Special edition of „Comedywriting” – eliminations over, the workshops begin!

Another edition of “Comedywriting” has been in progress in Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. Thanks to this unique project the library of Polish comedy texts has been growing all the time. The eliminations are over. There had been 200 candidates out of which a group of 15 was selected and now they have been taking part in master, internet workshops of “Comedywriting” project. The workshops have been led by Michał Walczak, creator of famous “A fire in a brothel” ("Pożar w Burdelu"), a Polish political and literary cabaret. All participants met yesterday for the first time on Zoom just to begin their work on “post-pandemic comedy”.

Polish Comedy Centre has always tried to tame different traumas and difficult subjects with the help of comedy, we believe in its therapeutic power. And hence my idea to inaugurate now a special edition “Comedywriting”. We cannot meet live face to face and that is why we use latest technologies. I invited Michał Walczak to lead the workshops and he is working on a special comedy text for us, too. We plan the first preview next season – says Ewa Pilawska, creator of “Comedywriting”. – The fact that there were so many candidates shows that we need a lot of optimism, of building hope. The epidemic will pass some day and it will leave us with a mark in culture. It is important not to surrender but to find a new value and inspiration – adds Ewa Pilawska.

About 200 candidates (directors and playwrights but also amateurs and spectators) applied for the participation in internet “Comedywriting”. After the eliminations a group of 15 persons was selected to take part in the workshops.

This year’s edition is specific because of COVID-19 pandemia which casts a shadow of illness and death over the comedy kingdom. But comedy has always been courting death and other human deep fears. Can post-pandemic comedy create a new, interesting way of looking at our world? – asks Michał Walczak.

In the weeks to come the participants will meet (online and offline) during workshop sessions and work on drama projects. The results will make up a library of “Post-pandemic comedy laboratory”.

We will go through the process of analyzing the participants’ ideas for a comedy and we will try to find a balance between terror and fear and the need for working it off through laughter and absurd. Time will show whether our ideas outlive difficult period of pandemia and its influence on our lives and our reflections – adds Michał Walczak.

Michał Walczak is a playwright and director, one of the creators of Warsaw’s “A fire in a brothel” ("Pożar w Burdelu"), a political and literary cabaret. He is considered to be one of the most interesting authors of Polish young generation. His plays were staged in National Theatre in Warsaw (“Piaskownica” – “A Sand-Pit”, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki), the Helena Modrzejewska National Old Theatre in Cracow (“Nocny autobus” – “The Night Bus””, directed by Jarosław Tumidajski) or in the Jerzy Szaniawski Drama Theatre in Wałbrzych (“A Sand-Pit”, directed by Piotr Kruszczyński). Hie plays were also directed by Paweł Miśkiewicz, Giovanny Castellanos and Tomasz Man.

As a director he debuted in 2003 in Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw (his own play “Podróż do wnętrza pokoju” – “A Journey into the Room Interior”). He received many distinctions and awards in different festivals in Poland. He received European Authors Prize during Heidelberger Stueckemarkt (Heilderberg Play Week) – a theatre festival and competition for emerging playwrights. His plays were translated among others into English, German, Italian, French, Russian, Swedish and Spanish.