By Magda Romanska
Despite its foreign effect, Polish theatre continues to be a secret to many Westerners. This quantity makes an attempt to fill in present gaps in English-language scholarship via providing a old and significant research of 2 of the main influential works of Polish theatre: Jerzy Grotowski’s ‘Akropolis’ and Tadeusz Kantor’s ‘Dead Class’. via analyzing each one director’s illustration of Auschwitz, this research offers a brand new realizing of the way translating nationwide trauma in the course of the prism of functionality can regulate and deflect the that means and reception of theatrical works, either in and out in their cultural and historic contexts.
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Additional resources for The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor: History and Holocaust in 'Akropolis' and 'Dead Class'
Following the November Insurrection, the Polish intelligentsia and political leadership emigrated, with many of them settling down in Paris, which eventually became the center of Polish cultural and political life. The Great Emigration, as it came to be known, had a lasting impact on Polish literature, as nearly all the Polish writers of the era, including Poland’s two national poets, Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki, were part of that wave. As they spent most of their adult lives in exile for political reasons, the experience of exile shadowed their poetry.
Decontextualized, stripped of dignity, they become “small and defenseless,” ridiculously discarded in the despised domain of mundane childhood Sunday-school lessons. These small linguistic flashes represent the crisis of Western civilization, its values and its history. In addition to the broader context, however, each reference also carries its own distinct set of meanings. 207 Mentioning Cleopatra’s nose in a stream of other ancients, Kantor thus performs a sleight of hand, while also making a profoundly ironic comment about the arbitrary nature of history; the life and death of millions of people depends on chance, on a roll of the dice – or a woman’s nose.
What affects the reception of a theatrical work? Or, to quote Robert King: “How and how effectively does the work [of theatre] earn its credibility and project its worth? ”67 In the space between performance and its reception, how is the credibility of the theatre piece affected by its 12 The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor context and its audience? In other words, how does theatre “make meaning”? 68 Is there one, and if so, is it worth discerning? ” Similarly, in both French and German the semantic difference, so marked in Polish, between teatr ubogi and teatr biedny has been erased.
The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor: History and Holocaust in 'Akropolis' and 'Dead Class' by Magda Romanska