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2022/2023 – record season for Powszechny Theatre in Łódź

We could not imagine a better come back to a normal theatrical rhythm after the pandemic. This was a record season for Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. Dear Viewers – thank you for being with us, thank you for your support and for giving us the feeling that our work has a lot of sense.    

Last Sunday we presented last show of the season, now there is time for a short leave (we will return in September). But before that we invite you to read a short season recapitulation.  



… as in premieres and first presentations

Last season we produced the following spectacles:

  •  „Kto chce być Żydem?” („Who Wants To Be a Jew?”) by Marek Modzelewski, directed by Jacek Braciak
  • the world’s first presentation of „Na całe życie” („For All Life”) by Paolo Costello, directed by Wojciech Malajkat
  • the first Polish presentation of „Replay” by Flavia Coste, directed by Magdalena Małecka-Wippich
  • the first Polish presentation of „Arena” („Ladies And Gentlemen, Boys And Girls”) by Dave Deveau, directed (on a voluntary basis) by Ewa Pilawska – in the „Child in a situation” project
  • two presentations in the Reading theatre for the blind and partially sighted persons project (the original idea of Ewa Pilawska, who directs the plays on a voluntary basis): „Uciekinierki” („The Fugitives”) by Pierre Palmade and Christophe Duthuron (the 71. presentation) and „Arena” by Dave Deveau (the 72. presentation)
  • Nadia’s show which premiered at Misummer Night during the celebrations of the 600 hundredth anniversary of Łódź  
  • besides at the 29th Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant we presented the book „Krystian Lupa. Artist.Visionary” which was published by our Theatre. 



… as in ovations and applause

This last season we were applauded 408 times! We played 408 shows which means that on the average we presented more than one show a day! In 2022/2023 season more than 154,000 viewers took part in all our presentations and projects.   



… as in subsidies and revenues

Subsidy for Powszechny Theatre in Łódź for 2023 amounts to 6.435.408 zloties. Tickets sales, money from sponsors and subsidies sum up to more than 5.161.000 zloties.  



… as in Festival

The 29th edition of International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant took place between 4 March and 2 April. Traditionally it opened festival season of the calendar year and presented crème de la crème of the Polish theatre. It was the first festival to present „1989” directed by Katarzyna Szyngiera, „My Way” by Krystyna Janda, „Ulisses” by James Joyce directed by Maja Kleczewska, „Salomea’s Silver Dream” by Juliusz Słowacki, directed by Piotr Cieplak, „Noises Off” by Michael Frayn, directed by Jan Klata and „Spartacus. Love in the Times of Plague” directed by Jakub Skrzywanek .

The audience of the 29th edition of International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant chose the winners of the plebiscite: The Best Spectacle – „1989”directed by Katarzyna Szyngiera, The Best Actress – Alona Szostak for the role of Molly Bloom in „Ulysses”, directed by Maja Kleczewska and The Best Actor – Łukasz Lewandowski
for the role of pupil/Jerzyk in „The Art of Intonation” by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, directed by Anna Wieczur.

Master Presentations: „My Way” by Krystyna Janda and „The Siblings” directed by Krystian Lupa – a metaphysical return to the Festival after almost two decades (the shows were accompanied by the presentation of the book „Krystian Lupa. Artist.Visionary”, published by Powszechny Theatre in Łódź) – ended this year’s edition of the Festival. At the Festival there was a theatrological conference devoted to Krystyna Janda („Krystyna Janda: Master Class”) – the results of the conference are to be published in a form of a book. Three exhibitions (drawings of Krystian Lupa, festival posters and Justyna Cieślak’s postdoctorate exhibition) took place during the festival, as well as meetings with the spectacles’ creators and with Maciej Świerkocki, author of a new translation of „Ulysses”.             

Festival was a true theatrical holiday. The celebration began when the programme of the festival had been announced and long queues to the box office had appeared. The house was always crowded, the tickets sold like hot cakes and the fans were happy even if they got standing room tickets only.    

The Festival was co-financed by the City of Łódź.



… as in birthday of Łódź

In 2023 Łódź celebrates its 600th anniversary. From the very beginning we took part in the preparations to the celebration.  

  • On International Theatre Day we played three spectacles („The Maid” and „Courage”) dedicated to inhabitants of Łódź. We sold more than 1.300 tickets for a symbolic 1 zloty each.
  • On Midsummer Night we premiered the new Nadia show prepared especially for the 600th anniversary of Łódź.
  • Since mid-June till the end of July we presented 45 plays (almost all our repertoire) in special holiday-anniversary prices (lower more than twice that during the season). Thanks to that almost 10.000 inhabitants of Łódź could celebrate the City 600th anniversary at the theatre.    
  • At the climax of the celebrations of the City 600th anniversary we showed two comedies that were set in Łódź („The Spitting Image Of My Son-In-Law” and „Good Change”).  Tickets were for symbolic 600 groszy (cents) each.  



… as in ten years of our Small Stage

It has already been ten years since we started our Small Stage – a place without which it is hard to imagine Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. The dream of the stage came true thanks to our director Ewa Pilawska, her courage, charisma and imagination. It gave us brand new possibilities – a space for searching, taking artistic chances, reaching for new solutions and theatrical genres. There were so many things that happened since the first spectacle on our Small Stage… altogether 2.300 events (1.600 performances) for more than 250.000 viewers. The list of presentations and awards has been very long. Many outstanding directors worked on our Small Stage, to mention Maja Kleczewska, Anna Augustynowicz, Krystyna Meissner, Michał Siegoczyński, Adam Orzechowski, Grzegorz Laszuk, Paweł Szkotak and Jacek Braciak.

Details are to be found on our website.       



… as in „open for everybody”

We are the theatre close to people and that is why we always try to do our best to help people with difficult access to culture – to come and visit us. This last season we continued our projects „Spectacles for the retired” and „Spectacles for the students” (with tickets for 20 zloties).

We have also carried our mission for the handicapped persons. In 2022/2023 we presented plays in the original project of Ewa Pilawska – the Reading theatre for the blind and partially sighted persons project (with the programmes printed in braille).  

We presented spectacles in the Child in a situation project – they were available on-line for those who could not visit our theatre in person because of a distance (tickets for each spectacle cost 8 zloties each). For the spectacles in the project our young viewers who are in a difficult situation (charges of sociotherapy centers or eduactional centers) could have tickets for a symbolic 1 zloty.       

Some of our spectacles were presented with English subtitles. We took part in the 9th edition of Senioralia and in Seniors’ Weekend with Culture.  

We also organized a New Year’s show for people with a difficult access to culture (with tickets for a symbolic 1 zloty). The season ended with the Summer in Powszechny Theatre in Łódź project – it consisted of 45 plays in special holiday-anniversary prices which were lowered more than twice when compared with the season prices (30 – 40 zloties). On the occasion of International Theatre Day and 600th anniversary of Łódź we played 3 spectacles for 1.300 viewers. During last weekend of July, at the climax of the celebrations of the City 600th anniversary we showed two comedies with tickets for symbolic 600 groszy (cents) each.   



… as in results of the 7th Comedywriting

The 7th edition of the all-Poland competition for writing a modern Polish comedy (the only drama competition devoted entirely to comedy) came to a close. The jury awarded three prizes and a special distinction. The jury of the 7th edition of the competition was composed of Ewa Pilawska (director of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, creator of Polish Comedy Centre and originator of „Comedywriting” competition), Małgorzata Bogajewska (director of Teatr Ludowy in Cracow), Dominika Łarionow (theatrologist, the University of Łódź lecturer, author of articles and books, among others, on stage design and on the works of Tadeusz Kantor), Piotr Dzięcioł (Opus Film president, producer of Oscar winner „Ida” and Oscar nominee „Zimna wojna”, member of Polish Film Institute), Paweł Szkotak (director, founder of Biuro Podróży Theatre) and Jacek Wakar (theatre critic, journalist, publicist).

After having read 125 all works that were qualified for the competition, during its meeting on 24 May, 2023, the jury decided to award the following prizes: 1st prize (25.000 zloties) to Paweł Mossakowski for „Zielona polana” („Green Glade”), 2nd prize (20.000 zloties) to Jerzy Rubaszewski for „Kamienica przy teatrze” („Tenement House Next To the Theatre”), 3rd prize (15.000 zloties) to Katarzyna Knychalska for „Dzień ósmy” („The Eighth Day”), and a special distinction (10.000 zloties) to Marcin Bałczewski for „VHS”.



… as in ambassador of Łódź in Poland and in Europe

Last season we took part in several festivals, representing the Łódź theatre in Poland and in Europe. 

We showed „Imagine” by Krystian Lupa (our co-production with Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw) in:

  •  Teatro Storchi in Modena at VIE Festival
  •  Théâtre de Liège in Belgium
  •  Teatros del Canal  in Madrid
  • Cracow at the 15th Boska Komedia (Divine Comedy) Festival
  • Lublin at Stage Design and Costumes Festival „Scena w budowie”

„I Wanted To be” by Michał Siegoczyński was presented:

  • in Cracow as an inauguration of the 15th Boska Komedia Festival
  • in Katowice at Comedy Carnival
  • in Kalisz as an inauguration of the 63rd edition of Kaliskie Spotkania Teatralne (Theatrical Meetings in Kalisz). 



… as in distinctions and awards

Our last season prizes and distinctions:

  • Ewa Pilawska, director of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, was unanimously elected the President of the Union of Polish Theatres
  • The Łódź 600th anniversary medals were given to the following employees of Powszechny Theatre: Krzysztof Drozdowski – model maker, Tamara Fligiel – dresser, Edward Kołtek – technical manager, Andrzej Kowalski – deputy technical manager, Barbara Lauks – actress and Piotr Lauks – actor.
  • Mariusz Ostrowski received The Audience Award at the 63rd Festival of Acting – Kaliskie Spotkania Teatralne (Theatrical Meetings in Kalisz). The audience awarded him for the role of Krzysztof Krawczyk with the title of „Naj-Bogusławski Actor”.
  • Ewa Pilawska received the title of „Community Idol” and Powszechny Theatre in Łódź was marked as the „Institution open for the blind”. The awards were given by the Chance for the blind Foundation
  • „I Wanted To Be” by Michał Siegoczyński was awarded by the viewers with Grand Prix of the 16th Comedy Carnival in Katowice 
  • „Imagine” by Krystian Lupa was voted by the viewers as the best spectacle of 2022 in Plastry Kultury Plebiscite
  •  International jury of the 15th edition of Divine Comedy Festival awarded „Imagine” by Krystian Lupa for remarkable collective actor creation
  •  „Imagine” by Krystian Lupa was nominated for the title of „Energy of Culture” 2022  
  • Arkadiusz Wójcik was mentioned by Jacek Sieradzki as an actor „on a roll” in the journalist’s „Subjective list of theatre actors”  
  • Actor Piotr Lauks was given the city mayor’s award
  • „Polityka” weekly published its subjective list of ten best spectacles of 2022. „Imagine” was among them.
  • „Imagine” was mentioned several times in a Subjective Theatre Alphabet 2002 of Aram Stern (among others in Actor, Actress and Team categories)
  • „Imagine” was mentioned as one of the most important events of 2022 by Jacek Cieślak in „Rzeczpospolita” daily    
  • „Imagine” by Krystian Lupa made it to the final of Stage Design and Costumes Festival „Scena w budowie” 
  • „Theatre” monthly gave us many distinctions in its yearly ranking, published at the beginning of the season. „Imagine” received many positive marks as best spectacle, best directing, best male role, best female role, best stage design and best supporting role. Mariusz Ostrowski for his role in „I Wanted To Be” was mentioned by Jacek Wakar in best actor category. In the ranking there were spectacles which had been presented at our International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant – „Forefathers’ Eve”, „Flight”, „Austerlitz” and „Snow”.     

Director of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź awarded the following employees:  

  • Beata Ziejka (actress) for her outstanding roles in which she has used various actor’s means for creating a character as well as for showing how it is possible to build up a comedy character without depriving it of truth and complexity  
  • Michał Lacheta (actor) for his search for new challenges and means and readiness not only to work but to deep intellectual analysis as well as for creating roles with great courage and empathy   
  • Bogusława Litwiniuk (sound technician, one of the youngest members of theatre team) for her engagement and professionalism during spectacles, educational classes and International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant
  • Miłosz Słota (marketing and sales coordinator) for his ability to translate artistic value into attendance and image results as well as for his modern attitude towards building a relation with the audience, specially getting new audience for the Small Stage difficult repertoire 
  • Małgorzata Myszkowska (Sales and Tickets Department manager) for her heart for the  viewers, for treating the theatre not only as a work place but as a second home as well as for creating the sales and tickets department which successfully reaches the receipients of the theatre offer  
  • Małgorzata Urzędowska (stage manager and prompter) for experience, knowledge and professionalism which are predestining for creating a school for stage managers where younger generations could learn and get the ethos of the profession   
  • Krzysztof Drozdowski (model maker) for his engagement and passion for theatre, for being the real man of the theatre, the spirit of the behind-the-scene theatre and its heart – the stage.



… as in initiatives and projects

Besides spectacles, educational projects and Festival, we invited our viewers to:

  • meeting with a granddaughter of Maria Kwaśniewska-Maleszewska (who was the hero of our spectacle „Maria”)
  • video projection of „Baju Baj” – a film by Sebastian Jasnoch which participated in Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (short film competition)    
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve for people with limited access to culture
  • Museum Night at Powszechny Theatre
  • meeting with the poems of Stefania Ney performed by our actors and actresses on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Warsaw ghetto uprising   
  • our new project „No Taboo” – projections of spectacles of the Child in a situation project which take place in Cinema Paradiso in Puro Hotel in Łódź (the projections are followed by the workshops)
  • our action „Summer in Powszechny Theatre” (discount holiday tickets).

We have been partners in various projects:  

  • National Reading 2022
  • Senior’s weekend with culture
  • Dictation of the University of Łódź
  • The Łódź Senioralia
  • Open Days of European Funds
  • The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity
  • Cracow Poetry Salon in Music Theatre
  • Knowledge of HIV competition
  • Projects of SKN Progress academic circle (University of Łódź students)
  • Projects of Students’ Association BEST (Łódź University of Technology)
  • Summer play centres
  • Reading poetry in Chili Zet Radio
  • Projects of University of the Third Age

We have co-operated with Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw, Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin, Polish Blind Union, library and school for the blind „Na Dziewanny”,  Museum of the City of Łódź, Orientarium, Muzyczny Theatre in Łódź, Regional Centre of Social Policy in Łódź, Puro and Ibis hotels, Manufaktura shopping mall, Galeria Łódzka shopping mall and Ganesh restaurant, as well as with many other institutions.    



… as in cultural education and revitalization

In 2022/2023 season we held 105 workshops and educational classes for 10.000 participants. Majority of the events belonged to the Child in a situation project. The original project of Ewa Pilawska has been carried out for many years;  it consists of spectacles and workshops, dedicated mainly to young viewers. The project events take up various difficult problems such as homelessness, parents’ depression, hate, sexual initiation, transsexuality, mechanisms of aggression. The original workshops are moderated by Andrzej Jakubas together with many invited guests – among others Aleksandra Dulas, Anna Jurek, Rafał Osiński and Paweł Pustelnik. Very often it appears that for many young viewers it is the first possibility of being heard and having a chance to speak. The project is based on a dialogue and not on giving ready-made solutions. The moderators and the audience are partners, they listen to each other’s opinions, learn from themselves and inspire to reflexions. In 2022/2023 season the project was realized in two forms – live in our theatre and on-line (viewers from all over the country watched the spectacle on the web and then participated live in the workshops with the use of internet platforms).  The project could be realized thanks to the financial support of AMCOR (the firm has been the strategic sponsor of Child in a situation project and has been supporting our theatre since the beginning of the project).                

Besides, our viewers took part in theatre lessons, in lesson on the curtain (Powszechny Theatre in Łódź is one of only two Polish theatres which have painted curtains), actors’ workshops and other projects showing the theatre behind the scenes.