East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Teatr Strefa Ciszy/The Zone of Silence Theatre, Poland

Sylwia Śmigiel
+48 61 867 17 85


Street Performance - Salto Mortale - Canon 5d Mark II

Information about institution: 

One of the most significant alternative theatre groups in Poland. Situated in Poznań and its founder and leader is Adam Ziajski. Key personnel: Grzegorz Ciemnoczołowski, Paulina Grochowska, Piotr Kamiński, Artur Klimaszewski, Kacper Lipiński, Wojciech Luchowski, Iwona Kotzur Dominika Olszowy, Michał Paszkowski, Julian Pęksa, Alicja Piotrowska, Przemysław Prasnowski, Anna Rozmianiec, Adrian Rzetelski, Hacen Sahraoui,Ewa Sobiak, Adam Swarcewicz, Hubert Wińczyk, Adam Wojda, Marcin Wolny, Adam Ziajski.

Short history: 

The Zone of Silence Theatre was founded in 1993, and the interactive relation between actors and audience, along with the element of playfulness and theatrical festivity, has played a crucial part in the group’s works. “Peepholes”, “The City Vaudeville” and “The Neighbour 2000” were shows where anyone could participate. The group has earned a reputation for bringing up a wide range of subjects that wittily exposing human behavior and the rules of social life. With shows like: “Postscriptum”, “Pressing”, “Cocktail with a Still Life in the Background” or “Learning to Fly” the company reflected on such issues as: consumerism, objectification of human relations, conformity, the boundaries of freedom or the omnipresent pressure to compete.

They have also been experimenting at various spaces, and theatrical and aesthetic conventions, which led to performances in spaces such as: a public fountain (“The City Vaudeville”), town hall façade (“Chimes”), private apartment (“Lodging”), a former synagogue used as public swimming pool (“DNA”) and old slaughterhouse (“36,6”). Their last significant success was “Salto Mortale”, a show created in cooperation with Clipa Theater from Tel Aviv as a part of The Polish Year in Israel. During the 2008/2009 season, the group went back to the idea of interventions in urban spaces, producing a happening – “Last Minute” and a street action – “Domino”.

The most important projects: 

The most important projects:

  • “Peepholes” – company happening during the Malta International Theatre Festival. Even if not part of the official programme, the action proved to be the most favored and frequently mentioned event of the festival. Performed successfully for the next ten years, “Peepholes” defined the individual style of the company as a street theatre experimenting with various forms of interaction with the audience.
  • “Learning to fly” – a provocative show about our conformity and the need for freedom, performed with the voluntary participation of 60 audience members cast as prisoners. Its première was included in the official celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Poznań 1956 protests (Poznań June’56). Later that year, the show was presented as a part of the main programme of the International Theatre Festival Malta in Poznań and the Aurillac festival in France (producer of the show).
  • “36,6” was part of the “Project City” created in cooperation with the theatres: Theatre of the Eighth Day(Ósmego Dnia), Body Snatchers Theatre (Porywacze Ciał), Usta Usta and The Zone of Silence Theatre (Strefa Ciszy). In the spaces of the Old Slaughterhouse in Poznań, the company presented a fantastical vision of the world as an enormous bureaucratic machine. Later that year, the show was praised as the most interesting event of the Malta festival
  •  “Salto Mortale” – a dark circus act for six pianos and twelve performers in a touching show inspired by an unusual story from the end of the Second World War when the Soviet soldiers plundered the German city Stettin (currently Polish Szczecin) and confiscated hundreds of pianos in order to send them to the USSR. Kilometers of clustered pianos waited for the transport along the rail tracks. Yet, for unknown reasons they were never removed. Abandoned and forgotten, they gradually decayed over years until they finally fell apart completely, taking away a piece of the city’s memory and a part of the old order and culture. Each of them represented an individual human tragedy and all together – profaned and left behind, they became a symbol of a culture devastated by the monstrosities of war. “Salto Mortale” presents the story in a metaphorical way, creating an image of a bizarre funeral procession of pianos conducted by circus artists. This peculiar and twisted circus troupe transforms the mournful ceremony into a destructive frenzy. At first, the instruments become objects of grotesque entertainment, before their form and idea consequently is brought to the ultimate disintegration.
International cooperations: 

International cooperation:

“Salto Mortale” is an international co-production of the Zone of Silence Theater from Poznan and the Clipa Theater from Tel Aviv, created as a part of the Polish Year celebrations in Israel, 2008. Premiered in Poland on June 25th (Poznań, Poland), International Theatre Festival Malta 2008. Israeli premiere on October 16th (Tel Aviv, Israel), Polish Year in Israel 2008-2009

During its years of existence, the theatre has taken part in various international theatre festivals such as:

  • Festival International de Théâtre de Rue AURILLAC 2006, France
  • Festival Junger Polnischer Kunst und Kultur TERrA POLSKA 2004 in Berlin, Germany
  • UNITHEA Europaeisches Theatertreffen 2008 in Frankfurt, Germany
  • FiraTarrega 2010 in Tarrega, Spain
  • Halmstads Internationella Gatuteaterfestival 2003, Falkenberg, Sweden
  • Polish Year in Ukraine 2004, Kiev,Ukraine
  • Budapest Autumn Festiwal PLACCC 2008, Hungary
  • Watch This Space International Outdoor Festival 2004, London, UK
  • Stockton International Riverside Festival 1998,mStockton ,UK
The most important awards: 

The theatre has won many prestigious awards:

  • 1996 - ORFEUSZ award for the best fringe production on the Malta Festival.
  • In the summary of the theatre season by critics and journalists of a monthly magazine “Teatr”, “The City Vaudeville” was acclaimed as best fringe theatre performance.
  • 1998 - Leading Polish daily newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" awarded “Peepholes” at the Łódź Theatre Encounters Festival.
  • Adam Ziajski received the Young Art Medal from the Publishing House Głos Wielkopolski.
  • 2002 - Adam Ziajski received The City of Poznań Art Scholarship
  • 2004 - further praise of the “36,6” play: the finale of the 10th National Competition for Staging Contemporary Polish Drama and the Minister’s of Arts and Culture Prize for visual concept presented to Ilona Binarsch and Adam Wojda. Also, critics and journalists of a monthly magazine “Teatr” voted 36,6 the best fringe theatre performance of the season.
  • 2013 - Buława Hetmańska -audience award on the 36th edition of Theater Summer in Zamość, for best festival performance.


The establishment of a new cultural institution “Scena Robocza” - Its main goal will be to realize a theatre residence programme and create a place for regular presentations of independent groups and solo artists.



“World upside down – 10 years of The Zone of Silence Theatre” ("Świat na opak – 10 lat Teatru Strefa Ciszy ") - Publication on the occasion of 10th Anniversary of the theatre. The book summarizes and documents the existing projects.