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Theater history

By virtue of resolution of the City Board of Warsaw of 8 November 2012 as a result of connecting two cultural institutions: G. Holoubek Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw and T. Łomnicki Theatre in Wola, since 1 January 2013 new institution has been created: Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw. Two major stages of the Theatre have been given consecutive names: G. Holoubek Stage (1 Defilad Square) and T. Łomnicki Stage in Wola (22 Kasprzaka St.).
Dramatic Theatre has been created in 1949 as the House of Polish Army Theatre. In 1955 it was given a residence in the Palace of Culture and Science. The first director of the Dramatic Theatre was Marian Meller (1955-1962), who previously had the same function at the House of Polish Army Theatre. Jan Świderski was involved in the artistic administration, Konstanty Puzyna and Stanisław Marczak-Oborski were the dramaturgs. Two years later the theatre was taken over by the city and renamed to the Dramatic Theatre of Warsaw. Next to the pieces of Aleksander Fredro, Eugene Ionesco and Maciej Słomczyński, the theatre also staged plays by William Shakespeare, Sławomir Mrożek, Tadeusz Różewicz, Witold Gombrowicz and Friedrich Durrenmatt. On its stages the most influential works of the fifties and sixties were performed with the help of the most remarkable creators of those times. It quickly became an open theatre, looking for inspirations. The program consisted of plays directed by Ludwik Rene, such as: Krzesła/Chairs by Eugene Ionesco (1957) and Wizyta starszej pani/The visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt (1958) – in the years 1957-1967 eight premiers of the Swiss writer took place. The most important events in the theatre included the private viewing of Polish plays. Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda/Iwona, the princess of Burgunda by Gombrowicz was directed by Halina Mikołajska (1957) and the title role was played by Barbaba Kraftówna.
In that time, Dramatic Theatre was the workplace for many remarkable individualities. The team consisted of great directors, such as: Jan Kosiński, Wanda Laskowska, Ludwik Rene, Jan Świderski. In the years 1959-1963 Konrad Swinarski also was a part of the Dramatic Theatre, he staged four plays, including Frank V by Durrenmatt (1962). Among the production designers were: Władysław Daszewski, Jan Kosiński, Andrzej Sadowski, Ewa Starowieyska, Józef Szajna. The actor’s team consisted of: Aleksander Dzwonkowski, Ignacy Gogelewski, Wiesław Gołas, Ryszard Hanin, Gustaw Holoubek, Barbaba Kraftówna, Halina Mikołajska, Józef Para, Zofia Rysiówna and Witold Skaruch.
In the consecutive years, the theater was led by Jan Świderski (1963-1966), Andrzej Szczepkowski (1966-1968) and Jan Bratkowski (1968-1972). The directors included Adan Hanuszewski and Jerzy Jarocki.
In 1972 Gustaw Holoubek became the director of the Theatre. His ambition was to create a theatre which would become an unofficial national stage. In the years of his administration, the Dramatic Theatre became the main center of the theatrical life – Jerzy Jarocki was one of the directors (Ślub/Wedding by Witold Gombrowicz – 1974, Pieszo/On foot by Sławomir Mrożek – 1981). The identification mark of the theatre was its strong team of actors. Right next to the remarkable actors of the Dramatic Theatre and those who came along in the sixties, the team consisted of: Ryszard Pietruski, Danuta Szaflarska, Mieczysław Voit, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Magdalena Zawadzka. A group of actors from the young generation also manifested itself, such as: Piotr Fronczewski, Jadwiga Jankowsa-Cieślak, Marek Kondrat, Karol Strasburger. Important status in the program was given to plays such as: Wariacje/Variations by Antoni Czechow in the staging of Jerzy Grzegorzewski (1977), Noc listopadowa/November night by Stanisław Wyspiański (1978) and Operetka/Operetta by Witold Gombrowicz (1980) directed by Maciej Prus. A huge success of the Warsaw stage was Kubuś Fatalista i jego Pan/Fatalist Kubuś and his Master by Denis Diderot (1976) directed by Witold Zatorski. In the seventies Jerzy Jarocki worked together with the theatre. After Na czworakach/On all fours, in 1974 he produced Ślub/Wedding and it was a private viewing of the play by Gombrowicz on a professional stage.
In 1983 the director is withdrawn from the position, as a result of resistance to the political situation through two unforgettable plays (Dwie głowy ptaka/Two heads of a bird by Władysław Terlecki and Ksiądz Marek/Priest Marek by Juliusz Słowacki). For a short period of time, the head of the theatre was Mieczysław Marszycki (1983), then Jan Paweł Gawlik (1983-1985), and later Marek Okopiński (1985-1987). During that time, the artistic quality of the theatre rapidly decreased, which also had problems with the joined administration of the Dramatic Theatre with created by the state in 1982 the Theatre of Republic of Poland – the institution organized performances of Polish and foreign theatres in the capital, as well as travels for artistic teams from Warsaw to other cities.
In 1987 Zbigniew Zapasiewicz became the director and wanted to inspirit the legend of the theatre. Thanks to his efforts, the Dramatic Theatre once again was able to stage significant plays, such as Ja, Feuerbach/I, Feuerbach by Tankred Dorst from 1988 directed and played by Tadeusz Łomnicki, as well as a private viewing of Car Mikołaj/Tzar Mikołaj by Tadeusz Słobodzianek directed by Maciej Prus. In 1990 Maciej Prus becomes the director (produced Nie-boską komedię/In-divine comedy by Zygmunt Krasiński, Szewcy/Shoemakers by Witkacy). In 1993 Piotr Cieślak became the director of the theatre. In the years of his administration performances based on the works of Thomas Bernhard, Stanisław Wyspiański, Antoni Czechow, Roland Topor, Michaił Bułhakow and Bohumił Hrabal were created. Piotr Cieślak invited remarkable directors to the theatre – Grzegorz Jarzyna (Niezidentyfikowane szczątki ludzkie i prawdziwa natura miłości/Unidentified human remains and the true nature of love by Brad Fraser), Piotr Cieplak (Historyja o chwalebnym Zmartwychwstaniu Pańskim/The history of the praiseworthy Ressurection by Mikołaj z Wilkowiecka, Wyprawy krzyżowe/Crusades by Miron Białoszewski), Agnieszka Glińska (Pamięć wody/The memory of water by Shelagh Stephenson, Opowieść o zwyczajnym szaleństwie/A tale of a normal madness by Petr Zelenka), Antoni Libera (Szczęśliwe dni/Happy days, Czekając na Godota/Waiting for Godot, Końcówka/End by Samuel Beckett), Krystian Lupa (Powrót Odysa/The return of Odys by Stanisław Wyspiański, Auslosung/Wymazywanie by Thomas Bernhard), Krzysztof Warlikowski (Poskromienie złośnicy/The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare), Robert Wilson and Paweł Miśkiewicz.
In the years 1965-1981 the Warsaw Theatrical Meetings took place every year, later reintroduced in 1987 and the organization was taken over by the Theatre of the Republic of Poland. In the years 2002-2006 the Dramatic Theatre was the host of the Festival of Theatrical Festivals “Spotkania” which extended the idea of the Warsaw Theatrical Meetings by inviting foreign performances.
In January 2008 Paweł Miśkiwicz became the director of the theatre. Under his direction, a festival-project ODRYTE/ZAKRYTE (June 2008) was organized. In the same year the first edition of the International Theatrical Festival WARSZAWA CENTRALNA took place. Three editions of this event took place with following themes: “Body stigma”, “Migrations” and “Mystifications”.
Following directors were a part of the Dramatic Theatre in the years 2008-2012: Paweł Miśkiewicz (Alicja/Alice, Klub polski/Polish club), Krystian Lupa (Persona. Marylin and Persona. Simone’s body, Miasto snu/The city of dreams in collaboration with Teatr Rozmaitości), Andriej Moguczi (Borys Godunow), Monika Strzępka (W imię Jakuba S./In the name of Jakub S.). In the Dramatic Theatre young directors also created their plays: Fragmenty dyskursu miłosnego/Fragments of amorous discourse, Madame Bovary by Radosław Rychcik, Krety i rajskie ptakie/Moles and birds of paradise by Maciej Postawny based on works of Tadeusz Różewicz or Król kłania się i zabija/King bows and kills by Agnieszka Korytkowska-Mazur based on works by Herta Muller. Experimental projects were also being executed, such as Śmierć i dziewczyna/Death and girl based on texts by Elfriede Jelinek or Show Must Go On by choreographer, dancer and perfomer Jerome Bel or Msza/Mass by multimedia artist Artur Żmijewski. In the years of Paweł Miśkowicz’s administration educational projects also took place which were supposed to awaken the imagination and exposing one selves to new forms of theatrical art (a series of interviews and literary meetings, as well as aimed at teenager’s program MŁODA SCENA) and within this project a few premieres took place (Wilk/Wolf based on Wilk stepowy/Steppe wolf by Herman Hesse directed by Marcin Liber, Bańka mydlana/Soap bubble based on a movie by Eytan Fox directed by Andrzej Pakuła, Córeczki/Daughters based on Dzienniki/Journals by Zofia Nałkowska directed by Małgorzata Głuchowska, and Kto zabił Alonę Iwanowną?/Who killed Alona Iwanowna? based on Zbrodnia i kara/Crime and punishement by Fiodor Dostojewski directed by Michał Kmiecik).
Since 1 October 2012 Tadeusz Słobodzianek is the director of the Theatre.
The Theater in Wola created by the actor Tadeusz Łomnicki was opened in January 1976. The performances that passed into Polish history include: Gdy rozum śpi/When reason is asleep by Antonio Buero Vellejo, Przedstawienie Hamleta we wsi Głucha Dolna/Introducing Hamlet in the village Głucha Dolna by Ivo Bressan, Życie Galileusza/The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht, Do piachu/Into sand by Tadeusz Różewicz, Amadeusz by Peter Shaffer. The program which included contemporary plays as well as classics, dramas and comedies co-created with directors – Andrzej Wajda, Kazimierz Kutz, Roman Polański – was, together with the acting of Tadeusz Łomnicki, attracted the public to the Theatre in Wola. Tadeusz Łomnicki was the director of the theatre until 1985, saying his farewell as Salieri in Amadeus directed by Polański (who also played Mozart). In the years 1981-1986 the Theatre had a joint management and artistic team with the entertaining stage Kwadrat. After the fire in the National Theatre in 1985, Theatre in Wola had to give up its playing space and was later reactivated in 1990 by Bogdan Augustyniak and in the season 1992-93 was converted into one of the first impresario stages in Poland. It was able to develop the model of artistic and organizational running which is used by the theatre to this day, in which its own premieres played a crucial role. Among those staged in the last 15 years it is important to mention Fedra by Jean Racine with Anna Chodakowska, Cud na Greenpointcie/The miracle on the Greenpoint by Edward Redliński, Pierwsza młodość/First youth by Christian Giudicelli with Anna Seniuk, Cena/The Price by Arthur Miller, Panienka z Tancy/The Missy from Tancy by Mario Vargas Llosa with the last big role of Zofia Rysiówna, Rozmowa w domu państwa Stein/The conversation in Stein’s house by Peter Hacks with Teresa Budzisz-Krzyżanowska – all directed by Augustyniak; Play Strindberg by Friedrich Durrenmatt with Janusz Gajos directed by Andrzej Łapicki, Królowa i Szekspir/The Queen and Sheakspeare by Esther Vilar with Nina Andrycz and the last work of Augustyniak: Grace i Gloria/Grace and Gloria by Tom Ziegler with Stanisława Celińska.
From July 2007 until the end of August 2010, the Theatre was managed by Maciej Kowalewski. In that period of time, those plays were created: Czerwony Kapturek. Ostateczne starcie/The Little Red Riding Hood. The Final Clash by Maciej Kowalewski directed by Krzysztof Adamski, Bomba/The Bomb, Wyścig spermy/The Sperm Race and Trzy siostrzyczki trupki/Three dead sisters written and directed by Kowalewski, Siostry Przytulanki/The Hugging Sisters by Marek Modzelewski directed by Giovanni Castellanos, 2084 written and directed by Michał Siegoczyński, Kompozycje w błękicie/The compositions in blue written and directed by Ingmar Viliqist, Uwaga, złe psy!/Beware, evil dogs! by Remigiusz Grzela directed by Michał Siegoczyński (produced in Teatr Wytwórnia, staged in the Theatre in Wola), Lipiec/July written and directed by Iwan Wyrypajew.
Since September 1 2010, Tadeusz Słobodzianek was the Director of the Theatre in Wola – playwright, dramaturg. The creator and artistic director of the Laboratory of Drama (Laboratorium Dramatu), theatrical ciritic, director and producer. The winner of the Nike Literary Award 2010 for his play Nasza klasa/Our class. Since Tadeusz Słobodzianek became the director, following premiers took place in the theatre: Nasza klasa/Our class, Prorok Ilja/Prophet Ilja by Tadeusz Słobodzianek and Koziołek Matołek by Kornel Makuszyński directed by Ondrej Spisak, Amazonia by Michał Walczak and Iluzje/Illusions by Iwan Wyrypajew directed by Agnieszka Glińska, Wyzwolenie/Liberation by Stanisław Wyspiański directed by Piotr Jędrzejas and Madame by Antoni Libera directed by Jakub Krofta. Since July 2011 the Theatre in Wola has two stages: the big one on 22 Kasprzak St., where the theatre has its residence, and the small one – Przodownik Stage on 21 Olesińska St. The Theatre in Wola managed by Tadeusz Słobodzianek mainly stages modern dramas. The plays are being created based on the Laboratory of Drama, where actors, directors, specialists and the audience are being involved in the process of creation, and the play is produced in a close collaboration with the author. The Theatre is also interested in classics, Polish and international, which is given a new interpretation and translation. The plays are being directed towards people looking for interesting stories, emotional stimulation and intellectual inspiration. From 1995 until 2004 next to the Theatre was the Mime Studio, which was created by Stefan Niedziałkowski. Since 2007 in the Theatre in Wola is working the Pantomime Studio, directed by Bartłomiej Ostapczuk. The Warsaw Centre of Pantomime was also created. Every season the Theatre organized two theatrical events: in the spring Small Plays with Big Actors (Małe Sztuki z Dużymi Aktorami), and in August the Summer Comedies (Komedie Lata). Also, every August the Festival of Mime Art (Festiwal Sztuki Mimu) takes place, in the years 2000-2004 under the artistic direction of Niedziałkowski, and since 2005 – Ostapczuk.