A Polish Theatre Cookbook

Dara Weinberg reports from rehearsal rooms and interviews with directors in Poland on how US artists can modify or adapt Polish techniques for their own kitchens.

A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook

Onstage Diversity in Postwar Society

9 October 2014

Many Polish theaters seek to explore Poland's diverse heritage or to connect with other cultures in Europe, but lack immediate access to a large multiethnic pool of actors. Despite the obstacle of recent history, many contemporary Polish theaters present and honor different forms of diversity onstage.

A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook

The Closed and Open Door

25 August 2014

One of the stereotypes about the post-Grotowski Polish ensemble theaters is that their processes are rigidly closed and their rehearsal rooms are treated like devotional spaces. There is often a way through a more closed door, but you may have to put on your sweatpants.

Polish theater in rehearsal.
A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook

Rehearsing Without Breaks

10 March 2014

The last two posts of this series have documented the kinds of rehearsal scheduling and breaks that some of the Polish post-Grotowski theaters use. However, in addition to this normal set of practices, on rare occasions, some theaters rehearse without taking any breaks at all.

Two people pulling guns on each other.
A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook

How to Make Rehearsal Time Flexible

21 February 2014

This period of shared, relaxed time puts the performers in harmony with the theater, the rehearsal, and their fellow actors. It's like musicians tuning in the same room together. When I participated in this pre-rehearsal hangout, despite my initial antsiness, and not knowing what to do with this unstructured time, I found that my mind grew calmer. The flexible start was a moment of meditation before a strenuous activity: a deep breath before the dive.

A room of children dancing.
A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook

The Loose 20 Minute Break

9 February 2014

Our US union regulations and laws require us to take breaks of a certain time, at a certain time. But nothing requires us to take *exactly* and *only* 5 minutes every hour or 10 minutes every 90. Why not, as an experiment, give them more? Why not make one break longer, and looser? An ongoing series of reports from rehearsal rooms and interviews with theater people in Poland; how US artists can modify or adapt Polish techniques for their own rehearsal kitchens.

An acting exercise.
A Polish Theater Cookbook, Part Three
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook, Part Three

24 January 2014

Yes, some rehearsals (not all, mind you) are paid, and have to be regulated, legally, as work. But why did we decide, as US practitioners, that theater rehearsals fell so wholly into the realm of work and were so utterly unlike things such as parties or play? Why did we push rehearsals all the way to one end of the work-play spectrum? How did we become afraid of rehearsing without a stopwatch?

A cookbook.
A Polish Theater Cookbook, Part Two
Essay

A Polish Theater Cookbook, Part Two

10 January 2014

We need to spend a little time talking about the Julia Child of Polish theater—Jerzy Grotowski—before we can get on to the contemporary companies which have emerged from this figure's work, and their rehearsal practices. So—who was Jerzy Grotowski? If you've ever seen the film "My Dinner with Andre", you've heard of the experiments of this compelling, controversial, sham-or-shaman theater director.

Introducing A Polish Theater Cookbook
Essay

Introducing A Polish Theater Cookbook

28 December 2013

Dara Weinberg reports from rehearsal rooms and interviews with directors in Poland; how US artists can modify or adapt Polish techniques for their own kitchens.

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Series are collections of content curated around a specific theme. HowlRound works with curators to develop topical pieces meant to spotlight current events and happenings within the commons.