Theatre Węgajty. Fieldwork Project
11-042 jonkowo     węgajty 18     phone/fax: (0048-89) 5129297     art director: wacław sobaszek    
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Iwona - Married


directed by: Wacław Sobaszek

The ensemble consists of actors of "Węgajty" theatre and residents of DPS - Social Care Home in Jonkowo. It is our second attempt of coming into grips with the work of Gombrowicz. After "Synczyzna" made 5 years ago, based on fragments of "The Wedding" and "Trans-Atlantic", we came back to the texts of the author of "Ferdydurke". As a result of that, the play "Iwona - married" came into being, which is also the result of a two-year collaboration process of the theatre and the Social Care Home milieu.

Gombrowicz's material seemed on one hand promising, on the other - insufficient. On one hand - real mastery in portraying inter-human situation, based on deep hypocrisy, when the family - as if Polish, traditional, as if royal - receives Iwona as a candidate to marry Filip, treacherously striving to annihilate her. One has to admit that this little, surreal, pre-war tableau seemed to appeal strongly to our today imagination, recalling a whole series of various examples of hypocrisy being present in our everyday life and evoking concern about the borders of safety in our own world. What kind of game is going on here? In Greek, hipokrites used to mean not only a hypocrite but also an actor. Who is then playing whom? The boundaries of reality began to blur for us. As if we were getting immersed in a dream. Apparently the power of this seemingly old-fashioned text is not extinct yet. The master of used-to-be avant-garde used to say that his literary method is as if practicing dream. If so, why wouldn't one try to go further, deeper, to pass "from dream to dream", as it was proposed by Bruno Schultz? The dreamlike matter of "The Wedding" as a prolongation, intensification of "Iwona"? Well, its charm lied in its very light , subtle way of suggesting the process of influence on an individual, taking place in a toxic environment. If we, however, started to follow this suggestion, why not try to go further? Dream can be a shelter, a haven, a way of tearing apart from reality, but when we try to experience it more intensely, as a nightmare, we will find return, we will wake up.

Apart from linking two dramatic texts, "Iwona" and "The Wedding", we tried to bring into play passages from other texts by the same author. The initial immersion into dream, at the same time being a waking up to life was taken from "Ferdydurke", from its first words. Travestied passages from Gombrowicz's story "The Rat" served the purpose of giving Iwona's actions some features of a feminist rebellion, of arming her in a power of withstanding male look and opposing the established scenario which was supposed to lead her to suicide. Of saving her.
Wacław Sobaszek


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