How Far Can You Go in an Institution? On a Feminist Turn That Wasn't: Agata Adamiecka-Sitek Talks with Milena Gauer and Weronika Szczawińska | Adamiecka-Sitek | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, Milena Gauer, Weronika Szczawińska

How Far Can You Go in an Institution? On a Feminist Turn That Wasn't: Agata Adamiecka-Sitek Talks with Milena Gauer and Weronika Szczawińska


The director, actor and theatre researcher discuss the possibilities and limits of the feminist turn in Polish theatre, analysing its most interesting manifestations (women’s dance theatre, the Chorus of Women, Krzysztof Warlikowski’s version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew). Issues of feminist theatre are explored against the background of the proposal for the democratisation of the rules of work in the theatre – lessening the role of the director in favour of other artists, and especially emancipating actors. The impossibility of a true feminist shift in Polish theatre is described with great candour.


body; dance; censorship; feminism; institutional criticism; misogyny

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Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

(1974), PhD, graduate in cultural studies from the University of Silesia. Author of Teatr i tekst. Inscenizacja w teatrze postmodernistycznym (2006) as well as several dozen essays and articles published in the journals Dialog, Didaskalia, Teatr, Notatnik Teatralny and in essay collections. Founder and editor of two publication series – Inna Scena and Nowe Historie – and editor of numerous books on theatre. Recently led the project and was on the editorial board of the first edition of Jerzy Grotowski’s Teksty zebrane. Works at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, where she manages academic projects, including a programme of research on Polish theatre from a gender and queer perspective. Research on construction of gender and sexuality in Grotowski’s theatre was also the subject of the semester-long course which she designed in 2011 for the Jerzy Grotowski Institute. Worked with Marta Górnicka on the Chorus of Women project. Teaches at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, as well as gender studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Milena Gauer

(1981), actress at the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Olsztyn (since 2005). Also collaborates with the Dramatic Theatre in Warsaw, Łaźnia Nowa Theatre in Krakow and Jerzy Szaniawski Theatre in Wałbrzych.

Weronika Szczawińska

(1981), PhD, theatre director, dramaturge, cultural studies scholar and translator from English. A graduate of the Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the humanities programme at the University of Warsaw (2007), she studied directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In 2007 made her debut at the Polski Theatre in Warsaw, staging Liberation – Rehearsals after Stanisław Wyspiański. Among the plays she has directed are Elfriede Jelinek’s Jackie: Death and the Maiden (Stefan Jaracz Theatre, Olsztyn, 2008), Tadeusz Różewicz’s White Marriage (Stefan Żeromski Theatre, Kielce, 2010), How to Be Loved, based on Agnieszka Jakimiak’s text inspired by the Kazimierz Brandys story and the Wojciech Jerzy Has film (Juliusz Słowacki Baltic Drama Theatre, Koszalin, 2011). In 2014 she directed Genius in a Polo Neck at the National Stary Theatre in Kraków.