’t theatre but a private game. As if the word’s weren’t written down but came on their own, even self-expressed themselves. Yet again, Mundruczó throws us right in the middle of life, he requires theatre to be its imitation. He doesn’t stop there, however. From time to time he distorts realism of the story, builds unusual hyperboles, destroys order, introduces dissonances. “Pieces of a Woman” is a masterpiece as far as the precision of the production is concerned, and at the same time an extremely challenging technical endeavor. It only looks like imitating life is all it takes.”
“(…) brilliantly simple and very much needed performance about ourselves..”
“A theatre of outstanding stage creations. Wasilewska, Kuta and Żulewska show off their vast acting techniques – they don’t act, they become the characters. Characters that we not only believe in but, first and foremost, – remember.”
The Konrad Swinarski Best Director Award
Granted to Kornél Mundruczó for the direction of “Pieces of a Woman” by Kata Wéber
The Aleksander Zelwerowicz Best Actress Award
Granted to Justyna Wasilewska for the role of Maja in “Pieces of a Woman” by Kata Wéber, directed by Kornél Mundruczó
First Award for Best Actress
Granted to Justyna Wasilewska for the role of Maja in “Pieces of a Woman” by Kata Wéber, directed by Kornél Mundruczó at 12th Divine Comedy International Theatre Festival
Nagroda Specjalna im. Ignacego Lewandowskiego
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III główna nagroda aktorska
Nagroda dla Dobromira Dymeckiego za rolę Larsa w spektaklu “Cząstki kobiety” na 59. Kaliskich Spotkaniach Teatralnych
Nagroda im. Jacka Woszczerowicza
Nagroda dla Magdaleny Kuty za rolę Matki w spektaklu “Cząstki kobiety” na 59. Kaliskich Spotkaniach Teatralnych
About the creators
Kornél Mundruczó is a Hungarian theatre and film director, actor. He studied at the Hungarian University of Film and Drama and is now a renowned European film and theatre director, whose creations premier at the most prestigious festivals all over the world.
He has been working for the stage since 2003. He is most enthusiastic to start a new project whenever he finds an inspiring subject, a team or a venue. During the creative process he tries to build up a team. For new projects he very often casts the same actors, who are working as creative partners to him. It is with them that he devises the productions. After freelancing with more or less the same group of people for several years, in 2009 he founded his independent theatre company, PROTON THEATRE together with theatre producer Dóra Büki.
His most famous productions include the stage adaptation of W. Sorokin’s ‘Ice, J. M. Coetzee’s ‘Disgrace, Hard to be a God’, based on his own script and ‘The Imitation of Life’, based on the text by Kata Wéber. „Pieces of a Woman” produced by TR Warszawa is his second performance based on the text of the same author, who collaborated with him as well for movies. Mostly he stages his theatre adaptations in Hungarian, German and Austrian theaters, in Poland he works with TR Warszawa with its renowned ensemble. For directing ‘Pieces of a Woman’ Mundruczó received the Swinarski Award – the most important accolade given to the theatre directors in Poland, while the performance itself received the Grand Prix for the best performance at 12th International Theatre Festival Divine Comedy in Cracow. Actors playing in ‘Pieces of a Woman’ received several accolades for their roles in the performance.
He was nominated for the Faust Award in 2017 for his outstanding directorial achievement in Proton Theatre’s IMITATION OF LIFE. This was the first time in the history of this award that a non-German theatre, in this case a Hungarian independent company was nominated.
Since 2003 he has directed on the opera scene as well. THE MAKROPULOS AFFAIR which premiered in the Flemish Opera in Antwerp was nominated for the International Opera Award in the category Best New Production. Thus, was the first Hungarian nominee.
He made his directorial debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. That same year, he founded the film production company Proton Cinema Ltd. with Viktória Petrányi, who has been his constant co-writer and artistic collaborator since college. His third feature film, JOHANNA – an operatic adaptation of the story of Joan of Arc – was presented in 2005, in the independent Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Festival, where in 2014 his sixth feature film, WHITE GOD won the main prize of the section. His fourth, fifth and seventh feature-length films took part in the official competition of Cannes: DELTA in 2008, TENDER SON in 2010, JUPITER’S MOON in 2017. His first English-language feature, PIECES OF A WOMAN, was in Competition at 77th Venice International Film Festival.
His film EVOLUTION, which was inspired by the theatre production of the same title of Proton Theatre, premieres in the new section of 2021 Cannes Film Festival, called Cannes Premiere.
Kata Wéber is a Hungarian screen and theater writer. She studied acting at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Hungary and after a prolific acting career, she dedicated herself to writing in theatre. Her theatre works are among others: The Bat, Pieces of a Woman (TR Warszawa), Hotel Lucky Hole (Schauspielhaus Zürich), Imitation of Life, Evolution (Proton Theatre) picking up various awards along the way. Together with Kornél Mundruczó they work as the tandem for film and stage creations. Their work together has proven to be fruitful after WHITE GOD (2014) won the Prize Un Certain Regard and had a Spotlight section at the Sundance Film Festival, and JUPITER’S MOON (2017) was also In Competition as part of The Official Selection of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Their first english language movie “Pieces of a Woman” produced by Bron Studios premiered at 77th Venice International Film Festival, where Vanessa Kirby was awarded the best actress prize for the lead performance followed by an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading role.
Patrons and partners of the performance
Partner of the performance: