The perfect family model does not exist.

  • Marszałkowska 8


dir.Justyna Sobczyk Buy a ticket
  • Direction

    Justyna Sobczyk

  • Premiere

    30 September 2022

  • Duration

    1,5 h

  • Bilety

    Normal ticket: 70 PLN
    Concessionary ticket: 50 PLN






About the performance

Premiered within the framework of the Culture Without Barriers Festival and the series “Let’s talk about (dis)ability”.

In this performance a combined team of Teatr 21’s and TR Warszawa’s artists explore the subject of modern family and relationships within a family unit. 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 memberof a theatrical family?

From the creators:

A perfect family model does not exist in real life 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 Teatr 21). Under 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 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.

Agata Stanisz, Family made in Poland. Anthropology of consanguinity and family life, Poznań, 2014

Teatr 21 – a theatre company that employs primarily actors and actresses with Down syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Since 2006 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, Teatr 21 is involved in educational work, theatre pedagogy, publishing, organization of conferences and lectures, and international cooperation. In 2021 Teatr 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.

“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.

photo: Monika Stolarska


director: Justyna Sobczyk

script based on actors’ improvisations: Natalia Fiedorczuk

dramaturgy: Jakub Drzewiecki, Natalia Fiedorczuk, Justyna Sobczyk

set design: Barbara Hanicka

costumes: Wisła Nicieja

music: Krzysztof Kaliski

choreography: Aleksandra Bożek-Muszyńska

video: Agata Rucińska

lighting design: Aleksandr Prowaliński

assistant director: Katarzyna Gawryś

stage manager: Patrycja Węglarz

production manager: Anna Czerniawska

Teatr 21’s producer: Paulina Uryszek

assistant set designer/assistant producer: Monika Zielińska

technical manager: Michał Golasa

deputy technical manager: Kacper Stykowski

workshop/set construction: Tomasz Ciężarek, Tadeusz Tomaszewski rekwizytor: Tomasz Trojanowski

assemblers: Łukasz Winkowski, Piotr Gromek, Tomasz Trojanowski, Grzegorz Zielski, Mariusz Puanecki, Mariusz Basiak

sound: Miłosz Pawłowski, Jakub Sapka

video: Maciej Kaszyński, Marcin Metelski

light: Daniel Sanjuan-Ciepielewski, Jędrzej Jęcikowski

wardrobe: Teresa Rutkowska, Elżbieta Kołtonowicz

makeup artists: Dominika Zatońska-Mosior, Milena Jura


  • While referring to a seemingly traditional family unit: a pregnant mother, a father
    and two teenagers, including one with a Down syndrome, authors of the
    performance carefully deconstruct the patterns of behaviors of each family member.
    They invite the audience to ask questions about the ability to form family bonds
    despite the fractures within such family, rather than show a vision of a family crisis as
    such or a study of a family trauma.

    Marzena Wiśniewska, “Miesięcznik Teatr”
  • It’s possible to think about a family in a non-conservative way – by not dictating the
    “how”, just differently and diversly. That way the creators are a step ahead of the
    government bodies and legal system. They serve us a vision of new families, even if
    temporarily or fragmentarily.

    Ada Tymińska, “Dwutygodnik”
  • Combined forces of TR Warszawa and Teatr 21 company, which is composed
    predominantly of male and female artists with Down syndrome or Autism Spectrum
    Disorder, take on the subject of family (text by Natalia Fiedorczuk based on actors’
    improvisation). And thanks to them this severely exploited, also in theatre, theme
    gains new meanings and evokes vivid emotions.

    Aneta Kyzioł, Polityka

Co-production with Teatr 21