The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » Monthly - March 27, 2014
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The Best of Polish Theater
Audiences will be able to see some of the best and most inventive plays staged by Polish theaters last year during the 34th Warsaw Theater Meetings festival, which runs April 4-14.

Viewers will see 14 theater productions from across Poland, including plays directed by some of the country’s best directors, including Jan Klata, Maja Kleczewska and Marcin Liber.

The festival will open with the premiere of Noc żywych Żydów (The Night of the Living Jews), an adaptation of a novel by Igor Ostachowicz, directed by Aleksandra Popławska and Marek Kalita. Then festival audiences will see the much discussed production of Wesele (The Wedding) that Marcin Liber directed at the Polski Theater in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland. The highlights of the festival also include Kronos, directed by Krzysztof Garbaczewski from the Polski Theater in Wrocław, a piece based on the journals of late Polish writer and dramatist Witold Gombrowicz.

Meanwhile, the Wybrzeże Theater from Gdańsk is bringing a dark and contemplative play entitled Czarownice z Salem (The Witches of Salem), directed by Adam Nalepa. The Provisorium Theater from Lublin will stage Jacek Dukaj’s Lód (Ice), directed by the theater’s founder Janusz Opryński. Some of the most interesting plays of this year’s festival also include Antyhona, a tragic play inspired by Sophocles’s Antigone and set in 1940s Poland.

Three other famous plays being staged during the festival are Do Damaszku (To Damascus), based on the play by August Strindberg and directed by Jan Klata; Podróż zimowa (A Winter’s Journey) written by Elfriede Jelinek; and Caryca Katarzyna (Empress Catherine) written by Jolanta Janiczek and directed by Wiktor Rubin.

As in previous years, the festival will also feature productions for children, including Bajki samograjki, a collection of fairy-tales based on poems by Polish children’s poet Jan Brzechwa, directed by Anna Augustynowicz from the Pleciuga Theater in Szczecin. Young viewers will also see Brzydkie kaczątko (The Ugly Duckling). This Hans Christian Andersen classic has been adapted for the stage by Romuald Wicza-Pokojski.

Events accompanying the festival will include a concert by the Janusz Prusinowski Trio and a Monologi (Monologues) concert performed by Polish actor Jerzy Trela to music by world-famous film score composer Zbigniew Preisner.

The festival performances will take place on all four stages of Warsaw’s Dramatyczny Theater. In addition, the Powszechny Theater in Łódź will stage Podróż zimowa and the festival organizers have arranged a special bus to take viewers on the 120-kilometer trip to Łódź.

First held in 1965, the Warsaw Theater Meetings is one of the oldest theater festivals in Poland.

The 34th festival has been organized by the Dramatyczny Theater in Warsaw. Tickets to festival performances are available at the theater’s ticket office. For further information and the festival program go to