Theatre these days is a very elite type of art...
Wojtek Łobodziński Natalia Rojek

„I think that theatre these days is a very elite type of art, and most times we don’t get to make contact with the audience we care about the most” – those are the words of Olivier Frjliic, croatian director, who while using the „media performance” tacticts, threw a glance at unusual audience at the theatre, calling out another polish civil war of rights to it. In the view of recent events, both the older ones, like the attempt on blocking the Ewelina Marciniak’s performance called „Śmierć i dziewczyna” by nationalists, or those fresh ones around the Warsaw performance called „Klątwa”, it is becoming clear, that watching what is happening on the stage of polish theatres shouldn’t be only in the interest of theatrologists, because it’s socially a more important matter.

From observing the presence and being mindful of the past, we’re trying to reflect whether the theatre in the form as we, the guests of polish scenes, know, created field for any debate. The fact that when the topic of the theatre goes to the „mainstream” media, discussions take the nature of confrontation, by no means content-related. Street clashes and riots created by so called

„journalists” to the crowd’s delight take place in the daylight. Both sides use compeletly different arguments. Some talk about God, others about fascism, but they are related to one word: shame. The most visible dividing line seems to be created by the theatre, but not just any, because it is not peripheral, and many other factors. These are for example material and cultural divisions, that their verbal manifest showed in many different ways, including opposition to the critical theatre or its affirmation.

The goal, which we would like to present to people of the theater is to create a discursive field of thoughts exhange, that would be free from the stiff frames. However, our observations have shown us that even the smartest voices from the stages are directed from believers to believers. Going to one theater we expect things we can see in many other theaters, the ones with the similar audience, dramas made and played by famous actors known for playing in enrolling plays of one convention. What is rarely noticed is that even the theaters are seperated from the issue they are involved in. Aware of it is Joanna Wichowska, one of the dramamakers of the „Klątwa”.

„Nearly one year ago we created a play called „Praskie sci-fi” with Agnieszka Błońska in the Powszechny Theater. It was also about this paradox: we wanted to create it with the people and for the people, we wanted to „interfere”. But it ends up with actors and the audience standing in front of the big glass window: Warsaw Praga, which we do the show about, is outside the window, and here we bravely interfere.” (Didaskalia, nr 138, s.6)

However, such insights and initiatives outgoing from them rarely change reality. In addition to the limited circulation of the information about the theater and with a smaller numer of media debates about this topic, the barriers are also frighteningly expensive ticket prices, which very effectively found the other two aspects at the same time as their result. Dialectic in this case doesn’t work.

An interesting exception to this already stiffed mechanism in which the polish theater is, is „nowohucka” scene „Łaźnia Nowa”. In addition to being absolutely excellent from theaterlogical point of view, produtions like „Koncert Życzeń” starring Danuta Stenka, were also presented. Also political dramas (and also, do not forget, social) are being played in a more obvious way. One of the loudest premiere of the year was after all interventional „Fuck… Sceny buntu” with the participation of expelled actors from the Polish Theater in Wrocław. Much more appropriate presentation of how the theater should look like when it comes to social, local, or urban reality is „Baśni z 1001 Bloku”, which were first played in Nowohuta during the festival „ Nowy Bulwar[t] Sztuki”. It was directed by Magda Miklasz, and written by her and her brother Adam. Miklasz siblings grew up in block 19 in 303 Squadron district and they have done their play excatly in this block. However, wishing to add an influence to the story, while they were preparing they made a series of meetings with another inhibitants of their block, which were a base to the statistics: this NewYear’s Eve was the laudest, in those years the biggest number of babys were born, as many per cent of them were begotten in block 19. In addition to the proffesional actors amateurs participated in the play too, both sides were representatives of the old and the young generation of inhabitants of the district. Althought the show is being played in the noon hours and has colourfull and child friendly form, most emotions are provided with the older viewers. This is a kind of theater that goes out to people, and what’s more, not only invites them to it, but also try to meet them, not only by placing them in the finished marked product, but above all by recalling the local community and plasticity of theatre arts.

In opposition to theatre arts, the related cinema is mentioned, but according to us this view is completely wrong. Given the momentum and the numbers of film productions, we came to the conclusion that its role is much less stiffed. Simptomatic is, although, that the movies of the so-called „social criticism” are presented only in the art houses, that are opened for a narrow group of viewers. In addition, these movies are created and received by specific schemes – we tend to call them „ambitious”, they are too clever to comprehend them, and full of unreadable metaphors, and if they stand in the counterpoint that they become completely unattractive for society – to the realistic pain and ordinary. An attempt to move away from this model seems to be the movie „I, Daniel Blake” directed by Ken Loach. However, usually no one takes into account the fact that popular Cinema is equally usefull to carry out social analysis. This type of art is a major pastime of the masses, that are standing on the other side of the baricade of theatre war. From our perspective, writing and translating this text. Cinema Entertainment is not devoid of social themes, however, the problem of us not paying attention remains. It’s worth to start analysing them this way, also to take into account cultural contexts. Perhaps these attempts to get rid of class inequality in the theater enviroment would give us a starting point in the process of creating a culture evenly available. The only culture that is not limited and does not limit itself, does not carry a danger of riots with it under the Powszechny Theater and Hunger Games in the media, and is not characterized by a lack of public debate platform and the lack of a common language discussion.

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