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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 30, 2002
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Dramatic Meetings
October 30, 2002   
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Piotr Cie¶lak, artistic director of the Meetings Festival of Theater Festivals (FFT Spotkania) talks to Dorota Dziuba.

Do you think that Warsaw lacks quality theatrical events?

It would be hard to disagree with the thesis that Warsaw lacks meaningful theatrical events on an international scale. There are several fringe festivals, but for a long time in Warsaw there has been no festival featuring professional theaters. The critics, if they are interested in the achievements of others at all, visit Toruń, Wrocław, Avignon, Edinburgh or Nitra. The Warsaw viewer, and they are an outstanding, intelligent and demanding viewer, as proved by the Warsaw Film Festival, has been confined to press descriptions. The Warsaw viewer should have a chance to compare their taste with European tastes. If we present them with what has been awarded and invited to important festivals in Europe, the viewer, especially the young one, will have a point of reference, so they will be able to more clearly formulate their expectations towards the performances offered to them by Warsaw theaters.

What has determined the choice of foreign theaters and are their standards varied?

Definitely yes. Volksbuhne is completely different from Kaposvar, but this is what it's all about. The initial criterion for performances is that they should have been awarded a prize, invited to an important festival or have won an important contest. And only from such performances, on the basis of talks with our advisors, directors whose performances take part in international exchanges, with directors of cultural institutes operating in Poland and colleges from the European Theater Convention, did we choose a group of performances which were the most interesting, but also accessible—either financially, technically or in terms of dates.

Will there be any debuts at the festival?

Yes and no. The very convention of the Festival excludes any “virgin" performances. But from Warsaw's point of view, there will be debuts from the Gesher Theater from Israel, the Hungarian director Janos Mohacsi, Grażyna Kania with her Beczka prochu (Barrel of Powder), the revelation of this season Marek Fiedor and also Canadians from the Ubu Theater.

The Festival is accompanied by a rich program of accompanying events. What is their aim and who are they addressed to?

To theatrical circles and to critics. The Play Fair is a festival of
readings, meetings, and work by enthusiasts wanting to find new literature for the viewer bored with variations of classics.

What are the aspirations of Meetings? Can the Festival be expected to become a yearly event?

Meetings will take place every two years. But we're already planning a cycle called the Annex of the Meetings Festival. These will be interesting performances meant to fill the gap between consecutive Meetings. We can already announce another Frank Castorf performance titled Endstation America (March 2003), the great physical theater DV8 from Great Britain and, before the holidays, the Wooster Group from New York with Willem Dafoe.

Want to buy a ticket? Try the following outlets:

ZASP—25 Jerozolimskie Ave., tel. 621-94-54, 621-93-83
Empik Megastore—15/17 Nowy ¦wiat, tel. 625-12-19
Empik Megastore Junior—106/122 Marszałkowska St., tel. 551-44-37
U Rolanda Junior—116/122 Marszałkowska St., tel. 671-30-88, (0-602) 838-646.

Please note! Tickets for many concerts and shows can be bought at the box offices of institutions where the event will take place.
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