East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Brest Drama Theatre's "Dziady" at the Theatre Confrontations in Lublin, 17.10.2015
EEPAP is the co-organizer of the performance of Adam Mickiewicz’s “Dziady” staged by the Brest Drama Theatre during the 20th Theatre Confrontations in Lublin.
The show “Dziady. The Brest Stronghold” (Dziady. Twierdza Brześć) is produced by the netTheatre team, led by the director Pawel Passini, with actors from the Brest Academic Drama Theatre. When the Brest team asked the Polish director to work with them, they requested his project be based on a Polish classic. Passini suggested Dziady (Forefather’s Eve) by Adam Mickiewicz. The response was that this was not Polish, but Belarusian literature, and it became clear that an important aspect of our common heritage had been touched upon, and everything Poland had constructed around Mickiewicz’s epic poem, how it was interpreted, had to be then verified in a new context. New, for as it turned out, Dziady, although indeed a classic work of literature, is not well known in Belarus, and some of it’s sections had never been performed there.
Dziady is a work of art which has often been described as having “revolutionary potential”. In 1960s China, a translation was commissioned, because their government wanted to see for themselves what could be so dangerous about a play which made Polish people go out into the streets protesting after it was performed. According to the team at netTheatre, Dziady allows wonderful work to be done around memory, based on recalling forgotten or marginalised narrations, as well as giving voice to forgotten figures from history. When celebrating forefather’s eve, the ghosts of the dead are called upon to take care of unfinished business and vanish in peace. For Pawel Passini and Patrycja Dołowa, the author of the play, this sort of work with memory is not something new. Freshly revealed and endlessly retold stories were the basis for their famous play Hideout/Kryjówka, which concerned the matter of Jews hiding during German occupation, and at the same time identities which remain concealed. Work on the script forDziady. Twierdza Brześć, much like Hideout/Kryjówka, was preceded by work on memory – listening to and collecting stories from the Polesie region by the author – those which are not told everyday. Contemporary stories were then interwoven into the narrative.
Adam Mickiewicz’s Dziady is a part of shared Belarusian-Polish history, in which identity is not that which is handed down, but that which we create, where a nation is a complex organism whose separate parts create a web of tensions, and prove decisive to the question of who we become.
The premiere of the show will take place during the twentieth edition of the Biała Wieża Festival, one of the most important international theatre festivals in Belarus. The Polish premiere will take place in October 2015, during the Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival in Lublin, supported by the Municipality.
The project is a co-production between the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Brest Dramatic Theatre.
“Dziady. The Brest Stronghold”
Saturday, October 17th, 2015, at 23:00
Direction and music – Paweł Passini
Playwright – Patrycja Dołowy
Sets and costumes – Elena Lola Loli
Visualisation – Maria Porzyc
Translation – Serge Minskevich, Siergei Kavalou
Assistant director – Grzegosz Grecas
Coordinator – Marina Dashuk
To learn more about Theatre Confrontations, visit the festival's website.