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).

Lithuanian National Drama Theatre

 

The story of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre began on the 6th of October, 1940, when the play Hope by Dutch playwright Herman Heijermans was performed in the then Vilnius State Theatre on Basanaviciaus St. 13. The main visual motif of the play – a fisher’s boat – has become the emblem of the National Theatre. The theatre has been operating in the current premises  on Gedimino Avenue 4 since 1951. This place has a rich theatrical tradition – in the beginning of the twentieth century it hosted events of the theatrical Polish Cultural Society Liutnia. In 1981, a major reconstruction of the theatre (the architects – brothers Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis) was completed. Then the Big Hall, which can accommodate 660 spectators, was opened. The Small Hall (156 seats) opened the door a few years ater. Plays are also performed in the Lobby of the theatre. It also often becomes a venue of set design, theatre costumes and posters exhibitions. The sculpture Three Muses (sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma) crowning the main entrance to the theatre has become the symbol of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. The muses of Drama (Calliope), Comedy (Thalia) and Tragedy (Melpomene) are patrons of the theatre’s wide and diverse repertoire, and the sculpture “The Fount” decorating the lobby symbolizes the course that the theatre has taken: to cherish tradition, but remain vigorous and open to innovation and change.

 

Creators of the show: Heroes' Square

Ludwik Solski Theatre in Tarnów

The history of the Ludwik Solski Theatre in Tarnów starts in the 50s of the last century. It is the only professional theatre in the tarnowski region, which, after the complete renovation in 2011, gained the modern look and a functionality. Its four stages (Big, Small, Underground and Foyer) can seat hundreds of spectators. Additionally, the concerts, exhibitions, workshops or meetings, which take place in the theatre, complement the rich repertoire offer. It is in Tarnów where, with the cooperation with the most prominent producers, stage designers or musicians, up to ten premiere performances are produced during the year. Later they are performed on the festivals or other theatre stages in Poland. From theatre stage in Tarnów derive many famous and popular theatre or film actors and actresses. Moreover, the Solski Theatre for 20 years has been an organizer of the All-Polish Festival of Comedy "Talia" and, for 8 years, the Festival of Performances for children called "Mała TALIA". Thanks to taken initiatives and courageous projects, the Ludwik Solski Theatre in Tarnów becomes very important and an appreciated theatrical centre not only in the region, but also in the country.

 

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.'

Creators of the show: Unbearably Long Embraces

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.

Nowy Teatr

Nowy Teatr is created by Krzysztof Warlikowski and a group of his regular collaborators. The main goal, which behind the concept of this place, is communication and creating a meaningful dialogue with the audience. This dialogue can be based on an understanding or it can start with a provocation that changes the routine way of thinking. Nowy Teatr seeks to expand the area of dialogue with the audience not confining itself to theater performances alone. It aims to be a place for a whole new artistic situation. An area free for artists and curators to create a space defined by innovative people.

Creators of the show: The French, The Apocalypse

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: Midsummer

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. The Theatre features famous Kraków Poetry Salon of Anna Dymna and is accompanied by the off Scena w Bramie (Gate Stage) and the open air Scena przy Pompie (Stage by the Pump) opened during the summer nights.

Creators of the show: The Birth of Friedrich Demuth

Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Kielce

It is one of the oldest theaters in Poland existing since 1879. In 1945 the inauguration ceremony of Theatre of Kielce Voivodeship took place and permanent acting ensemble was established. For the last 23 years the theater had been managed by Piotr Szczerski, theatre director from Kraków. Thanks to his policy of conducting the theater – repertoire diversity, openness to the avant-garde and the young, talented artists – Kielce drama scene has become a place where phenomena important for the Polish theatre, and moreover, noticed and appreciated in the world, take place. Writing texts on request and for specific actors is practiced in the theatre. Excellent team of young well-integrated, talented people and a bit older experienced actors is appreciated not only by the jury of festivals to which the Theater has been going to almost continuously for several years, but also by the people who cooperate with it.

Creators of the show: Countess Bathory

Ludowy Theatre

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 Pupil

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: The Blacks, KANTOR DOWNTOWN

Polski Theatre in Wroclaw

The theatre is comprised of three stages: the Small Stage, Świebodzki Stage and the Jerzy Grzegorzewski Stage. Since 2006 the theatre has been managed by Krzysztof Mieszkowski who is both,  its Artistic and Managing director. The theatre has a unique education and pro bono program: Aktywne poniedziałki (Active Mondays) a series that consist of meetings with artists and politics and Wszechnica Teatralna; meetings, lectures and screenings about Kantor’s, Grzegorzewski’s, Grtowski’s and Müller’s theatre.

Creators of the show: Winter Journey

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: Morphine

Wybrzeże Theatre

Wybrzeże Theatre is one of the most well-known and recognized theatres in Poland. The Wybrzeże Theatre's shows get invited to the most important Polish festivals, including: Warszawskie Spotkania Teatralne, Divine Comedy International Theatre Festival and Festiwal Prapremier. The Wybrzeże artistic team is a winner of the most prestigious Polish theatre awards, incl. The Swinarski Award (given to Grzegorz Wiśniewski for Twilights of the Gods).

Creators of the show: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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.

Creators of the show: Martyrs, Ewelina’s Crying

Cyprian Kamil Norwid Theater

Cyprian Kamil Norwid Theater is a theater with a very long history. Beginning with the years just after the war. It used to be and still is a very important institution in Polish world of art on stage. Over the years it was not only a place of development great and important plays but also the beginning point of career for many well-known directors such as Krystian Lupa and Mikołaj Grabowski. It is also known for its festival tradition. One of the festivals organized by the Theatre focuses on street art. It's one of the oldest festivals of this kind in the world and it invites artists from all over the world. Moreover, there is the second festival called Jeleniogórskie Spotkania Teatralne. Next year happening in September for the 46th time. It is a great showcase of modern plays inviting artists from all Poland.

Creators of the show: Unreal Story of Jan Karski

The Ester-Rachel and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theater Center for Yiddish Culture in Warsaw

The Ester-Rachel and Ida Kaminska Jewish Theater was founded in 1950. Two theaters merged then into one: The Wroclaw Lower Silesia Jewish Theater and the Lodz Jewish theater. The theater moved to Warsaw in 1955. The theater, under the direction of Ida Kaminska, played in Yiddish only. The plays were always sold out. In 1968 following the anti-Semitic campaign of the regime Ida Kaminska left Poland. So did many actors. The actor Juliusz Berger became the director of the theater for a brief period, from 1968 to 1969. Szymon Szurmiej became the director of the theater in 1969 until his death in 2014. Golda Tencer has been the deputy director of the theater since then. Since the very beginning, the theater has offered three kinds of shows. Classical Yiddish plays by authors like Abraham Goldfaden, Jacob Gordin, Sholem Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, Shimon An-sky, Peretz Hirshbein and Sholem Ash. Non-Yiddish plays dealing with Jewish themes by authors like Arthur Miller, Isaac Babel and Ilya Erenburg also musicals and cabaret sketches. In recent years the theater has also been offering plays in Polish, directed by: Piotr Cieplak, Agnieszka Glińska, Lech Mackiewicz, Maciej Wojtyszko, Michał Zadara, Karolina Kirsz, Paweł Paszta or Andrei Munteanu. Our theater is the only Jewish theater in Poland and one of the only two Yiddish theaters in Europe. Since July 2012 the theater also includes the Center for Yiddish Culture.

Creators of the show: The Jewish Actors

Kolektyw 1a / Poznań

Kolektyw 1a is Poznań-based association with young visual art and theatre makers, curators and culture activist. Its running it project room space in the city center of Poznań where organizes exhibitions, screenings, performative arts events and social art activities. Kolektyw 1a is also a production and networking space for the emerging artist.

Creators of the show: dolphin_who_loved_me

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.

The 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: Peregrinus

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: The Wedding

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.