ISSN 2451-2966


Paulina Kubas

Theatre Unmasked: An Experimental Production of Stanisław Wyspiański’s Daniel at Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Warsaw


The present article undertakes an analysis of a production of Daniel by Stanisław Wyspiański (premiere: 6 December 1932), staged by the Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Warsaw’s Żoliborz district. The Żeromski Theatre, run by actor Irena Solska, was one of the most innovative interwar institutions and companies. The production which is the focus of this article has remained relatively little known and seldom quoted, both in historiography and in the context of contemporary-theatre studies. The author examines the production in a number of contexts: Irena Solska’s earlier life and achievements, Warsaw’s interwar theatre milieu and the reception of the original text. She analyses the innovativeness of the Żeromski Theatre with regard to its theoretical manifestos, institutional practice and aesthetic premises. The article presents the production not only as a piece of engaged theatre, but also one that was ahead of its time when it came to playing with convention, the audience and the culturally conditioned reception of a work of dramatic art. Danielemerges as an early attempt to introduce deconstructive practices into Polish theatre: practices taking form off its pedestal and presenting the entire text of a play in keeping with the letter of the original – but also with emancipatory practices, making company relations with audience a rightful feature of the encounter that is theatre.


auto-theatre; avant-garde; community; deconstruction; innovation; theatre organisation

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Paulina Kubas


has graduated from the Polish Department of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, with a degree in Theatre Studies and Performatics. Her MA dissertation looked into Warsaw’s pre-war Stefan Żeromski Theatre, with a special focus on the institution’s links to the mechanisms of participatory art. Her interests include Polish theatre in the first half of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the interwar period. She moderates a theatre-theme website for students.