of Arabia

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'Lawrence of Arabia', which will be premiered on 22nd June 2018 at Teatr Powszechny during 'The Art and Society Festival Happy City 2018', is a theatrical telephone game, exploring our mediations and misunderstandings, and checking our 'received notions'. It is a farce about identity, put together by the cooperation of several groups: the creative team, foreigners living in Poland, as well as the actors working at Teatr Powszechny.

This show is an attempt of putting both participants and the public on someone else’s shoes, by looking at familiar issues from the outside, and a fantasy of theatre created for a multilingual and multicultural society. It’s also a play on viewers expectations - because what exactly do they know about Sudan? When was Poland a banana republic? Why does Zorro wear a burka? What is more remote to us: Venezuela or an Amazon warehouse?

The creators of 'Lawrence of Arabia' decided to invite newcomers, not rooted in Poland and those forced to leave their native countries, to cooperate. The goal of the show was to avoid constructing a phantom image of the Other. Expectations were contradicted, perceptions turned around in unexpected ways and the play gained its own comedic dimension. Comedy emerges as a serious, concrete remedy against generalizations and fantasies related to identity.

Press photo by Magda_Hueckel
Press photo by Magda_Hueckel
Press photo by Magda_Hueckel
Press photo by Magda_Hueckel
Press photo by Magda_Hueckel
Press photo by Magda_Hueckel

Involved Artist
Director Weronika Szczawińska
Dramaturg Piotr Wawer jr
Script Piotr Wawer Jr, Weronika Szczawińska, Eileen Gricuk, Jose Luis Sosa Estanga, Imru’ al-Qais, Amin Omer, Vira Popowa
Set designer Daniel Malone
Choreographer Agata Maszkiewicz
Stage manager Barbara Sadowska
Cast Mamadou Góo Bâ, Wiktor Loga-Skarczewski, Natalia Łągiewczyk, Maria Robaszkiewicz, Karina Seweryn, Piotr Wawer Jr

Weronika Szczawińska, PhD, is a theatre director, dramaturge, cultural studies scholar and performer. A graduate of the Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the humanities programme at the University of Warsaw, she studied directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. She completed her PhD programme at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2014 and between 2014 and 2017 she was the artistic manager of Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre in Kalisz. Lecturer at the Theatre Studies Department of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Weronika Szczawińska was nominated to the Polityka Passport Award 2014.

Piotr Wawer, jr. is an actor and dramaturge, creator of independent art projects. He is a regular collaborator of Weronika Szczawińska. He graduated from Acting Studio at Stefan Jaracz’s Theatre in Olsztyn and worked at Dramatyczny Theatre in Wałbrzych, Studio Theatre in Warsaw, National Stary Theatre in Krakow, Slovensko Mladinsko Gledališče in Ljubljana, Komuna//Warszawa and other theaters and art institutions in Poland.

Agata Maszkiewicz is a choreographer, performer and a dancer. Lives in France and works across Europe. She graduated at the Institute of Dance Arts at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversitaet  in Linz, Austria, and is an associated artist of l’Avant Scene Cognac. She also studied at the Centre Choreoghraphique National in Montpellier as a participant of  the ex.e.r.ce program, under the guidance of Xavier Le Roy and Mathilde Monnier. She works, among others, with the collective ‘Superamas‘, Ivana Muller, Agnieszka Jakimiak and also creates her own works.

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