A scene from the performance of One Gesture, photo: Kobas Laksa
One Gesture by Wojtek Ziemilski is a play about communicating with the world using sign language. It will be performed at the 26th International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra in September 2017.
The International Festival Divadelna Nitra is the largest theatre festival in Slovakia. It has been organised each September since 1992. The festival showcases top European theatre productions: mainly dramatic pieces, but also performances including music, dance, puppet theatre and visual theatre. Non-traditional and innovatice pieces are selected, often by young, up-and-coming artists and directors. There are also many accompanying events devoted to various fields of art and culture. This year, the programme includes the Polish play Once Gesture, directed by Wojtek Ziemilski.
Wojtek Ziemilski invited four actors affected by different levels of hearing loss to work with him on the play, which draws the audience into the world that is different from that of the French, German or Polish language. It is a piece about communication between those who are hard of hearing and those who are unaffected. One Gesture talks about the everyday life of the deaf and the means of human communication. The director explains:
The story is part of my actors lives. I came across them by accident, there was not casting proces (…) Adam won the national poetry signing contest, but I am not able to appreciate his work as much as I would like. I have no idea how it is to create an entire story only using one form, only a hand, just one letter. Only after months of working with them, am I beginning to understand how much of a language buff, how goo a performer one must be to do it. For an average audience member, it is just a pantomime, symbols morf into characters from a given story. Meanwhile, it is really an artform that I can be compared to illuminations in medieval manuscripts. It is a form of graphic work on language.
Directed by: Wojtek Ziemilski
Set Designer, Assistant Director: Wojciech Pustoła
Lighting Design: Artur Sienicki
Music: Aleksander Żurowski
Costumes: Krystian Jarnuszkiewicz
Cast: Marta Abramczyk, Jolanta Sadłowska, Pavel Sosiński, Adam Stoyanov
Stage Manager: Marta Śmierzchalska
Director’s Assistant: Joanna Niemirska
Consulting: Katarzyna Głozak
Translations: Katarzyna Głozak, Joanna Ciesielska
The event is co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl.
Source: promotional materials, compiled by MK, 12 Sep 2017, translated by NR
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