Theatre Studies: Working with Theatre | Plata | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


'Sierakowski', by Komuna//Warszawa, premiere: 19.11.2011. Photo: Magda Mosiewicz.
Tomasz Plata

Theatre Studies: Working with Theatre


The article examines experiences at the Department of Theatre Studies at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw through its history and to the present day, endeavouring to place these experiences in two parallel contexts. First, the achievements of the department are considered with reference to achievements of European academic centers combining theory with the practice of theatre; particularly careful thought is given to the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen. Second, the department is situated against the backdrop of comprehensive processes currently transforming the entire field of academic education in Europe. 

These two themes converge in Tomasz Plata’s polemical position on Artist at Work: Proximity of Art and Capitalism by Bojana Kunst. Kunst, a longtime professor at the Giessen Institute, is unambiguously critical of neoliberal economy and culture; in her view, the sphere of art – particularly performative art – and education is a realm in need of special protection, in order to successfully weaken market dictates. Plata disputes this outlook, proposing an alternative programme derived from the writings of the American liberal and pragmatist Richard Rorty.


Bojana Kunst; Richard Rorty; Giessen School; non-performance; Department of Theatre Studies; Komuna// Warszawa

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Tomasz Plata

heads of the Department of Theatre Studies at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw. He has curated exhibitions and performative actions including RE//MIX, We, the Bourgeoisie, Micro-theatre, 2018. His books include Być i nie być (2009) and Pośmiertne życie romantyzmu (2017). Editor of collective volumes including Strategie publiczne, strategie prywatne. Teatr polski 1990-2005 (2006), RE//MIX. Performans i dokumentacja (2014) and Akademia Ruchu. Teatr (2016). Co-founder of BWA Warszawa Gallery (est. 2011), he was part of its creative team until 2015. Curator of the Akademia Ruchu (A.R. Archive).