Imagine that, as part of an art project, somewhere on the way between Krakow and Wrocław, a camera has been set up in the bushes in front of a gas station. The frame shows a fragment of the building with the pumps, a bit of the landscape, sometimes people appear. For two thousand hours the camera records reality. The recorded material undergoes artistic interpretation, the montage reveals an algorithm of similarities between people and situations. The aim of the “Provincial Actors: The Doppelgänger” project is to unite two acting ensembles – the National Stary Theatre in Krakow and the Polski Underground Theatre in Wrocław. Both theatres have recently been through a struggle to maintain artistic independence, to carry on working, using various strategies of resistance with varying consequences. The “Provincial Actors: The Doppelgänger” (the Krakow play) and “Provincial Actors: Autobiographies” (the Wrocław production) project is a utopian effort to bring together the two ensembles, not in one space, but in two different, though nearly identical plays, which dialogue with each other, copy each other, can be performed together or separately. The process of rehearsing the two productions was a long-term endeavour. In January 2020, the first stage began in Krakow, based on improvisations and journal-keeping. Stage two began in September and will continue until the premiere in late October. Meanwhile, rehearsals were held in Wrocław; the opportunity for the two parts to meet was provided by the Divine Comedy Festival.
The script incorporates the actors’ improvisations and fragments of Stanisław Wyspiański’s “Liberation”.
The play’s set design was inspired by Edward Hopper’s (1882-1967) painting Gas, 1940, oil on canvas, 66.7 cm x 102.2 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
The copy used in the set was painted by Jan Płatek.