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Casting for foreign theatre creators and performers residing in Poland

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2019

Biennale Warszawa would like to invite foreign actors and performers living in Poland to participate in the casting for a theatre project. The initiator and leader of the project is theatre director Katarzyna Kalwat.

It is a unique moment for Poland. Within the last 3 years, due to the wave of economic migration, Poland has been witnessing rapid and radical changes in the structure of its society. Therefore, what becomes the key issue is he cultural identity of contemporary Poland and the space which is left in it for foreigners and immigrants. There are no national integration programmes that would allow foreigners to build their future in Poland in a safe and stable way. In this case, values like openness, liberalism and progressiveness do not always match the basic experience of the excluded strangers, “aliens” trying to find their place in Poland. For us, theatre creators, equally important are social changes reflected in the space of culture: in theatre and more broadly – on the art job market. The “glass ceiling” is strong both in theatre and in film: unemployed foreign actors do not find work in state cultural institutions. Theatre, traditionally considered as the space of engaged social criticism, avant-garde explorations and institution fighting for freedom, perversely becomes the tool for reinforcing divisions which it claims to combat.

We are inviting migrant artists to work together with us on redefining the meaning of being an actress or an actor and resident of Poland. We want to confront the feeling of alienation and the new meaning of everyday struggle from the stranger’s perspective. Thus, the project aims to launch the study on the essence of the art of acting in the contemporary, multicultural and globalised world. We want to analyse the tension between the creative dimension of actors’ work and building an expression based on their cultural identity. We want to answer questions concerning the strategy migrant actors may adopt to get an opportunity to be employed in their line of work. Must they and can they become “true Poles”, ridding themselves of their identity, accent, tradition and skin tone? These experiences help us to formulate our shared dream and plans for the future.

Apart from their readiness to perform in two shows on a theatre stage, we expect the participants to be ready to share their experiences concerning personal and social contexts, their artistic work as migrants or their inability to work, as well as active participation in the conversation about alternative models, opening up artistic institutions (especially theatres) in Poland to regular cooperation with foreigners.

A significant criterion for participant selection will be their availability for rehearsals: 4 meetings in May (dates TBD) and intense work between 17–22 June. Rehearsals will be held in Warsaw (in Biennale Warszawa main venue and TR Warszawa). The performances will be held in TR Warszawa on 21 and 22 June 2019, as a part of this year’s edition of Biennale Warszawa.

The project also provides the opportunity to collaborate with Biennale Warszawa in the coming years and envisions active support for the creators in networking with other artistic institutions in Poland.

Project schedule

31 March 2019

deadline for applications

4 April 2019

announcement of casting participants list

April 2019

castings – exact time and venue will be communicated to the invited artists

May 2019

4 meetings

17-22 June 2019

rehearsals and shows

How to apply?

The decision to invite to the casting will be based on the assessment of the applicant’s CV containing the artistic output to date and a short description of the motivation to participate in the project (1000 characters max.) Due to the organisation of rehearsals and the open performance concluding the project, applicants should be able to communicate in Polish and/or English well enough to function independently and freely interact with the ensemble and the audience.

What we offer:

– remuneration for the work on the performance (remuneration will be equal for all creators participating in this project; its amount will be communicated during the casting interview)

– acting work suited to the participants

– assistance in networking with theatres in Poland

– opportunity to participate in events organised by Biennale Warszawa

Please note: We do not cover the cost of travel and stay in Warsaw.

How to apply?

The application in an electronic form in Polish or English (CV with a short description of the motivation) should be sent in a single file to the e-mail address:

(recommended file format for the application: PDF).

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