Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre in Kalisz
Plac Bogusławskiego 1
The theatre opened in 1936 in a building designed by Czeslaw Przybylski. It was named in honour of the Kalisz activity of Wojciech Boguslawski, who gave performances here with his troupe in 1800-1805, 1808-1811, and also in 1815 and 1823.
The theatre's first manager was stage designer and directorIwo Gall. Works by Polish playwrights were staged in this period - Tadeusz Rittner, Gabriela Zapolska, Jerzy Szaniawski, Wlodzimierz Perzynski. The repertoire also included many comedies. Among other projects, Gall staged Wojciech Boguslawski's KRAKOWIACY I GÓRALE / CRACOVIANS AND HIGHLANDERS (1937) and, with Halina Gallowa, Leon Schiller's PASTORAŁKA / THE PASTORAL (1937). Gall soon resigned, and Marian Lenk oversaw the last pre-war season.
The first post-war director, in 1946-1949, was Stanislaw Winiecki. In the 1950's the theatre was run by its artistic managers, including Stefania Gintel-Domanska(1951-1953) and Zdzislaw Janiak (1953-1954). Mieczyslaw Winkler managed the theatre after that (1955-1957). After the war, especially in the 1950's, the repertoire featured many ideological plays, including Alexandr Korneiciuk's MAKAR DUBRAVA directed by Kazimierz Czynski (1950), and Anton Makarenko's THE PEDAGOGICAL POEM directed by Gintel-Domanska (1952). Jan Swiderski directed Aleksander Fredro's MAZ I ZONA / MAN AND WIFE (1952). Polish writers were produced - beside Fredro, also Stefan Zeromski, Leon Kruczkowski, Gabriela Zapolska. A Polish Romantic play was staged for the first time in 1954 - Juliusz Slowacki's MAZEPA directed by Zdzislaw Janiak. Of the European classics, Moliere was produced the most often, including Jan Maciejowski's version of THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES (1956).
Tadeusz Kubalski, who did a lot of directing at the Boguslawski Theatre, was appointed its manager in 1957. He staged Henrik Ibsen (HEDDA GABLER, 1957, ROSMERSHOLM, 1959) and Polish Romantic drama. With Stefan Burczyk, he produced Juliusz Slowacki's MARIA STUART / MARY STUART (1959) and then FANTAZY (1961) as well as Cyprian Norwid'a PIERSCIEN WIELKIEJ DAMY / THE RING OF A GRAND LADY (1963). The theatre's repertoire was dominated by the classics. Kubalski staged Stanislaw Wyspianski's WESELE / THE WEDDING (1962), while Tadeusz Byrski produced Shakespeare's HAMLET (1961). At Kubalski's initiative, the KALISZ THEATRE MEETINGS, a festival held to this day, were launched in 1961.
In 1964-1970 the Boguslawski Theatre was run by Alina Obidniak who managed to develop an interesting artistic image for the theatre. Productions included contemporary plays directed mainly by Obidniak, who often invoked journalistic theatrical forms. Her projects included PAMIETNIK MATKI / A MOTHER'S DIARY based on Marcjanna Fornalska (1965), Stefan Bratkowski's POGRANICZE POLUDNIK 15 / BORDERLAND 15TH MERIDIAN (1965), Friedrich Dürrenmatt's THE PHYSICISTS (1966), Tennessee Williams' THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1967), and Tadeusz Konwicki's SENNIK WSPOLCZESNY / A DREAMBOOK FOR OUR TIME (1968). Zbigniew Mak presented Slawomir Mrozek's CZAROWNA NOC / THE MAGICAL NIGHT and ZABAWA / THE PARTY (1965). Obidniak developed Slowacki's plays for the stage as well, directing KORDIAN (1968) and SEN SREBRNY SALOMEI / THE SILVER DREAM OF SALOME (1970). The theatre worked with many directors, including Boguslaw Litwiniec, Jan Skotnicki, Jitka Stokalska, and Andrzej Witkowski, the latter's projects including Moliere's THE IMPOSTURES OF SCAPIN (1965) and Jan Potocki's PARADY / PARADES (1966). Apart from Moliere, other classics staged here included Shakespeare - Irma Czaykowska presented TROILUS AND CRESSIDA (1966).
In the following years (1970-1973) the manager was Izabella Cywinska, who created an interesting theatre of directing interpretations. She herself worked on the plays of Gabriela Zapolska - MORALNOSC PANI DULSKIEJ / THE MORALITY OF MRS. DULSKA (1970) and ICH CZWORO / THE FOUR OF THEM (1972) - in a modern approach as well as Russian classics. She staged Anton Chekhov's THE THREE SISTERS (1972), and Alexander Sukhovo-Kobylin's THE DEATH OF TARELKIN (1972). She invited interesting young artists to work with her - directors Helmut Kajzar and Maciej Prus, composer Jerzy Satanowski, and stage designers Kazimierz Wisniak and Zofia Wierchowicz, the latter directing Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST with her own stage design (1971). The acting ensemble of this time included Halina Labonarska, Wieslaw Komasa, Henryk Talar, and Janusz Michalowski. Maciej Prus staged Stanislaw Wyspianski's WYZWOLENIE / LIBERATION (1970), Witkacy's SZEWCY / THE SHOEMAKERS (1971), and August Strindberg's ERIK XIV (1972). Helmut Kajzar interpreted Tadeusz Rozewicz, presenting SMIESZNY STARUSZEK / THE FUNNY OLD MAN (1970) and RAJSKI OGRODEK / THE LITTLE GARDEN OF PARADISE (1971). Projects for a wider audience included Helena Mniszkowna's TREDOWATA / THE LEPER (dir. Prus, 1970), and Maria Dabrowska's NOCE I DNIE / NIGHTS AND DAYS (dir. Cywinska, 1971).
After Cywinska left for Poznan's Teatr Nowy, the Kalisz theatre was run by Zbigniew Bebak for one season, and then in 1975-1977 by Andrzej Wanat, whose productions included Friedrich Dürrenmatt's ROMULUS THE GREAT (1975). This was a time of remarkable productions, to mention Juliusz Slowacki's BALLADYNA directed by Bogdan Hussakowski with stage design by Jan Polewka (1974), Witkacy's MATKA / THE MOTHER directed by Tadeusz Minc (1975), KUBUS FATALISTA / JACQUES THE FATALIST based on Denis Diderot directed by Witold Zatorski (1974), and Anton Chekhov's THE CHERRY ORCHARD directed by Mikolaj Grabowski (1976).
Waldemar Wilhelm was the theatre's manager in 1977-1980. During this time, directors at the Boguslawski Theatre included Wilhelm himself, Jozef Jasielski, and Jan Maciejowski, the latter staging John Osborne's LOOK BACK IN ANGER (1977) for example. Under the next management, when Romana Prochnicka ran the theatre until 1982, a collaboration with Tadeusz Slobodzianek was started. Rudolf Ziolo directed his BASN JESIENNA / AN AUTUMN TALE (1981), while Slobodzianek himself staged Miron Bialoszewski and Ludwik Hering's OSMEDEUSZE and KABARET KICI-KOCI (1982). Other directors included Jacek Pazdro (Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, 1981) and Bogdan Tosza (Moliere's THE MISANTHROPE, 1981).
1982 marked the beginning of the long tenure of Maciej Grzybowski, who was the manager until 1991. The people who worked with the theatre in this period included Stefania Domanska, Roman Kordzinski (artistic manager), Bogdan Tosza, Jacek Pazdro, and Maciej Korwin, the latter staging Carlo Goldoni's THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (1986) and Federico Garcia Lorca's THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA (1986). During the subsequent managerial terms of Marcin Lesien (1991-1994), Jan Buchwald (1994-1998) and Jan Nowara (1998-2001), young directors appeared at the theatre - Jacek Bunsch who staged Slawomir Mrozek's RZEZNIA / THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE (1994), Friedrich Dürrenmatt's THE VISIT (1994), and Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (1997), Zbigniew Brzoza who directed Sophocles' ANTIGONE (1995), and Bartlomiej Wyszomirski - director of Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET (1998). Jan Buchwald staged mainly classics, including Bertolt Brecht's THE THREEPENNY OPERA (1996) and Anton Chekhov's THE CHERRY ORCHARD (1998).
Robert Czechowski has been manager of the Boguslawski Theatre since 2001.
"I am not a supporter of brutalist theatre, because that's a five-minute fad which will pass quickly, but I do support bold theatre...," declares this director. ("Gazeta Poznanska" 12 August 2005)
The theatre produces Shakespeare in a modern approach - Czachowski staged AS YOU LIKE IT (2003), while Pawel Kamza prepared ROMEO + JULIET (2006). An interesting version of Georg Büchner's WOYZECK was presented by director Maja Kleczewska (2005), and the theatre also stages interpretations of contemporary drama. Michal Siegoczynski directed Evgeny Grishkovets's monodrama HOW I ATE A DOG featuring Marek Sitarski (2004). József Czajlik, a Slovak director from Budapest's Barka Theatre, prepared Matei Visniec's HOW TO EXPLAIN THE HISTORY OF COMMUNISM TO MENTAL PATIENTS (2006). Czajlik's work is the result of the formation of the COMET (Cooperation of Middle and East European Theatres) organization in Kalisz in 2005. It was established by the managers of theatres from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Lithuania, and Hungary. The initiator of this project was Laszlo Berczes, manager of the Barka Theatre. The founders want to collaborate, exchange experiences, and promote Central European drama.
"Let's not delude ourselves: we are from the European provinces," Czachowski says. "There's no shame in this, we just have to draw the right conclusions and try to help one another. We have already agreed regarding the repertoire that we are not really interested in the problems of some daughter of a rich guy with a Jaguar, who went to study in London and has issues with anorexia or sexual identity. That's not the kind of topic explored by Janos Hay in Hungary, Evgeny Grishkovets in Russia, or Michal Walczak [in Poland]. We look through our neighbours' windows to see ourselves. Perhaps we may find something as elusive as the Slavic soul? What is it like today?" ("Polityka" 9 July 2005)
Teatr im. Wojciecha Bogusławskiego w Kaliszu
Plac Bogusławskiego 1
Phone: (+48 62) 760 53 00, 751 07 38
Fax: (+48 62) 760 53 03
Plac Bogusławskiego 1