Och Teatr's director, Maria Seweryn invites distinguished director Anna Augustynowicz to direct Witkacy's "In a Little Manor". The play is an example of Witkacy's theatre of the grotesque production of the realist drama written by Tadeusz Rittner, updated for contemporary audiences. The production explores 19th century theatre practices and their relation to issues of behaviour and etiquette in the 19th century through a 20th century perspective and beyond.
Photo from the rehearsal; photo by Och-Teatr
Och Teatr's director, Maria Seweryn invites distinguished director Anna Augustynowicz to direct Witkacy's "In a Little Manor". The play is an example of Witkacy's theatre of the grotesque production of the realist drama written by Tadeusz Rittner, updated for contemporary audiences
Augustynowicz returns to the text she directed fourteen years ago at the Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin. Written by Tadeusz Rittner as a drama in 1904, "In a Little House" pokes fun a the code of etiquette universally accepted in the 19th century, the theatre of that time and the acting methods. In reprising the work, the director brings back the 19th century form adapted by Witkacy in 1921, while striving to avoid its characteristics of affectation and pretension. As Anna Augustynowicz says:
There are texts which are worthwhile coming back to. Especially if one feels that the last staging did not say everything there was to be said about it. When I was a young director I felt that the modernity of Witkacy's drama is to be found in the images, rather than in the form. The longer I delve into the text, the more certain I am that the modernity in question is more likely to be found in the internal dramatic construction - the melody of a phrase and in the consciousness of using it. During the rehearsals the actors and I are trying to 'read' the dramatic construction and figure out what game it is that the characters are playing.
The plot is set in the estate of Diapanazy Nibek in Kozłowice. His wife Anastasia dies in mysterious circumstances, leaving behind little girls Zosia and Amelka. One day the girls decide to invoke her spirit, and surprisingly enough, the woman comes back for a longer stay. For some time life goes on as if nothing ever happened - the world of phantoms freely mingles with the world of those alive at a time of economic and moral crisis, eventually leading to a tragic ending.
Augustynowicz explains that her aim is to transport the characters before a contemporary audience in order to explore what 19th-century partody is about and Witkacy's vision of the end to the old order.
"In a little Manor" by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz; direction: Anna Augustynowicz; stage design: Marek Braun; costumes: Wanda Kowalska; light: Krzysztof Sendke; the cast: Iza Kuna, Barbara Kurzaj, Anna Moskal, Maria Seweryn, Anna Smołowik, Janusz Chabior, Mariusz Drężek, Arkadiusz Janiczek, Borys Jaźnicki, Szymon Kuśmider, Maciej Wierzbicki. Premiere: June 17, 2011. Repeat performances: June 18-23, 2011.
Warsaw, ul. Grójecka 65
Tel. (0-22) 823 31 10
Tickets: Polonia Theatre office, ul. Marszałkowska 56, tel. (0 22) 622 21 32
Och-Teatr Office, ul. Grójecka 65, tel. (0 22) 823 31
Source: press release, www.e-teatr.pl, www.culture.pl