ISSN 2451-2966


<i>O mężnym Pietrku i sierotce Marysi. Bajka dla dorosłych</i> [<i>Valiant Pete and Little Orphan Mary: A Fairy Tale for Grownups</i>], Jolanta Janiczak, dir. Wiktor Rubin, premiere: 27 October 2018, Polski Theatre in Poznań, photo: Magda Hueckel
Zuzanna Berendt

A Bit of a Queer Production: What Happens and What Cannot Happen When a Queer Biography Meets Publicly Funded Theatre


The article is a critical analysis of O mężnym Pietrku i sierotce Marysi. Bajka dla dorosłych [Valiant Pete and Little Orphan Mary: A Fairy Tale for Grownups] (Polski Theatre in Poznań, 2018), a production by the writer-director duo Jolanta Janiczak and Wiktor Rubin. The author examines the strategies employed to present onstage at a publicly funded theatre the queer biographies of Maria Konopnicka, a Polish writer who lived and worked at the turn of the twentieth century and was an avid proponent of her nation’s patriotic discourse, and her partner Maria Dulębianka, artist, social activist and campaigner for the rights of Polish women. Zuzanna Berendt explores the artistic, social, and political project embedded in the production and related to the representation of non-heteronormative women in Poland’s public sphere. Analysing the strategies of queer theatre used in the Poznań production, Berendt considers the conditions a female queer biography has to meet to appear onstage at an institutional, publicly funded theatre. She also reflects on the relation between Rubin and Janiczak’s artistic project and the situation of non-heteronormative people in Poland.


Insitutional theatre; Queer; Queer biography

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Zuzanna Berendt

a PhD student at the Theathe and Drama Chair of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. She graduated from Theatre Studies within the scope of Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities at the Jagiellonian University. Her master thesis was awarded with the main prize within the field of theatre, show and performance studies. She has co-founded Pracownia Kuratorska [The Curator Studio] where she is involved in a project of artistic and research residences Biopolis. She is also a member of editorial collective of Online Magazine Teatralia and artistic committee of the 25. National Competition for Staging of Polish Contemporary Performance. She liaises constantly with Didaskalia (theatre journal) and has recently started her cooperation with Dialog (monthly journal).