ISSN 2451-2966


Ewelina Godlewska-Byliniak, Justyna Lipko-Konieczna

Public to Private: A Theatrical Game with Disability


The authors of this introduction to the book 21 myśli o teatrze [21 Thoughts about Theatre], considering the work of Teatr 21, critically analyse the presence of people with disabilities in theatre and performative arts. The publication is a kind of introduction to a field of research with an extensive tradition developed against a background of disability studies. It aims to introduce Polish readers to the nature of this kind of theatre, and show potential perspectives of description that make it possible to escape the restrictions of stage privacy in which a lack of other opportunities often confines the work of artists with disabilities.


disability studies; engaged art; performativity; social change; subjectivity; Teatr 21

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Ewelina Godlewska-Byliniak

(1982), cultural studies expert, graduate of the College of Inter-faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities at the University of Warsaw; she wrote her PhD dissertation on the radio-logical theatre of Tymoteusz Karpowicz in the university’s Institute of Polish Culture, where she now works as assistant professor in the Section for Theatre and Performance. Member of the Polish Society for Theatre Studies. Author of Tadeusz Kantor: sobowtór, melancholia, powtórzenie [Tadeusz Kantor: Double, Melancholy, Repetition] (2011) and Teatr radio-logiczny Tymoteusza Karpowicza [Radio-logical Theatre of Tymoteusz Karpowicz] (2012). She has published her papers and translations in journals including Didaskalia, Dialog, Konteksty, Przegląd filozoficzno-literacki, Przegląd kulturoznawczy, Dramatika and at She investigates selected theatre phenomena (mostly of 20th century theatre), as well as historical and cultural changeability of the notion of melancholy, the category of the voice in contemporary humanities and the issue of representing otherness (especially bodily otherness) in culture. Currently, her research interests are focused on the category of disability in theatre and performance of the 20th century, reflected in her seminar conducted in the Institute of Polish Culture on the topic ‘Other Bodies: (re)presentations of Non-Normative Bodies in Contemporary Theatre’.


Justyna Lipko-Konieczna

theatre scholar and dramatist, she graduated from the Faculty of Theatre Studies of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw and the doctoral programme of the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw. Member of the research projects ‘HyPaTia’ and ‘Dorman. Archiwum otwarte’ [‘Dorman: An Open Archive’], conducted at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw. In her work, she combines a theoretical perspective with theatrical practice. From 2011 to 2015, she worked as a dramatist in the Stanisław Witkiewicz Studio Theatre in Warsaw; since 2012, as a dramatist in Theatre 21, where people with Down syndrome and autism act. She also cooperated with the Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw, where she co-created productions including Per Gynt. Szkice z Dramatu Henryka Ibsena [Sketches from Henryk Ibsen’s Drama], Klub PolskiCóreczki [Daughters], and with the Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz and with TR Warszawa. Author of dramaturgy and co-author of the screenplay for the play Ciało pedagogiczne [Teaching Staff] directed by Justyna Sobczyk. She co-authored the play Kalina about actress Kalina Jędrusik (Polonia Theatre), and Jak nie teraz to kiedy, jak nie my to kto [If Not Now, When; If Not Us, Who], published in the anthology Transfer! Teksty dla teatru [Transfer!: Texts for Theatre]. Member of the Theatre Educators Association.