The musical about Irena Sendlerowa
The extraordinary person Irena Sendlerowa will be the protagonist of a new musical - "Irena", which is being created on the stage of Teatr Muzyczny in Poznań. The premiere will take place on August 27 th.
The musical dedicated to Irena Sendler - Righteous Among the Nations is the result of Polish-American cooperation. The authors of the libretto - Mary Skinner and Piotr Piwowarczyk - got to know Irena Sendlerowa by making a documentary about her called "In The Name Of Their Mothers." The heroine herself died before its premiere, but the film was seen by over seven million people around the world. The musical was originally was planned to be shown on Broadway, but the pandemic thwarted those plans.
Songs for Irena were written by the Grammy and Pulitzer winner Mark Campbell, the music was composed by Włodek Pawlik, the only Polish Grammy winner in the jazz category. Włodek Pawlik interested Przemysław Kieliszkiewicz in the musical about Irena Sendler.
- My music is a postmodern collage of various contemporary styles, sounds, with elements of R&B, rock, jazz, soul, funky - says Włodek Pawlik. - But the most important thing for me was to convey the spirit of this drama by emphasizing its vocal sequences in the musical layer. It was the first time that I composed for texts in English. It was a great challenge.
Directed by Brian Kite from Los Angeles, choreographed by Dana Solimando, who has prepared many Broadway productions. - In the performance we are looking for answers to the questions: what is it like to be a hero? What are the dark sides of such a situation? What are the challenges and sacrifices associated with this? We want "Irena" to move emotions, but also to encourage reflection - assures Brian Kite, director and dean of the UCLA Theater, Film and Television Department .-- A large part of this story is played out in the head, in the memory of Irena Sendler and the children she saved. Music helps us get there.
Oksana Hamerska and Judyta Wenda are playing the main role in the performance. Irena Sendlerowa will be accompanied by her friends: Magda (Joanna Rybka-Sołtysiak, Urszula Laudańska) and Jaga (Katarzyna Tapek, Aleksandra Daukszewicz and Olena Yakymchuk). Among the heroes modeled on authentic characters are also Jan Dobraczyński - the boss of Irena and Jaga (Łukasz Brzeziński, Tobiasz Szafraniak), and Janusz Korczak (Przemysław Łukaszewicz). One of the most important role will be played by Mrs. Grinberg (Anna Lasota, Agnieszka Wawrzyniak), mother of seven-year-old Icek (Piotr Hamerski and Olaf Nowak). In the role of Irena's fiancé, Adam, we will see Radosław Elis and Marcin Wortmann, who is well known in Łódź. - We want not only to reach for well-known Broadway titles, but also to develop a Polish musical - underlines the director of the Musical Theater in Poznań, Przemysław Kieliszewski.