Do you suppose things will ever be any different?
(Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz)
The history of the loss of independence is, to a major degree, the history of national trauma, which is both a construct of the collective consciousness and a subjective experience filtered through individual perception. It is this collision of two experiences – social and private – that inspired the creation of two separate plays, presented during the second evening of Independences.
The hecatomb of the twentieth-century wars, including the conflict that is still the source of the most anxieties, World War II, which involved a brutal occupation, has risen to become a national myth, which is here deconstructed by two artists, drawing from various theatrical traditions.
How is the word “independence” comprehended by a boy who triumphantly shouts: “Long live Poland”? How does his perception change when he becomes a man? This somnambulistic and extremely spare play by Radosław B. Maciąg is not only a reconstruction of martyrological myths of Polishness, where a significant role is played the opposing figures of the evil Gestapo officer (Grzegorz Grabowski) and the noble insurgent (Stanisław Linowski), it also demonstrates the process by which one’s views mature and are verified. Another perspective on independence, also focused on the individual, is offered by Karol Klugowski, using an avant-garde form to present the role of the artist, speaking up on the most pressing political and social events. Alluding to the theatre of Bogusław Schaeffer, the actors (Błażej Peszek, Przemysław Przestrzelski, Mikołaj Kubacki) grapple with the substance of their own bodies; these become instruments ground in the gears of History.
These plays were selected from the Młodzi w Starym competition organized by the National Stary Theatre, in cooperation with the S. Wyspiański Theatre Academy in Krakow.