Łukasz Chotkowski is a playwright and director. He graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, and has worked for theatres in Bydgoszcz, Wałbrzych, Szczecin, Opole and Warsaw.
Between 2006 and 2014 he worked for the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz as a playwright, and he also co-authored a few screenplays for Maja Kleczewska, for example Phaedra by Eurypides, Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Chekhov’s That Worthless Fellow Platonov; Elfriede Jelinek’s texts, The Tempest by Shakespeare, The Rats by Hauptmann (co-produced by Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw and Teatr Łaźnia Nowa in Kraków) and Dybuk (Jewish Theatre in Warsaw). For his adaptation of Sprawa Dantona [ed. trans. Danton’s Case] he won an award on Polish Classics festival in Opole.
He is the director of Polish premiere showing of Jelinek’s Of Animals, which got an award for best directorial debut at the Premieres Festival in Bydgoszcz. He also worked on plays by Sarah Kane and Euripides. Together with Magda Fertacz, he also adapted stories written by inmates from a prison in Krzymaniec. The documentary merging theatrical and musical experience, Nobody Would Be a Better Me: A Concert was presented in Teatr Lubuski in Zielona Góra. Its creators said in an interview in Newsweek:
I really wanted my theatrical work to have some impact on the world. We went to a prison to enable women there to voice their opinions and concerns. It wasn’t meant to rehabilitate them or change their lives, we felt that our lives are similar to a certain point. What happens later that we are working in a theatre, and they lose control over their lives and commit crimes.
This project is a part of a three-part work about voiceless women. The director voiced his opinions about the situation of widows from Vrindavan in India, the pilgrimage centre for women all over India. The creators of the spectacle returned there multiple times, filling in some blanks in the story. The director said in an interview with Culture.pl that he wanted the widows to regain their subjectivity, for them to be seen and known by name. The premiere took place in India in November 2016 in Academy of Fine Arts in Kalkuta. In December 2016 Polish premiere took place in Teatr Powszechny. In the last part of this series, Chotkowski with Magda Hueckel and Tomasz Śliwiński want to tell the stories of victims of rape from war-torn African regions.
Chotkowski is also an author of an artistic installation Fuga based on Paul Celan’s work in Copernicu Science Centre and RE//MIX Marina Abramović: NOW in Warsaw Commune, where he relates to the work of a famous precursor of performance art.
Abramović is, for me, an artist who chose to see things as they are, not as we want them to be. It is also the meaning of the word vipassana, which is a meditation technique that she practices. She uses this technique during her workshops for her students. Two years ago I created a project about her in Warsaw Commune. This idea came back to me in a different shape during yearly vipassana course in India.
Sources: Jewish Theatre, Newsweek, own materials, compiled by AL