General Assembly and Open Session in Warsaw, October 9-11, 2023: A puzzle box without a picture

2023’s roundtable meeting is organized by the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw. Access is provided both in person as well as via youtube stream.

After an internal roundtable meeting the public is warmly invited to take part in the conference:

A puzzle box without a picture

11th of October 2023, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, Jazdów 1, 00-467 Warsaw, Poland

The one-day conference will deal with question of different medial approaches to the documentation and archiving of theatre, such as film, without focussing on the utopian aim to reconstruct a performance – rather, the materials themselves, their potentialities and diversity:

We often like to discuss how to organise performing arts archives, both physical and virtual. But what about the sources collected in those archives? Written and spoken, photographic and phonographic, audiovisual and others? If we are aware that theatre takes place only “here and now”, and that the “there and then” exists only as an afterimage, do we know how to aptly use the preserved documents, which more often than not resemble a jigsaw puzzle box without the corresponding picture? The question we want to ask is not how to faithfully reconstruct a historical performance (this is a utopian concept), but how to resist the temptation of over-interpretation when we try to imagine what is most probable.


9:30     Session opening

Jadwiga Majewska (Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institiute)

9:50     The performance that “does not exist and never did”: Paradoxes of reconstructing a director’s script

Dr. Mateusz Żurawski
(Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute
Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art)


10.30   Break

11:00   Actors’ manuscripts. The acting arcana of the 19th century

Dr. hab. Dorota Jarząbek-Wasyl
(Jagiellonian University)

11.30   “Hamlet” and mijalowcy

Dr. Agnieszka Wójtowicz
(University of Opole)

12.00   Break


12.30   Invisible guardians of the stage: The role of stage managers’ reports in theatre archives

Natalia Cierniak
(Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art)

13:00   Notes on filming theatre: Three recordings of Jerzy Grzegorzewski’s “Little Spirit”

Dr. Wojciech Świdziński
(Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art)


13:30   End of session


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.