Robert Gliński's adaptation of Hindi Brooks's play addressing the age-old problem of the relationship between mothers and daughters...
Mother and Daughter. Pictured (from left): Paulina Holtz and Joanna Żółkowska; photo by Robert Janowski / Teatr Polonia
Robert Gliński's adaptation of Hindi Brooks's play "What are mothers for?" / "Po co są matki?" addressing the age-old problem of the relationship between mothers and daughters
The two main roles are played by real-life mother and daughter Joanna Żółkowska and Paulina Holtz. The two women go vacationing together to rebuild their relationship, and in the process learn many new things about each other.
The seaside. The sun. A beach. An mbrellas. Two sunbeds. Two women. A mother and a daughter.
This is a very intense relationship, complicated and often turbulent and ambiguous, especially if certain men are in the background whose function is to complicate their lives. Can a mother and a daughter overcome loneliness and understand each other? Is it enough to go on a holiday to a sunny beach and lavish each other with warm words?
"Both characters are lonely and are in a difficult times (in their lives)", says director Robert Gliński. "They summarise their past life, and realise that all the shocking situations that have happened in their lives have been caused by men. In this play we not only learn what mothers are, but also what men are".
The mother sees her hopes in her daughter, as well as the fulfillment of her dreams. She often projects her fears onto her daughter, in this way intending to protect her against the evil of this world - and consequently harassing her and restricting her freedom. The overprotective mother wants to become her daughter's confidant. Meanwhile, the rebellious daughter turns to her mother looking for support.
"Exactly, and what are mothers for", asks the director. "Maybe just to cuddle and sometimes tell us off? Either to punish or reward? To miss them, to cry, or maybe to teach us how to love, to lead us by the hand, and to tell us what is right and wrong? I think the answer lies in the question: And what are children for?"
"The daughter in this performance has a problem with coming to terms with her own emotions", says actress Paulina Holtz, who plays the role of the daughter. "She is the oldest of three siblings. She is a little over thirty years old. The daughter is the total opposite of her mother. She tries with all her might to lead a different life from that of her mother, but it turns out that this is not an easy task".
Paulina Holtz added that playing with her mother was not an easy task, because their private relationship is completely different.
"It was difficult for me because I had to build this person within myself, as I had few similar experiences", admitted Joanna Żółkowska, who plays the mother. "Even my daughter said that I'm completely different than the mother in the play. The relationship of these women is different from ours".
Hindi Brooks is a contemporary American writer, author of plays, film and television scripts, short stories and numerous articles. Her works have been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch and Flemish. Her one-woman show, "Lily" was very highly received by international audiences and critics, winning the Desert Theater League Award in Palm Springs. For many years Hindi Brooks taught drama at the prestigious UCLA Young Writers Programme, and gives readings and lectures at many American colleges, as well as at numerous conferences. She is best known in Poland as a co-author of the screenplay for the popular TV series "House on the Prairie".
"What are mothers for?" written by Hindi Brooks; translated by: Elżbieta Woźniak; direction: Robert Gliński; art direction: Maciej Preyer; costumes: Tomasz Ossoliński; lighting: Magdalena Górfińska; assistant art direction : Małgorzata Domańska; sound effects: Michał Cacko; Musical adviser: Paweł Lucewicz; Multimedia projections: Tomasz Florkiewicz (Wonder Years); Executive producer: Marta Więcławska; Cast: Joanna Żółkowska and Paulina Holtz; Premiere: 28 August 2011.
Managing Director: Roman Osadnik
Art Director: Krystyna Janda
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Sources: press releases, www.teatrpolonia.pl