Welcome to summer at CR. This issue we visit some great cities, just long enough to catch some theatre – that urban art form – and talk to an award-winning filmmaker; see an exhibit. Then wrap it up at the New York Casino, the pub that has no gambling tables but a lot of food and drink… in the heart of 19th-century San Francisco.
In 2010, the International Theatre Institute gave Monique Stalens the Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Award. How fitting, because it was Witkacy (Witkiewicz) who spoke of theatre as a strange dream, unfathomable, unlike anything else in the world. Such was Stalens’ life.
“When enemies agree to sit at the table, push away anger and desire for revenge, they find a way to compromise,” IPN historian Przemysław Gasztold-Seń tells Bobbie Traut. Democracy is always a work in progress, and Gasztold-Seń remains optimistic.
Traveling back in time again to 19th Century California where those expert tour guides, Lynn Ludlow and Maureen Mroczek Morris, take us to San Francisco’s lively gathering spot, the New York Casino. Owned by General Kris, the handsomest general in the Union Army, the Casino is known for its convivial spirit along with a steady flow of spirits. A regular patron is Rudolf Korwin Piotrowski who likes nothing more than philosophical discussions about the true nature of “Polishness” between visits to the generous – and free – offerings at the General’s table.
Hard to trace the first encounter between Frederique Michel and Jan Kott, but their meeting and collaboration at City Garage eventually led to Polish Theatre Month in Los Angeles. Maria Pilatowicz tells the story.
Where would you meet Studs Terkel, Zadie Smith and Małgorzata Pospiech; see John Cusack’s adaptation of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” as well as Theatre Banialuka’s “Opowieść o chłopcu i wietrze;” in fact a non-stop stream of eclectic, daring, stimulating events? Megan Geigner leads the way to Chicago’s fabulous Chopin Theatre.
Join the conversation about the quiet little film that took the noise capital of the world by storm, and about a startling opera that was long suppressed. Check out Silicon Valley and then gaze in awe at the sight of Poland’s little koniks, the descendants of the ancient Tarpans, as they are once again released into the wild. As always, cosmoPoles are everywhere (even the horses!), with great stories everywhere.
Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera, The Passenger, is not only a complicated work of art, but a complicated work of historical trauma. Magda Romanska reviews the work with a brilliant survey that covers the opera, the history, the novel by Zofia Posmysz, the film by Andrzej Munk, and the responses to the production.
They received gifts of dates, nuts, roasted peas with raisins, and juicy pomegranates; visited museums, mosques and bazaars; and were always greeted with kindness. All this in what has often been called the most beautiful city in the world.