The Theatre of Gardzienice celebrated its 40th Anniversary last weekend during their International Festival of Wandering Theatres. Nine third year Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance students, from the European Theatre Arts (BA Hons) programme, were invited to participate in the celebrations with their performance of ‘The Wedding’ based on Stanisław Wyspiański’s text. The performance was created under the direction of Włodzimierz Staniewski and Maciej Gorczyński, in collaboration with members of the company during the students’ 10-week placement with Gardzienice in the spring of 2017. During this extraordinary placement, the ETA students were immersed in the company’s training methods, life and performance practice.
Student Tiffer Hutchings said,
’We are deeply humbled to have been invited back to perform in Gardzienice and to represent not only Rose Bruford College, but the U.K. itself. This Festival has been a celebration of international collaboration in a time overshadowed by political uncertainty in terms of our relationship to Europe and the world. We have experienced many valuable lessons in terms of rehearsal and performance practice, and cherished in the opportunity to work with artists from other countries and to consider the challenges of performing in front of a large international audience.’
The 7th International Wanderer’s Festival involved performances and theatre companies from Turkey, Ukraine, Poland and the U.K based around the themes of marriage and mating. Alongside the performances the programme included actor training sessions, discussion panels and an Arts and multimedia exhibition exploring “Gardzienice 1977-2017’’. The event of the 40th Anniversary was celebrated on the 29th September 2017 in the presence of representatives of the Polish Authorities, the Media, past members of Gardzienice from the last forty years, including ETA Programme Director, Alexia Kokkali, and guests from all around the world including Rose Bruford College’s Head of School of Performance, Niamh Dowling, and former Principal, Professor Michael Earley.
Alexia Kokkali, European Theatre Arts Programme director, notes,
“We are honoured that our students were invited to be part of this momentous occasion in European and World Theatre history. From its humble beginnings forty years ago to now, W. Staniewski and Gardzienice have inspired many generations of theatre-makers and have shaped theatre practice in the 21st century. Our collaboration with the European Centre of Theatre Practices Gardzienice is an embodiment of the ethos of the European Theatre Arts programme, which promotes the crossing of cultural, intellectual and geographical boundaries as a source of inspiration, investigation and creativity. We are looking forward to deepen this partnership in the future.”
TVP KULTURA Covered the event and ran the following news story
Participating European Theatre Arts Students
Aidan Berry, Paige Baker-Carol, Aran Cherkez, Alice Cockayne, Daniel Graham, Tiffer Hutchings, Matthew Lewis, Grace Scott and Holly Taylor