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The Blacks

11 December 2015
  National Stary Theatre — Big Stage

Directed by:

Iga Gańczarczyk


Jean Genet


120 min.


65 PLN / 40 PLN reduced

Based on the iconic play by Jean Genet, which was way ahead of its time in terms of models of presenting race, Iga Gańczarczyk’s play pointedly fights cultural stereotypes around ethnic and gender identity. The playwright, who was famous for his absurdist, meta-theatrical style, here goes one step further, creating a sharp metaphor for the political situation of people of color in his time, which, as it turns out, applies equally to the contemporary world. Parodying typical courtroom conventions, Genet lays out a world where The Blacks have to prove their guilt in front of a Tribunal comprised only of The Whites, who are supposed to be played by black actors. In the play from the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, all roles are cast with women. And “what does it mean to be black?” is no longer the central question, but rather – “what does the dynamic around race, class and gender look like in a modern world?”. Gańczarczyk’s The Blacks reveals a series of identity entanglements and forces the audience to confront within themselves the uncomfortable practices of exclusion that are deeply rooted in every society.

With the help of a great, all-female cast, the director precisely analyzes not only the relations between women’s corporality, race and power, but also establishes contact with the audience performatively. At the same time, he builds a visually attractive universe where patriarchal and racist norms of visibility are ruthlessly criticized and nothing is as it seems, proving that the topics taken up by Genet a couple of decades ago are still very much relevant. Moreover, they are enriched by new contexts, such as feminism of color and its particular discourse.


Adapted and directed by: Iga Gańczarczyk

Translation by Maria Skibniewska, Jerzy Lisowski

Scenograpahy by Lataladesign (Dagmara Latała, Jacek Paździor)

Costumes by Natalia Mleczak

Choreograpahy by Dominika Knapik

Music by Dominik Strycharski


Beata Bandurska

Fatima Daffe

Marta Malikowska

Elodi Ndoloka Mbezi

Martyna Peszko

Anita Sokołowska

Sonia Roszczuk

Małgorzata Trofimiuk

Małgorzata Witkowska