Polish dissident theater

January 18, 2011 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 11
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Open to the Public
Center for Arts and Culture (CAC)
Department of History
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Polish dissident theater. Models of transgression and alternative community
by Juliusz Tyszka, Professor of Theater Studies, Univ. A. Mickiewicz, Poznan

Bronislaw Misztal, “Between the State and Solidarity: One Movement, Two Interpretations - The Orange Alternative Movement in Poland,” The British Journal of Sociology, 43 (1992), 55-78.
Juliusz Tyszka, "Orange Alternative: Street Happenings as Social Performance in Poland, under Martial Law", New Theatre Quarterly 56 (November 1998).
Juliusz Tyszka, "Characters, Connections, Constructing an Action: Forty Years of Theatre of the Eight Day", New Theatre Quarterly 92 (2007), pp. 403-426.
Juliusz Tyszka, "Student Theatre in Poland: Vehicles of Revolt, 1954-57 and 1968-7", New Theatre Quarterly”, 102 (2010), pp. 161-172.

Recommended readings:
Eugenio Barba, Land of Ashes and Diamonds, My Apprenticeship in Poland. Aberystwyth: The Black Mountain Press 1999.
Kazimierz Braun, A History of Polish Theater, Westport,CT: Greenwood Press 1996, pp. 99-131.

The lecture is part of the course Countercultures in the'East Bloc' and former Yugoslavia, 1960-1990.

Following the series of two similar courses in Winter 2009 and 2010, which mainly concentrated on rock music and subculture art developing in this scene, the seminar planned for the winter term 2011will consider the marginal, contested and sometimes illegal cultural production of the socialist period in Central and Eastern Europe from 1960 to 1990, with the focus on the performing arts. Aesthetic innovation, rejection of of ideological tenets and critique of political monopoly, enmeshed and intertwined, made the performing arts a much appreciated cultural realm, applauded and feared for its capacity to shatter and transcend the predictable discourse of controlled media and the predictable dramaturgy of official events. While official repertory companies enjoyed generous governmental support in socialism and operated under close scrutiny of state and party censors, performing artists found ways to create a temporary critical and discursive community with their spectators using an elaborate coded language of allusions and innuendo or staged their performances out of the zones of surveillance - in the amateur and student theaters or even in the private apartments, in village inns, as short-lasting happenings in public spaces, or on the church property that was a no-go zone for the authorities. With several visiting lecturers and some veterans of critical, dissident and subversive stage the seminar will discuss strategies of opposition and resistance, but also censorial mechanisms of the authorities, their ideological sensitivities and retributive deeds. It will also provide an overview of performing aspects of the broader subcultural scene: happenings, actions, body art, etc.