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Results of the National Competition for the Staging of Polish Contemporary Art

On 1 July, the Theatre Institute hosted the finale of the 30th anniversary edition of the National Competition for the Staging of Polish Contemporary Art, during which the jury presented the list of winners and runners-up.

The final of the competition saw 14 of the most interesting productions of Polish contemporary drama 2023/2024 compete against each other, with plays from Bydgoszcz, Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Kielce, Toruń, Wałbrzych, Warsaw, Wrocław and Zakopane. The jury composed of: Adam Cywka, Justyna Czarnota-Misztal, Sławomir Narloch, Piotr Olkusz and Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk (chairwoman), decided to award 6 prizes worth a total of PLN 145,000.

The GRAND PRIX of the 30th Polish Competition for the Exhibition of Polish Contemporary Art in the amount of PLN 80,000 was awarded to the performance Dropie by Natalka Suszczyńska, adapted by Michał Kmiecik and directed by Marcin Liber from the Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń.

Other team and individual prizes were also awarded. The Jan Świderski Award, funded by the Management Board of the Dramatic Theatre Section of the Union of Polish Stage Artists, was awarded ex aequo to Karolina Kowalska and Piotr Biedroń for their roles in the play Beautiful Zośka by Justyna Bilik and Marcin Wierzchowski, directed by Marcin Wierzchowski from the Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk.

photo:Natalia Kabanow

Prizes and distinctions were also awarded by the competition's Artistic Commission, which deliberated during this year's edition and was composed of: Jacek Sieradzki (chairman), Dominik Gac, Piotr Hildt, Anna Jazgarska, Szymon Kazimierczak, Andrzej Lis and Wanda Świątkowska.

The Commission awarded prizes to theatres that focused on Polish contemporary plays in the past season. The main prize of PLN 80,000 was awarded to the Maria and Edmund Wierciński Contemporary Theatre in Wrocław for its consistent investment in Polish drama, including the Zone of Contact playwriting competition, which has been organised for the past eight years, as well as the careful introduction of the awarded texts into the repertoire.

The Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk was recognised for creating bold, often risky premières of texts written for the stage by home-grown authors. The Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Kielce was awarded for its unambiguous focus on contemporary Polish literature, as evidenced by the five premières submitted to the Competition. The award was also given to the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków for the level of performance, attractiveness and diverse treatment of biographical material in productions dedicated to extraordinary personalities.

Distinctions were awarded to the Academy of Theatre Arts in Kraków Branch in Wrocław for the production of the diploma play Bowie in Warsaw by Dorota Masłowska, directed by Jarosław Tumidajski, extending the stage life of this drama. The Analog Foundation was distinguished for Milk in a Tube, directed by Agata Biziuk and Anna Domalewska, a successful attempt at a portrait of the generation coming of age with Poland's political transformation. The Malabar Hotel Theatre received an honourable mention for its performance 'Impersonal. A romantic programme lined with mycology, esotericism and psychotronics' by Marcin Bartnikowski and Marcin Bikowski. It was considered an artistic tribute to one of the most important phenomena in Polish drama and theatre in recent decades - Miron Białoszewski's Theatre at Tarczynska and Separate Theatre and its accompanying artists.

The Artistic Committee also awarded male and female playwrights. Two authors were awarded: Ishbel Szatrawska and her two plays: 'The Hunt' and 'The Life and Death of Mr Hersh Libkin of Sacramento, California', and Piotr Rowicki and his drama 'W maju się nie umiera. The story of Barbara Sadowska'.