Kantor

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At the beginning of my work I would like to briefly present tha characteristic of Polish Theatre. In common with other European countries, the most frequent and most popular form of theatre in Poland is dramatic theatre, based on the existence of relatively stable artistic companies It is above all a theatre of directors, who decide on the form of its productions and the appearance of individual scenes. There is no strict division in Poland between theatre and film directors and actors. Alongside the many types of dramatic theatre whose basis is literature, there are in Poland historic forms of theatre in which spoken word is not the most important means of expression, e.g., visual theatre popular against state censorship, musical theatre, theatre of movement, etc. An equal popularity is being gained by theatres employing puppets, figures, or shadows; there is even a theatre of drawing as well as a theatre of fire. TraditionThe strength of Polish dramatic theatre lays in the professionalism of its actors. The tradition of the great 19th century players, with Helena Modrzejewska – the "star of two continents" – at its forefront, has been continued by successive generations of university trained artists. This variety and authentic commitment by so many people provides the best evidence that theatre was and still is an inspirational experience in Poland. Further proof may be seen in the degree of audience interest toward the new, experimental theatre, creating a unique ambiance around them. It may also be seen in the expansion of festival life ( and respected theatre magazines, e.g., "Dialog", which has, for decades, presented the latest achievements in world dramaturgy). Alongside the established institutions with seasoned professionals and centuries-old traditions, there are amateur theatres and travelling groups as well. Among the professional companies, the most representative is the National Theatre in Warsaw. The core of its repertoire consists of the most cherished Polish and foreign dramas, with which directors conduct their individual dialogues, asking these classic pieces questions tormenting modern-day Poles. Within this exploration, the National Theatre frequently attempts very courageous experiments, which means that its stage, although a showcase, is not at all academic. Most characteristic are the productions of Jerzy Grzegorzewski (Theatre director between 1997–2002), who employing complicated stage equipment (metaphoric scenographic elements such as pantographs, huge musical instruments, or symbolic props) and creating his own montage of classic texts, testing their value, searching for their relevance to the here and now. Somewhat more conservative is the second Polish theatre with national status - the National Old Theatre in Kraków, the only one in Poland belonging to the Union of European Theatres. This theatre, which shone in the seventies thanks to the well-regarded and world-famous productions of Konrad Swinarski, Jerzy Jarocki, and Andrzej Wajda, is attempting to continue these traditions, seeking worthy successors to these masters. The Old Theatre's most important current collaborator is Krystian Lupa. For years, he has been consistently producing the dramas and prose of German language writers (T. Bernhardt, R.M. Rilke, R. Musil), not even hesitating before transferring Broch's novel "The Sleepwalkers" to the stage. Russian literature also lies within his sphere of interest (productions of Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" and recently, M. Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita"). Lupa shatters the traditional action of the performances, stretching their tempos and concentrating on the poetic values of particular situations rather than the plot or conflict. This is a theatre of philosophical and existential reflection in whose centre is situated the modern human being, attempting to find a place in an ever more dehumanised world. For several seasons now, Lupa's...
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