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Summary №5, 2012

On Stage

Insight. Theatre ‘Card-index’: Guide to Polish Theatre of the 20th Century

Examining contemporary Polish theatre landscape, Theatre. attempts to recognize the shadows of those key figures of the past and to find the roots of an incredible flowering of Polish theatre in the late XX century. At the same time we are looking at how this flowering correlates with the golden decades of the Russian stage (60s—80s).

Protagonist. Krystian Lupa: a biography profile

Every significant artist on the contemporary Polish stage is either his student, his follower or his opponent. In any case, theatre makers position themselves in relation to this incredible person. Having brought up the whole generation of new theatre directors he is still sure that a true artist should be unclear about what it is that he/she wants. This biography profile has originally been published in The Polish Theatre Perspective magazine issued by The Grotowski Institute (Wroclaw). Theatre. would like to thank The PTP for the text provided. We are pleased to present it here.

Trend. Pawel Demirsky: Left March

From the point of view of a Russian critic, an artistic duet of Pawel Demirsky — a playwright — and Monika Strzępka — his wife and director — is one of the most interesting phenomena in contemporary Polish theatre. Their courage and refusal to compromise in dispelling national myths seems to be sacrilegious, while their new left ideas have no promising prospects in Russia.

Onlooking. Nets and Traps of the New Theatre

The Golden Mask Festival presented its Polish Program in Moscow, Spring 2011. It’s been a while since the Russian audience has been offered a thrilling and diverse contemporary Polish theatre. Reaction ranged from delighted praise to contemptuous ‘they no longer know how to act’. Theatre. offers a benevolent but ironic opinion of a Russian critic of the Polish program. This point of view presented reflects in a precise way a separating line between the two theatre cultures.

Close-up. «(A)pollonia»: User’s Guide

Krzysztof Warlikowski in his piece (A) pollonia undertook a highly ambitious attempt to deconstruct one of the central Polish myths. Theatre.treats his performance itself as a Rubik’s Cube in order to understand the way this piece of theatre works.

Opening night. The Forever Alive and The Dead

While we were working on a Polish issue of Theatre., an acclaimed director Konstantin Bogomolov opened a show Lear. Comedy at Comedian’s Refuge Drama Theatre, St.Petersburg. This show has split the critics community immediately. It has become a considerable event already because of it being the first attempt to ruthlessly deconstruct on stage our own national myths.

Off Stage

Legend. The End of Taganka

Reporters have mostly written about the social aspects of Taganka Theatre conflict. Theatre. attempts to reveal the aesthetical reasons for the scandal caused not only by our administrative system, but also by those artistic principles this legendary theatre was based on.

How I Stopped Going to Taganka Theatre

Like many other representatives of soviet intellegencia, Mr Shenderov, PhD in Chemistry, was a frequent visitor of Taganka. Mr Shenderov calls back the way he used to get the sought-after tickets. He gives reasons why he doesn’t go to Taganka anymore and explains why there is no place for such a unique phenomenon as Taganka in any normal, meaning healthy, society.

How I Worked as a Cleaning Lady at Taganka Theatre

When the new issue of Theatre. was almost ready, it turned out that all the articles about the legendary Taganka lack some kind of presentation of its restless backstage, where everybody was touched by the creative impulse, including cleaning ladies and cloak-room attendants. Our member of the editorial board who used to work as a cleaning lady at Taganka shares her experience with us.

Chronotope. Ivan Vyrypaev: How I Did Not Take the Lead of the Polish Moscow Arts Theatre

Russian playwright and director Ivan Vyrypaev, who lives and works both in Moscow and Warsaw, shares with Theatre. how he refused to become an Artistic Director of the National Theatre in Warsaw. He also speculates on the way Polish theatre is similar to the Russian one.

Special Opinion. Out of Politics

Is there any need left for political art in Russia? Why was it flourishing at a certain period of time and when exactly did we get tired of it? Is it correct to define it as art in the first place? Theatre. suggested these questions for consideration to an established art critic.

Beyond the Stage

Context. Study on Russian, Polish and other myths

In order to give context for the Russian and Polish theatre cultures development, we asked a prominent sociologist and Polonist to define the key mythological structures that have been shaping collective consciousness in the two neighboring countries through time. It turned out that in the myth-making Russia and Poland are the two antipodes.

Perspective. Hit or Miss: In Memory of Polish Cinema

In Soviet times people have rarely seen Polish actors on stage, but they knew them very well from films. Hence, having published a sociocultural analysis of national myths, we also give way to a very personal and lyrical essay about the Russian people’s love towards an imaginary Poland that was shown to them in films.

Culture Hero. ‘No, pan Mrozek, you’re not pan Mrozek!’

Slawomir Mrozek — the most recognized contemporary Polish playwright — rarely talks to journalists. Mr Sagarra Angel, director of Cervantes Institution (Moscow), happened to meet the dramatist in France at Cote d’Azure and used an opportunity to ask him the whole load of questions.

Brand-new Names. Dorota Maslowska: We are the Victims of Our History

This interview came out of two table talks with probably the most exciting contemporary Polish playwright Dorota Maslowska during her trip to Moscow. It was a welcome visit prior to her participating in a big festival program — Polish Theatre in Moscow. Dorota shared with Theatre. the reasons why it is so complicated to be a playwright in general and a Polish playwright in particular.

Interface. In a Language of Wall Posters

The art of wall posters for theatre has got a glorious history in Russia. Nowadays this field of design is neither in a good nor in a bad state. Having fallen into decay in the times of Brezhnev stagnation, it almost doesn’t exist in Russia any more. Why has this great tradition ceased to exist? Is there any hope for a renaissance? Theatre. addressed these questions to a graphic and poster artist Igor Gourovich.

Yellow pages

Who has left Taganka

From the very first years Taganka company has been in a constant conflict with their leaders — Anatoly Efros, Nikolai Gubenko or Yury Lyubiov after his return. In Who has Left Taganka Theatre? we called back the names and analyzed common reasons for leaving the company. The complete list of those who have «gone through» Taganka will make a small encyclopedia of Russian theatre of the second half of the XX century, so we have chosen some most important names given in an alphabetical order.

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The Garden of Tortures

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