Inauguration of the Festival and Gloria Artis Silver Medal for Ewa Pilawska

Opening of the “Dark Fantasy” exhibition by Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska; “Shame” by Marek Modzelewski, directed by Wojciech Malajkat, produced by Współczesny Theatre in Warsaw; Gloria Silver Artis Medal for director Ewa Pilawska; more than full house – you could not think of a better opening. The 26th edition of International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant was inaugurated on Saturday, 8 February.

“Dark Fantasy” installation has been presented in the Powszechny Theatre foyer. “The heroes of the dark tale are inhuman creatures in the human world. In a separate foyer space, dozen or so human-animal characters await with the Festival’s audience for the performance. There is a murmur of conversations and a vocalist's wailing voice in the background. Mrs Zebra is standing at the microphone, Mr Lion is admiring himself in the mirror, Mrs Mare is looking at three children-sheep, the others are staring at their smartphones’ screens – says Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska, the author of the installation.

“Shame” was sold out immediately but we managed to find a few entrance cards last minute. The action of the spectacle takes place in the back room of the wedding hall where parents of bride and bridegroom meet. Scandal, humiliation, discredit, shock, disgrace – it is what the heroes and the audience have to face. Our behavior, our characters – they all reflect on the stage. The meeting with actors – Iza Kuna, Agnieszka Suchora, Jacek Braciak and Mariusz Jakus – and with the playwright Marek Modzelewski was moderated by Łukasz Drewniak.

After the spectacle the Powszechny Theatre director Ewa Pilawska was awarded with Gloria Artis Silver Medal. The Medal was awarded to Ms Pilawska by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage on 9 September, 2019. She was decorated with it by the Łódź Province governor Tobiasz Bocheński.                       

The governor compared director Pilawska’s love for the theatre with Shakespeare’s Prospero (“The Tempest”) and his love for books. – Her theatre is a place for dialogue, for comparing forms, for filling them with different substance and at the same time it avoids making ideologies. If we talk to director Ewa Pilawska we see how modest and humble person she is and at the same time how stubborn in looking after her theatre – Tobiasz Bocheński said and added that in his opinion she really deserved the award.            

Ewa Pilawska thanked the governor and the audience. – Without our audience there would be no theatre, no festival. Thank you for so many years of our co-operation, of our exceptional partnership. Our theatre is the team and the team is superb. I could go with you to the end of the world – Ewa Pilawska said. She also thanked her family and her friends for their support.

Ewa Pilawska has been the Powszechny Theatre director and artistic director of Iternational Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant. She introduced many original projects, to mention only Polish Comedy Centre, Comedywriting competition, Reading theatre for people with poor eyesight and blindor Child in a situation. Her main idea is “Theatre close to people” which has been realized through many social and educational projects. She was awarded with many prestigious honours, among others Silver and Gold Cross of Merit (they were awarded to her by Poland’s Presidents Lech Kaczyński and Bronisław Komorowski) as well as Gloria Artis Bronze Medal (awarded by Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage). She was also chosen “The Man of the Year in Łódź”, she also received a special Golden Mask.

Thank you for this wonderful evening! We invite you to other festival spectacles, meeting, discussions and concert!