The US premiere of a play by award-winning Polish playwright Magda Fertacz
The Harvard Advocate Building
21 South Street,
Tickets: FREE with RSVP
directed by Eli Zuzovsky
translated by Artur Zapalowski
November 15th and 17th, 6 PM & 9 PM
6 PM performances will be followed by a Q&A with the playwright
Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club at the Harvard University and the Polish Cultural Institute New York are co-presenting the North American premiere of Absynthe, a play by award-winning Polish playwright Magda Fertacz. This immersive theater experience will be presented at the historic building of the Harvard Advocate, the oldest continously-published student art and literature magazine in the U.S.
Absinthe (2005) was presented at the Drama Lab Theatre in Warsaw under the direction of Aldona Figura and won the Second Place Prize at the R@port Festival of Polish Contemporary Art in Gdynia. The play has been translated into many languages and shown at the Pozoriszte Lutaka Theatre in Mostar, the Tmuna Theatre in Tel Aviv and the Observatorija Theatre in Riga, among others.
The play tells the story of Karolina, who on the eve of her wedding kills herself. She leaves one thing for her would-be husband: a videotape which, by recounting episodes from her life, unfolds the sequence of events that led to her death as a young woman in Communist Poland.
Aneta Kyziol, theater critic for „Polityka” says about the play: „Its strength is the accuracy of its observations and the sharpness with which it criticises human relationships based on appearances, conformism and hypocrisy. It seems that we already know everything: a family, which appears normal at first (the father is a university lecturer, the mother stays at home, the daughter is pretty, speaks English), turns out to be dysfunctional. [...] Then why is this performance, composed of stereotypes, so captivating? Because it is well written!”
Magda Fertacz (born in 1975) is a leading representative of a generation of Polish writers who have renewed Polish drama in post-socialist Poland. In her work, Fertacz analyzes interpersonal relations in their purely human aspect against their wider, social context. Her debut play was Dust, which drew special recognition at the Daring Radom competition hosted by the J. Kochanowski Theatre in Radom in 2005 and was later staged at the National Theatre in Warsaw. Her play Absinthe (2005) was presented at the Drama Lab Theatre in Warsaw under the direction of Aldona Figura. Absinthe won the Second Place Prize at the R@port Festival of Polish Contemporary Art in Gdynia. Her play Trash Story, a drama, won the Gdynia Drama Award – one of Poland’s major theater prizes. Trash Story was also a finalist at the Stuckemarkt in Berlin (2012). In 2015, Trash Story had its US premier in Los Angeles and New York.
The Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club was founded in 1908 as the Harvard Dramatic Club, and it is an umbrella organization for campus theater at Harvard College.
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