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The results of the 7th edition of „Comedywriting”!

The all-Poland competition for writing a modern Polish comedy, organized by Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, has just come to a close. The jury awarded three prizes and a special distinction. Below you can find the results of the 7th edition of „Comedywriting” competition!

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),
  • 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) goes to Paweł Mossakowski for „Zielona polana” („Green Glade”),
  • 2nd prize (20.000 zloties) goes to Jerzy Rubaszewski for „Kamienica przy teatrze” („Tenement House Next To the Theatre”)
  • 3rd prize (15.000 zloties) goes to Katarzyna Knychalska for „Dzień ósmy” („The Eighth Day”),
  • special distinction (10.000 zloties) goes to Marcin Bałczewski for „VHS”.

- All competition works bear the emblems. It is always an exciting moment when after the decision has been made the jury secretary opens the envelopes and than we get to know who the winners are. We are always curious whether the prizes went to a novice or to a playwright with some achievements – Ewa Pilawska says. She also recollects the beginnings of the idea of „Comedywriting” competition and the start of Polish Comedy Centre project. – We love to laugh but we are often uncertain whether it befits us to have a laugh. We love comedies but we oficially distance ourselves from those pieces of art which have a comedy potential… When I created Polish Comedy Centre in Powszechny Theatre in Łódź and when I started „Comedywriting” competition, I wanted to encourage Polish playwrights to answer the following questions: Is there a Polish sense of humour in theatre? Cannot a comedy be brilliant and witty? Cannot it refer to reality in a shrewd way? Cannot it reach the most important problems? Cannot it cut us to the quick? Does a comedy hit our feeling of comfort, our passiveness in the best possible way? Do irony and distance provoke the biggest courage in asking questions? I was keen on creating such a laboratory of comedy where we would be able to seek answers to the questions – Ewa Pilawska adds.                

- The project of Polish Comedy Centre originated in the need of restoring its importance, value and artistic potential to comedy. I am sure that sensibility and openess to comedy can create new perspectives for the theatre, perspectives that have so far been closed because we have been stuck in our stereotypes. „Comedywriting” competition is a part of the comedy laboratory. It is the only drama competition in Poland entirely dedicated to comedy.

- The first edition of the competition was settled in 2008. Since then we have inspired many talented authors. The plays specially for the competition were written, among others, by Radosław Paczocha, Jarosław Jakubowski, Wojciech Bruszewski… It was thanks to “Comedywriting” that Juliusz Machulski started to write comedies for the theatre – Ewa Pilawska says. – So far we have received more than 1000 comedies. We published “An Anthology of Modern Polish Comedy”. But from my point of view the most important thing is that we premiered many of the plays in Powszechny Theatre. Of course it was an artistic risk but if we want to find a new comedy language, new comedy aesthetics, we have to take that risk – Pilawska sums it up.

In Powszechny Theatre we produced the following plays that had been written for the competition: “Psychotherapolitics” (“Psychoterapolityka”) by Dominik W. Rettinger, “Next-Ex” by Juliusz Machulski, “Reshuffle” (“Roszada”) by Paweł Mossakowski, “Kochanowo i okolice” (“Kochanowo And Surroundings”) by Przemysław Jurek, “My Son Brother’s Mother” (“Matka brata mojego syna”) by Juliusz Machulski, “Release Carp” (“Uwolnić karpia”)  by Piotr Bulak, “Summer Villa” (“Letnisko”) by Fred Apke, “Life” (“Życie”) by Jarosław Jakubowski, “Dryl” by Wojciech Bruszewski and “The Spitting Image of My Son-In-Law” (“Wykapany zięć”) by Krzysztof Kędziora.                             

The “Comedywriting” plays we staged by theatres in Poland and in Europe. Three plays written by Juliusz Machulski: “Next-Ex”,  “My Son Brother’s Mother” (“Matka brata mojego syna”) and “Brunch” were shown in TV Theatre, directed by their author. “A Visit” (“Wizyta”) by Radosław Paczocha was also produced by TV Theatre. In 2020 “The Spitting Image of My Son-In-Law” (“Wykapany zięć”) by Krzysztof Kędziora, directed by Paweł Szkotak, was presented in TV Theatre live from Small Stage of Powszechny Theatre in Łódź. It was the first live TV Theatre presentation during the pandemic.

The 7th edition of „Comedywriting” competition was organized under the honorary patronage of Hanna Zdanowska, the Mayor of the City of Łódź