ISSN 2451-2966


Dorota Buchwald

Institution: the Defence of Necessity


Publicly funded theatres in Poland should be protected. A lack of object knowledge and inadequate awareness of historical processes among public officials; a lack of a coherent, nationwide policy on matters relating to theatre; non-consensual institutional critique and the pressure exerted on publicly funded theatre from many directions – are all obstacles to thinking about the artistic institution as a beneficial and necessary thing. If points of view do not change and a co-operative approach is not adopted, the political, exclusive and mercantile interests of theatre ‘players’ may soon bring about the profound destruction of Poland’s system of subsidized theatres, still in existence today. Infighting and lack of co-operation weaken theatre, which operates across three sectors of the economy (the public, the private and the non-governmental sector). It’s astonishing how little effort it takes to persuade those working in theatre that, whenever the authorities take any action relevant to the arts, economics must invariably be the deciding factor. Foundations, associations and private theatres are unable to register the facts and accept that their development and improvement is directly proportionate to the condition of public artistic institutions. Publicly funded theatres, for their part, should not succumb to pressure, but fight instead for their position of institutions that provide models and set quality standards – from artistic quality to quality of management and of respecting workers’ rights, to the struggle to increase the arts’ share in the local budget.                 



artistic institution; institution; law; system of theatre; Theatre Institute; publicly funded theatre

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Dorota Buchwald

director of the Theatre Institute in Warsaw (Poland). She graduated from the Theatre Academy in Warsaw in 1985. Since 1995, she has edited the major Polish theatre journal Dialog. As a documentation specialist, she has cooperated with the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Science and the British and Commonwealth Studies Department in Łódź. She leads the team at the Polish Academy of Science, which works on the Internet dictionary of drama staged in Poland since 1989. She is editor of books and coordinates work on the Theatre Institute portal and the electronic Polish Theatre Encyclopedia at