Magda Fertacz was born in 1975. She is a playwright, screenwriter, interior designer, and winner of the Gdynia Drama Award and the competition at the Polish Contemporary Art Exhibition.
Magda Fertacz is a graduate of the College of Communication and Social Media and the Department of Journalism of the University of Warsaw. She made her debut as a playwright with the play Dust, staged at the National Theatre in Warsaw by Anna Trojanowska. As the author has explained, the story is about the inability to get close to other people. An emotionally crippled couple faces the challenges of parenthood. The appearance of the child exposes unconscious, deeply hidden emotions. "Is it possible to reach an agreement?", asks Fertacz, and the director of the play adds that it is a powerful work which proves that the famous fairy tale ending ‘And they lived happily ever after’ does not usually occur in reality. Dust earned a distinction in the Radom Odważny contest in 2005.
Fertacz is also the author of several other dramatic plays, such as Absinthe, which has been translated into many languages and shown at the Pozoriszte Lutaka Theatre in Mostar, the Tmuna Theatre in Tel Aviv and the Observatorija Theatre in Riga, among others.
In Warsaw, the performance was directed by Aldona Figura on the stage of the Dramatic Theatre. The protagonist is a young woman on the verge of adulthood who loses her will to live. According to reviewers from Polityka magazine, the show is unusually honest about the modern world:
This is not a play that has the chance to become a timeless text. Its strength, however, is the accuracy of its observations and the sharpness with which it criticises human relationships based on appearances, conformism and hypocrisy. It seems that we already know everything: a family, which appears normal at first (the father is a university lecturer, the mother stays at home, the daughter is pretty, speaks English), turns out to be dysfunctional. [...] Then why is this performance, composed of stereotypes, so captivating? Because it is well written! Instead of wondering how to drown out the rustling of paper, the actors can focus on playing and creating masterful performances, like the young Matylda Paszczenko in the role of Karolina. The use of video also proved to be a great idea – the recording of the last moments of Karolina before she dies. The Head of the Laboratorium (drama workshop) Tadeusz Słobodzianek (former critic, currently a valued playwright) demonstrates how a very young drama play needs an institution in which the author, director and actors can work together.
The year 2008 was marked by Trash Story
, a play about historical memory published in the Dialogue magazine, among others, and shown at the Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw. In March 2015 it was presented as many as 10 times at the UCLA, the largest university campus in Los Angeles. The play was directed by the American director Monica Payne. It sets the action in a former German house in the Recovered Territories now inhabited by Poles and asks important questions about the continuity of historical experience. "I imagine memory as a great network where we throw and recover waste. As we throw deeper, the heaviest waste accumulates at the bottom. This play is full of such trash: historical, familial, concealed. Poland is so littered with collective memory that until we clean it, future generations will not be able to build on it", says Fertacz.
Discussing the playwright’s style on the pages of the monthly magazine Teatr, Monika Żółkoś wrote that ‘the author consistently designs a theatre of intimacy and builds a form suspended between realism and symbolism, between rich film detail and expressive theatrical shortcuts:
The world which Magda Fertacz creates in her drama plays is manifestly incomplete, fragmentary, somehow torn. Consecutive images do not build an integral and closed whole, they do not arise from each other in an obvious way. They seem to emerge and fall into the void of indifference (Absinthe) or oblivion (Trash Story). The lack of smooth transition creates flashes between the scenes and gives birth to tension and additional meanings.
Plays by Magda Fertacz have also been presented at the Pinokio Puppet Theatre in Łódź (White Balloons), and the Contemporary Theatre in Szczecin. They have been translated into Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Hungarian, Swedish, German, Czech, Slovak, and Hebrew. Fertacz is also the screenwriter of the popular HBO series No Secrets.
Sources: Teatr magazine, Polityka magazine, the Dramatic Theatre, author: AL, March 2015, transl. Bozhana Nikolova