Masks Theatre Festival
no-image, Masks Theatre Festival
The Masks Theatre review was founded in 1997 at the initiative of Paweł Szkotak, the leader of the alternative Teatr Biuro Podróży (Travel Bureau Theatre). Today he serves as the director of the festival as well as of the Polish Theatre of Poznań. The first editions of the non-competitive festival were conceived by the artistic board comprising Paweł Szkotak, Adam Ziajski (leader of the Silence Zone Theatre) and Grzegorz Ziółkowski (theoretician of theatre, leader of the then Bureau of Theatre Research).
The Masks Theatre review was founded in 1997 at the initiative of **os:Paweł Szkotak*os_szkotak_pawel**, the leader of the alternative **in:Teatr Biuro Podróży*in_te_biuro_podrozy** (Travel Bureau Theatre). Today he serves as the director of the festival as well as of the **in:Polish Theatre of Poznań*in_te_polski_poznan**. The first editions of the non-competitive festival were conceived by the artistic board comprising Paweł Szkotak, **os:Adam Ziajski*os_ziajski_adam** (leader of the Silence Zone Theatre) and **os:Grzegorz Ziółkowski*os_ziolkowski_grzegorz** (theoretician of theatre, leader of the then Bureau of Theatre Research). Members of the Poznań off theatre groups with the Travel Bureau Theatre at the head took care of the event's organisation.
During the first stage of its existence (1997-2004), the main aim of the review was the presentation of Poznań's theatrical offer and the promotion of off performances from all over Poland. As time went by, however, it evolved into a thematic festival, the subject of which was based on social and political issues. After the year 2005 Poznań hosted shows from the borderland between the independent and public theatres, directed by well-known directors - **os:Piotr Cieplak*os_cieplak_piotr**, **os:Krystian Lupa*os_lupa_krystian** and **os:Paweł Miśkiewicz*os_miskiewicz_pawel**. Performances based on the texts of the modern theatre classics (**os:Tadeusz Różewicz*os_rozewicz_tadeusz**, **os:Sławomir Mrożek*os_mrozek_slawomir**) were confronted with those based on the texts of the youngest generation of drama writers - **os:Tomasz Man*os_man_tomasz**, **os:Paweł Sala*os_sala_pawel**, **os:Przemysław Nowakowski*os_nowakowski_przemyslaw**.
The first edition took place between November 27 - 30, 1997 presenting six shows - mainly premieres - all of which had originated in Poznań. Participating troupes included: The Silence Zone Theatre, The Travel Bureau Theatre, The Bureau for Theatre Research group, The Body Kidnappers and The Mazut Radical Media Fraction. The artists from the Theatre Research Bureau group presented a concert of medieval and ethnic songs entitled "Cantigas".
As soon as the second edition the festival began turning into more of an international event - as illustrated by the visit of the Russian actor and director Aleksiey Merkushev, member of the Derevo Theatre. In the following years the capital of the Wielkopolska region of Poland was visited by ensembles from Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Italy, India, Japan and Palestine.
Over the next decade of its activity, the festival hosted a number of prestigious Polish theatres and their performances of innovative new plays. These included The Goat's Song Theatre (Wrocław), **in:The Otwock Commune*in_te_komuna_otwock** (Otwock), The Creatures Theatre (Gorzów), The Pegasus Stable Theatre (Sopot), The KANA Theatre (Szczecin), The Wiczy Theatre (Brodnica), The Rondo Theatre (Słupsk), **gr:The Polish Dance Theatre-Ballet*gr_ze_polski_teatr_tanca** (Poznań), the Wierszalin Theatre (Supraśl), The In Vitro Theatre (Lublin), The Provisorium & Theatre Company theatres (Lublin), The Montownia Theatre (Warszwa), The Movement Academy (Warszawa), The New Bath House Theatre (Kraków), **in:The Wrocław Pantomime Theatre*in_te_pantomimy_wroclaw** and many, many others.
The list of venues continued to grow along with the festival programme. Initially, performances took place at the Masks Theatre Centre (the Hanka student hostel) - the inspiration for the festival's name. Thus one could see performances staged at The Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre, **in:The Theatre of the Eight Day*in_te_teatr_osmego_dnia**, the stained-glass window chamber of the **in:Animation Theatre*in_te_animacji_poznan**, **in:Polish Dance Theatre*gr_ze_polski_teatr_tanca**, various stages of the Polish Theatre, The M1 Shopping Centre, the Old Brewery, the market-halls of the Poznań International Fair, The Cegielski Factory workshops, The Old Abbatoir and Enter ART.
Over one hundred and forty performances, including twenty seven premieres have been presented during The Masks Festival so far. Over twenty foreign theatres as well all the chief Polish institutional and off theatres have participated in the Festival.
At the fourteenth edition of the Festival (Dec 2nd - 5th 2010) seven performances by alternative groups from Poznań were presented. The guests included **in:The Green Mill Theatre from Gdańsk*os_in_te_zielony_wiatrak_gdansk** and **in:The Ad Spectatores Theatre from Wrocław*in_ad_spectores**, along with international "Teatr.doc" from Moscow and the "Norton Commander Theatre" from Dresden. The Festival, dedicated to the documentary theatre was inaugurated at the Cegielski Factory Workshop with a pre-premiere performance by Teatr Biuro Podróży from Poznań, directed by Paweł Szkotak, entitled **dz:The Lem Planete** (a co-production of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute). The official premiere takes place at the start of the cultural programme of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council, with presentations in Brussels, Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, Beijing and Tokyo. Local Polish Institutes and Embassies in these cities serve as partners for each individual production.
Author: Grzegorz Janikowski, January 2011
Międzynarodowy Festiwal Teatralny "Maski"
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