Divine Comedy Festival

International Divine Comedy Theatre Festival gives a chance to see, in a matter of just one week, some of the most intriguing plays of the season from theatres throughout the country. 
Divine Comedy is a theatre holiday where the best Polish shows are presented in the true Polish showcase. Apart from Polish shows, competing for the best show of the year title and the Divine Comedian prize, there are also foreign theatre groups, and meetings with philosophers, theatre theoreticians, and critics that accompany the festival.Most prominent theatre critics, journalists, and reviewers are invited to select the shows, which are included in the contemporary Polish theatre showcase. Thanks to their choices, the largest stages in Kraków host the best spectacles of the season.The most dramatic part of the Festival is the Polish Contest INFERNO within which the  most provocative and exciting productions of the past season compete for the grand prize. “Inferno, comprises the most distinguished and widely discussed performances, that showcase the wide range of talents and artistic aspirations of Polish directors. Its main purpose is to present the diverse landscape of Polish theatre life as well as to expose audiences to the latest trends and areas of artistic exploration and experimentation that our directors have to offer,” enthuses Bartosz Szydłowski, Divine Comedy's Artistic Director.Winners are selected by an international jury, and the main prize of 50,000 zlotys, funded by the Mayor of the City of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski, fuels the budget of the theatre which most impresses the jury. Individual prizes for artists and creators are funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska.First edition of Divine Comedy was organized in December 2008. Since then the festival gathers wide audience from all over the world. The festival gives a chance to see, in a matter of just one week, some of the most intriguing plays of the season from theatres throughout the country. For theatre makers it is an opportunity to discuss and promote their artistic output with the attending critics and producers from abroad. The festival is organized by the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre and the Krakow Festival Office.Among the winners of Divine Comedian prize are: Krystian Lupa (2008), Grzegorz Jarzyna (2009), Monika Strzępka (2010, 2011), Andrzej Warlikowski (2012), Kornél Mundruczó (2013), Krystian Lupa (2014).

Zygmunt Hubner Theatre in Warsaw

Teatr Powszechny was created in 1944, on Jan Mroziński initiative. In the first years of its existence Powszechny Theatre was a place of work for many pre-war actors. Since the very beginning, the theatre has been presenting the most renowned plays by prominent authors: Gabriela Zapolska, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. In the late 50s, the renovation period begun. The premiere of War and Peace was a crucial moment in the theatre history. Adam Hanuszkiewicz was certainly one of the theatre biggest stars. In 1975, Zygmunt Hübner became the theatre director. Distinguished Polish actor and director brought to the theatre many of the best Polish actors of those times, like Krystyna Janda or Janusz Gajos. Since September 2011, Robert Gliński has been managing the theatre. In 2014, Paweł Łysak became the artistic director, aided by Paweł Sztarbowski as assistant director. According to the idea of 'theatre that interferes,' the theatre presents productions by Poland's leading directors and remains open to various educational and animating events, such as workshops, meetings with artists, debates, discussions, performances, concerts, exhibitions and happenings. It cooperates with local NGOs and tries to encourage as many people as possible to participate in culture. Zygmunt Hubner Theatre wants to be the place for everyone who is ready to think critically and open for social change and 'cultural ferment.'

The National Stary Theatre in Kraków

Established in 1781, The National Stary Theatre in Kraków is one of Poland’s oldest public theatres. Connected to the stage are the names of eminent directors, including Tadeusz Kantor, Jerzy Grotowski, Zygmunt Hübner, Konrad Swinarski, Jerzy Jarocki, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, Krystian Lupa and Andrzej Wajda. Since January 2013 is Director has been Jan Klata. There are two program strands that mark out the repertoire of Stary: different, original takes on contemporary drama and theatre and reinterpretations of Polish and world classics, held under the brand of the re_wizje. Since 2009 the theatre is a member of a prestigious international network -Mitos21,European theatres collaboration network.

Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków

The theatre has been continuously staging plays since 1893. It is one of the most famous and distiguished Polish theatre scenes. The edifice, designed by Jan Zawiejski, is ranked among the most valuable monuments of theatre architecture in Europe. There is an inscription of its façade: “Kraków for the National Arts”. Interiors are decorated with and the famed curtain by Henryk Siemiradzki. There is an antique wardrobe of the famous actor Ludwik Solski next to the stage. The legendary Theatre started to fulfill its role as a national theatre just at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. It was a birthplace of Polish modern theatre direction, stage design, staging and the acting profession. Juliusz Słowacki Theatre has continuously been playing a unique role in cultural landscape of Kraków. It stages important, high quality plays which vividly comment the present days but also creatively allude to Polish and European tradition. 

Teatr Polski Bydgoszcz

Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz is a public institutional theatre. Since September 2014, the team and curators led by  Paweł Wodziński and Bartek Frąckowiak have offered the theatre open to various disciplines, ways of thinking, and themes. The theatre's program is based on the formula of transgression in terms of fields, genres, and barriers (also between the stage and the audience). Also important is searching for, defining, and discussing new dramaturgies in theatre, dance, and interdisciplinary projects. New dramaturgies form also the core of the Festival of New Dramaturgies.

Creators of the show: Dybbuk, Dantesque Scenes #9

The Stanisław Wyspiański Śląski Theatre in Katowice

The Stanisław Wyspiański Śląski Theatre in Katowice is the biggest and the most important theatre stage in Upper Silesia. It presents Polish and world literature output, classic and contemporary. In a season the audience can choose among more than 30 propositions: spectacles, concerts, debates, exhibitions, workshops or meetings. In Katowice takes place cycle Europa in Śląski and during it their performances show best artists from European stages. Katowice theatre is also co-organizer of All-Poland Festival of Directors’ Art "Interpretations", Festival of the New Stage Design or Silesian Laboratory of Theatre Pedadogy. Since 2013 here is also produced innovative project "KatoDebut" that has as its goal production of professional theatre performances by debuting artists.

Creators of the show: The Wedding, Dantesque Scens #14

TR Warszawa

TR Warszawa is one of the most well-known theatres in Poland. It is considered to be a modern theatre open to new ideas, a theatre that cultivates the best theatrical traditions. Theatre’s high position in various rankings of young European theatres is confirmed by numerous awards won by the company at domestic and international festivals.

The Danuta Baduszkowa Music Theatre in Gdynia

The Danuta Baduszkowa Music Theatre in Gdynia has operated since 18 May 1958 and almost from its very beginning is one of the most important cultural institutions of the region. It is located in an attractive tourist city, just above the sea. Gdynia is one of the most developed business cities in the country, a modern centre of maritime economy, international trade, science, culture and tourism. It is a city of enterprising, active and courageous people.

The Musical Theatre in its 58 years of existence has prepared more than 320 premiers: musicals, operettas, musical performances, ballets, cabarets, fairy tales, concerts and chamber performances. Some of the titles presented in the history of the theatre include:  Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the roof, Les Miserables, Evita, Chicago, The Doll and Shrek, thus becoming the cultural showcase of the Pomerania region which is recognized throughout the country.

Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź

Łódź’s oldest theater company, heir to almost 130 years of Polish theatrical tradition in the city. First known as the Polski Theatre, it was later renamed Miejski Theatre, and later returned to its original appellation. 

It is impossible to list all artists who have contributed to its success; suffice it to say that it includes such individuals as Aleksander Zelwerowicz, Leon Schiller, Stanisława Wysocka, Karol Adwentowicz, Stefan Jaracz, Bolesław Leśmian, Władysław Krasnowiecki, Ludwik Solski, Juliusz Osterwa, Andrzej Pronaszko, Władysław Daszewski and Konstanty Mackiewicz. 

Almost all eminent Polish theater artists, many of them legendary (including Andrzej Łapicki, Aleksander Bardini, Jadwiga Chojnacka, Jacek Woszczerowicz, Zofia Mrozowska, Barbara Fijewska, Hanna Skarżanka, Bronisław Pawlik, Barbara Krafftówna, Władysław Hańcza, Emil Karewicz, Janusz Gajos), had a stint with the Stefan Jaracz Theatre on their resumes.  

The company was also the cradle of some of Poland’s greatest theater directors, such as Kazimierz Dejmek, Lidia Zamkow, Janusz Warmiński or Jerzy Grzegorzewski. 

Over the years, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre has made a name for itself as a venue that hosts dialogue on contemporary times, essential issues, and elementary needs: love, freedom, and a sense of belonging. The company acts as a platform for discussions on values, attitudes, opinions, perceptions and conceptualizations of the world. The repertoire comprises both Polish and world classics, and some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking pieces of contemporary drama. For many years, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre has been a focal point on the map of Polish theater, as evidenced by numerous honorable mentions awarded at prestigious festivals in Poland and abroad, as well as critical accolades and popularity with the public.

As of September 2015, following the appointment of a new artistic director, the company opened a new chapter in its history.

The changing of the guard has marked the coming of age of young artists who present their own visions of modern theater, one that corresponds with their worldviews, sensibilities and experience.

Creators of the show: The Histrionic, Dantesque Scenes #18

Cloud Theater - In-the-cloud-theater

Cloud Theater – or in-the-cloud-theater – is a modern organization which unites artists of multiple media in order to create artistic content. It condenses the creative potential of both human and technological clouds, and searches them for new forms of artistic expression. The artists see rudiments of inteligence in the realm of technological evolution of the world that they created – and they give it the right to live. They build a harmonious connection between Biology and Technology and transform this matter into a unique theatrical experience. Proving that Tech is a Being.

The Aleksander Węgierko Drama Theater in Białystok

The Aleksander Węgierko Drama Theater in Białystok is the only facility of this sort in the Podlaskie voivodship. Its main stage can hold as many as 500 audience members. Among the Theater’s repertoire there are plays for people of demanding artistic requirements, plays which touch upon the problems of contemporary man and the world. Also those people who seek sophisticated humor and entertainment will find something for themselves. The Drama Theater also has a selection of performances for the young viewers, i.e. adaptations of classic literature for children as well as staging of contemporary fairy tales. The Theater conducts numerous educational undertakings. There are those for children, young people and adults:  theatrical workshops, Fairy Tale Mornings and “Summer at the Theater”). The Aleksander Węgierko Drama Theater in Białystok also develops new phenomena in the cultural sphere of the Podlasie . In 2013 the Artistic Initiative Scene was created. It is open to our actors, sound engineers, and artistic workshops’ proposals. In 2015 the PracOFFnia scene was opened. It presents the projects created by independent and active creators.

Teatr Stary in Lublin

fot. Dorota Awiorko
Creators of the show: The Whale The Globe, Dantesque Scenes #1

Polish Theatre in Poznań

The oldest theatre in Poland, established in 1875. It was sponsored by the funds of the Poles who lived under the divisions, which is reflected on the building itself with a notice “The Nation For Its Own Good”. The building was designed by Stanisław Hebanowski and its form is inspired by Italian renessaince. Such famous and distinguished actors as: Helena Modrzejewska, Gabriela Zapolska, Stefan Jaracz and Władysław Hańcza acted on its stage. The building survived the second world war and re-opened its doors in March 1945. 

Creators of the show: The Other Show, Dantesque Scenes #7

Hans Ch. Andersen Theatre in Lublin

Hans Ch. Andersen Theatre is one of the 25 theatre in Poland performing mostly audiences of young people.Founded as a puppet theatre – today it is theatre using the widest spectrum of different theatre conventions and techniques in the performances: puppets, masks, drama acting, dance. Almost 60 years of its history is full of performances still living in audiences memories. There are pieces from Polish and international classic literature for children, contemporary “new” texts. There are puppet shows, musicals, contemporary dance performances for children, and puppet performances for adults, finally big OPEN AIR performances as well.

The Theatre invites foreign artists to collaborate in productions – known artists and or emerging artsits – directors, designers, choreographers, dancers, composers… We have already hosted Eva Farkasova and Stanislaw Stasko (Slovakia), MirkaValentikova (Czech Republic) Mark Pitman, Iklooshar Malara and Shaun Myatt (Great Britain), Giedre Brazyte (Lithuania) or Sebnem Cirit, Ece Okay and Zeky Tuzun (Turkey), Jack Timmermans (Holland), Amir Genislaw (Israel). Since September 2016 Andersen Theatre is located in the Center of Meeting Cultures in Lublin.

Creators of the show: The Wedding, Dantesque Scenes #19

The Mladinsko Theatre

Established in 1955 as the first professional theatre for children and youth in Slovenia. In the eighties, Mladinsko was gradually re-structured into a theatre which interdisciplinarily combined borderline theatre research and the thematisation of political subversiveness. Today, it is known for a wide range of innovative poetics of various young directors and the phenomenon of “ensemble energy” – the Brook approach towards acting, which is not based on star hierarchy, but on an acting laboratory connecting individual bravura parts into a strong whole of the acting ensemble.

In its performances, the Mladinsko Theatre strives to thematise universal paradoxes of the civilisation, with its programme based on the problematisation of new times and spaces. The Mladinsko Theatre will continue to develop the code of new theatrical practice, new visual paradigms, new views on the classics, modernism and postmodernism. At the Mladinsko Theatre, the actor, director, choreographer, set designer, musician … all research and develop, risk and create in order to develop a new spectator through their gestures.

Creators of the show: Princess Dramas, Dantesque Scenes #3

Theatre Mumerus

Theatre Mumerus, which was founded in 1999 by Wiesław Hołdys, is an association who has gathered together professional actors, directors, writers, musicians and painters. 

This is a NGO (Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Making Organisation). The board of directors works without payment and expenses for administration are limited to minimum.

The most important direction for Mumerus is the continual search for original inspiration and new theatre forms. Theatre Mumerus has only produced original works whose origins were mainly inspired from the non-dramatic sources. Mumerus is also searching for new performing venues - we appear in old cellars, in the open, prisons, old factories, plus small and larger theatres.

Early Morning Opera

Early Morning Opera (EMO) is a genre-bending performance and art lab whose works explore emerging technologies, live audiences, and unclassifiable experience, while reflecting artistic director Lars Jan’s background in progressive activism. Our works chart complex constellations of ideas through language and other media, and assert the vital function of live events in our increasingly mediated world.

Since presenting our first work in 2004, EMO has evolved into a permeable network of principal artists and an ever-expanding group of new collaborators, with expertise in fields as diverse as data visualization, architecture, climate paleontology, cognitive neuroscience, and experimental plumbing.

Developed through multi-year processes, EMO projects don’t look much like one another. This diversity of output is partially due to the permeable, ever-expanding nature of the company’s collaborative structure, which is often inclusive of non-artists, and also attributable to the investigative, experimental nature of our process, reflected in the maxim: Art is Research, Performance is a Lab.

A hallmark of our work is an integrated, expressive use of emerging technologies in live performance. Due to the aesthetic and formal diversity of our projects, we have been commissioned and presented by media centers, museums, galleries, theaters and film festivals across the U.S., including the Whitney Museum, The Sundance Film Festival, Under the Radar Festival, EMPAC, REDCAT, PICA TBA Festival, and the BAM Next Wave Festival.

Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Krakow

Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Krakow was formed in 1946. PWST runs one season of master studies leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Acting Department and the Drama Directing Department in Krakow, the Acting Department and the Puppetry Department in Wroclaw, and the Department of Dance Theater in Bytom. It is a national academy and it has the authority to issue the following types academic degrees: Doctorate, Habilitation and Professor of Theatre Arts. Direct supervision of the PWST falls to The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The School has professionally equipped stages in Krakow (St. Wyspiański Stage, Stage 210, Classical Stage) and Wroclaw.

Teatr Ludowy

Teatr Ludowy is one of the youngest theatres in Cracow. The theatre opened in 1955 with a premiere of Krakowiacy i górale by Wojciech Bogusławski. Since 2005 the theatre is managed by Jacek Strama. The theatre specializes in contemporary dram, modern re-interpretations of classics and well-made plays.

Creators of the show: The Secret Life of the Friedmans

The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art, puppet department in Białystok

Puppet department of National Academy of Dramatic Art is located outside Warsaw, in Białystok. The department was created in 1975, when Tadeusz Łomnicki, famous Polish actor was the school’s president. Jan Wilkowski, one of the most renowned Polish puppet artists was the first department’s president. In 1980, the Puppet Directing Department was created. In the 90. both departments were merged into one Puppet Art Department with two separate majors - acting and directing. The Puppet Department is located in the center of Białystok. The schools has its own theatre, named after Jan Wilkowski. 

 

Creators of the show: Dead Poles' Ordinary Lives

KTO Theatre

The KTO theatre was founded in 1977 with the "Ogród rozkoszy" show. Its shows have been attended by over two million people. The theatre visited more than 250 cities, in more than 40 countries on 4 continents. Since 1st January 2005 the KTO has had the status of a Krakow municipal theatre. The director of the KTO Theatre is Jerzy Zon.

Creators of the show: Chorus of Orphans

Bagatela Theatre

The Bagatela Theatre in Kraków is situated at the junction of Karmelicka Street and Krupnicza Street. The theatre's intimate "new stage" is located on Sarego Street. The theatre's history dates back to 1918, when Marian Dąbrowski, initiated the creation of the stage. Since 1949 it has been home to the Państwowy Teatr Młodego Widza (State Theatre of the Young Viewer). The Rozmaitości Theatre was established here in 1957. The theatre returned to being called Bagatela in 1970, and was dedicated to the memory of Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński in 1972. The writer and doctor lived in a flat in the area for many years. Roman Polanski made his debut here as a young artist. The theatre was originally designed for children but nowadays shows musicals, comedies and other light entertainments suitable for families.

Creators of the show: Pitawal

Teatr Figur

TFK was founded in 2007 by Dagmara Żabska and Agata Wilam as an independent puppet theatre company.

The TFK gives its performances in Kraków, on host stages, at the most important puppet theatre festivals as well as in the smallest cultural centres in Poland and abroad (including among others Washington, Moscow, Bielsko-Biała, Okulice, Psary, Baghdad, Seoul, Podłęże). The team’s main field of interest is the shadow theatre, theatre pedagogy and social art. For the last 9 years TFK specialized in shadow theater techniques, produced over a dozen shadow theater shows. In 2016 TFK founded a new stage for the youngest audience – Little Figure Theatre. Shows for kids are performed in polish, English, German and Russian language.

Creators of the show: Huljet huljet

Leon Schiller Film School in Łódź

Creators of the show: Maria Stuart

Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow, Branch Wroclaw

Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Krakow was formed in 1946. PWST runs one season of master studies leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Acting Department and the Drama Directing Department in Krakow, the Acting Department and the Puppetry Department in Wroclaw, and the Department of Dance Theater in Bytom. It is a national academy and it has the authority to issue the following types academic degrees: Doctorate, Habilitation and Professor of Theatre Arts. Direct supervision of the PWST falls to The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The School has professionally equipped stages in Krakow (St. Wyspiański Stage, Stage 210, Classical Stage) and Wroclaw.

Creators of the show: Orlando

Szaniawski Drama Theatre in Wałbrzych

The Dramatyczny Theatre has operated in Wałbrzych since 1964, and is the city’s only professional stage. For many years, the theatre has offered the audiences a highly varied repertoire with predominant contemporary productions, focused on the dialogue with reality. In the last few seasons, the theatre received a few dozen invitations to drama festivals and reviews in Poland and abroad. It reaches for popular literary and film themes, so as to provide them with a new context through transformation or adaptation. Eagerness to provide Wałbrzych theatregoers with the widest possible access to contemporary theatre and drama resulted in the establishment of two regular projects that – being the festivity of the theatre – at the same time become a particular opportunity to get to know the directions that other theatres follow. The “Wałbrzyskie Fanaberie Teatralne” is a festival without a definite subject, with the only distinguishing feature of the repertoire being its relevance and the high artistic quality of the invited productions. The Days of Drama, on the other hand, familiarise audiences with current theatre and literary trends.

Laznia Nowa Theatre

Łaźnia Nowa is an actively operating Cracow theatre, located in a renovated postindustrial space of former workshop halls of the communist School of Mechanics in Nowa Huta. In the ten years of its existence, the theatre has become a recognised trademark in Polish theatre. It initiated a number of popular festivals, such as Genius Loci Theatre Festival, the Divine Comedy International Theatre Festival and Mrożek Festival. Łaźnia Nowa does not have fixed cast and its productions follow the practice of inviting various actors and directors to cooperate. Both recognised and budding theatre artists find here excellent conditions to produce their work. To date, the theatre has hosted productions prepared by artists such as Michał Borczuch, Łukasz Czuj, Iga Gańczarczyk, Paweł Kamza, Marcin Liber, Paweł Passini, Wiktor Rubin, Monika Strzępka, Marcin Wierzchowski, Paweł Świątek, Weronika Szczawińska and Michał Zadara. Between 2005 and 2015, Łaźnia Nowa theatre produced more than 40 shows, both independently and in co-production with other institutions such as Jerzy Szaniawski Theatre in Wałbrzych, Contemporary Theatre in Szczecin, Dramatic Theatre of the Capital City of Warsaw, Montownia Theatre and Imka Theatre. Łaźnia Nowa’s productions successfully participate in numerous theatre festivals, such as the Interpretations National Directing Art Festival in Katowice, R@port Festival of Polish Contemporary Arts, Premiere Festival in Bydgoszcz, Theatrical Whims in Wałbrzych and Gliwice Theatre Meetings Festival. They are also regularly shown abroad, for instance in Berlin, Madrid, Mexico City and Singapore. The unusual space of Łaźnia Nowa theatre (there are two stages with auditoriums of up to several hundreds spectators, as well as a spacious foyer) attracts the best productions from Europe. Recently, the theatre hosted controversial Kamp by the Dutch Hotel Modern theatre group and Hedge Knights by the machina eX collective from Berlin. On regular basis, rock concerts by leading artists from Poland and abroad take place here. The rich artistic offer of Łaźnia Nowa proves wrong all those who like to believe the worst about the district of Nowa Huta and complain that nothing can be done here. Determination and firm faith in the power of human creativity allowed the theatre to become rooted in the local landscape, to gain regular audience and be hopeful about the future.