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Growing Sideways and Subverting Theatrical Hierarchies: Paweł Miśkiewicz’s Spring Awakening | Waligóra | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966

PUBLISHED BYtype2

Katarzyna Waligóra

Growing Sideways and Subverting Theatrical Hierarchies: Paweł Miśkiewicz’s Spring Awakening

<i>Przebudzenie wiosny</i> [<i>Spring Awakening</i>], Frank Wedekind, dir. Paweł Miśkiewicz, premiere: 5 February 1999, Stary Theatre, Kraków, photo: Wojciech Plewiński

Przebudzenie wiosny [Spring Awakening], Frank Wedekind, dir. Paweł Miśkiewicz, premiere: 5 February 1999, Stary Theatre, Kraków, photo: Wojciech Plewiński

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This present article offers an analysis of the archive of the production of Frank Wedekind’s play Spring Awakening directed by Paweł Miśkiewicz, which opened at the National Stary Theatre in Kraków in 1999. The production closed after a run of thirteen performances. Based on documents and the accounts of those who worked on the production, the author investigates why the life of the 1999 staging of Spring Awakening was so brief. Reconstructing the production itself, and the making of it, is focused on two principal themes: casting emerging actors (some of them drama school students) in the lead roles, which constituted a serious breach of the theatre’s received customs, and setting queer sexual desire in motion within the production. The author considers the relation between the queer potential of Spring Awakening and the traditional theatre aesthetics in keeping with which it was made.

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Katarzyna Waligóra


is a Ph.D. student at the Theatre and Drama Department at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, theatre critic and theatre educator. She regularly contributes to the theatre journal Didaskalia and has published a book on theatre props: ‘Koń nie jest nowy’. O rekwizytach w teatrze [‘The horse isn’t new’: On Props in the Theatre]. She is currently researching embarrassing performances by women in the public sphere and failed theatre productions.

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