Poland launches its first Ukrainian theatre
Poland on Thursday unveiled its first Ukrainian theatrical stage at the Grotowski Institute in the southwestern city of Wrocław, with the aim to create a regular platform for Ukrainians and anyone interested in Ukrainian language and culture.
The Ukrainian stage was launched as part of the 2023 Antybohaterka (Anti-Heroine) Festival of Fact-based Theatre, which began on the same day at the Grotowski Institute, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The organisers believe, both the festival and the Ukrainian stage will inspire discussions about culture and its accessibility for the largest current national minority in Poland.
Jakub Tabisz, the festival’s artistic director, said: „We want to open up this stage and the opportunity to institutionalise the stories which Ukrainians bring to Poland. It ties back to the tradition of our city. The present Chamber Stage of the Polish Theatre was once a Jewish theatre with performances in Yiddish. We want to recall this tradition, with plays performed in Ukrainian, but not just for Ukrainians.”
The Ukrainian Stage opened with the premiere of a play by Theatre GAS, titled Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring Again, according to officials.
The play is based on interviews with Ukrainians woven into the plot of Song of the Forest by Lesia Ukrainka, prominent poet, playwright, and translator, and a leading figure in Ukrainian literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The creators of Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring Again include Sofiia Onishchenko, Daria Bogdan from Ukraine’s northeastern city of Kharkiv, and Vasylyna Martseniuk from the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Wrocław’s electronic music ensemble KWIT/КВІТ (Johannes Niehaus and Marina Mashtaler), winners of the last Actors’ Song Review, composed the music for the play.
A discussion titled „The Largest Minority”, in both Polish and Ukrainian, concluded the opening, with talks about Ukrainians’ lives in Poland, and institutions created by and for this community.
The Grotowski Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for theatre arts, known as a laboratory for theatrical exploration and experimentation.