On the Way to March: the Szczecin Forefathers’ Eve AD 1966 Cover Image

Na drodze do Marca – szczecińskie Dziady 1966
On the Way to March: the Szczecin Forefathers’ Eve AD 1966

Author(s): Maria Makaruk
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Dziady;Polish theatre;20th century Polish history;theatre and politics;Szczecin;

Summary/Abstract: The paper concerns the production of Forefathers’ Eve, directed by Jan Maciejowski at the Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin in 1966. Maciejowski's Forefathers’ Eve – contrary to the philological and stage tradition – was arranged in order according to Mickiewicz's numbering of its parts, and the interpretational emphasis of the drama was put on the final Fourth Part, in which Gustaw-Konrad settled a score with the Priest, his former teacher. The Szczecin Forefathers’ Eve was a generational experience: Maciejowski’s work posed the questions that were fundamental for the generation whose formative experiences were both the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and the Polish October of 1956. Stanisław Bąkowski's stage design left no room for doubt: Forefathers’ Eve was set in the underground sewers of the Uprising. The metaphor of the sewer, used in the film by Andrzej Wajda less than a decade before, took on new meanings in Maciejowski's production. Wajda intended the sewage canal to be a figure of a dead end, which was becoming painfully relevant in the political realities of the time. The production, though appreciated by the critics and the audience, was neglected and marginalised in the official circulation of the PRL culture. Maciejowski, who directed both Forefathers’ Eve and – two years later – Stanisław Wyspiański’s Liberation, paid the price for his work when he lost his position of the Head of the Szczecin theatres. The paper includes a reconstruction of the course of the production, while analyzing its themes and meanings in the context of the upcoming political crisis of 1968.

  • Issue Year: 269/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 38-54
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Polish