Mothers. A Song for the Time of War”

Teatr Powszechny

venue: Polish Theatre, Jerzy Grzegorzewski Stage, ul. Gabrieli Zapolskiej 3
date: 24 March (Sunday) 2024, 18:00
duration: 1h
tickets: 70, 60, 50 zł
performance in Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian with English surtitles

Concept, direction: Marta Górnicka
libretto: Marta Górnicka & team(Ukrainian-Belarusian-Polish)
music: Wojciech Frycz, Marta Górnicka, traditional music
Ukrainian, Belarusian and Polish; quote from „Szczedriwki” by Nikołaj
choreography: Evelin Facchini
set design: Robert Rumas
costumes: Joanna Załęska
dramaturgical cooperation: Olga Byrska, Maria Jasińska
video, video documentation: Michał Rumas, Justyna Orłowska
video projections: Michał Jankowski
lighting: Artur Sienicki
vocal coach and vocal preparation: Joanna Piech-Sławecka
stage manager and assistant director: Bazhena Shamovich
choreographer’s assistant: Maria Bijak
movement workshops: Krystyna Lama Szydłowska

Ukrainian translation of libretto: Olesya Mamchych
Belarusian translation of libretto: Maria Pushkina
English translation of libretto: Aleksandra Paszkowska

consultation in the field of Ukrainian entomusicology: Anna Ohrimchuk
consultation on Ukrainian children’s games: Venera Ibragimova
translation during rehersals: Marharyta Huretskaya
credits preparation : Zofia Szymanowska

producers from Fundacja CHÓR KOBIET: Marta Kuźmiak,
Anna Galas-Kosił
producers from Teatr Powszechny: Magdalena

production: Fundacja CHÓR KOBIET in Warsaw and Maxim Gorki
Theater in Berlinie

in cooperation with: Teatr Powszechny w Warszawie; Festival
d’Avignon; Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne;
SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht); Tangente St. Pölten –
Festival Für Gegenwartskultur (Austria)

Partners of the project: Teatr Dramatyczny im. Gustawa Holoubka; Nowy
Teatr w Warszawie; Instytut Ukraiński; Fundacja dla Wolności w
Warszawie (independent, public non-profit organization operating for mogrants from Ukraine, Czechnya, Belarus, Tajikistan and other countries, who settled in Warsaw and to whom the greatest support is addressed); „Przystanek Świetlica” (a common room for children and migrant youth), Solidarny Dom Kultury „Słonecznik” (center community for Ukrainian artists in Warsaw)
The project is co-financed by the capital city of Warsaw.

PPA production: Karolina Gonera

actresses: Liza Kozlova, Palina Dabravoĺskaja, Svitlana Onischak,
Kateryna Taran, Svitlana Berestovska, Valeriia Obodianska, Sasha
Cherkas, Maria Tabachuk, Yuliia Ridna, Natalia Mazur, Aleksandra
Sroka, Katarzyna Jaźnicka, Bohdana Zazhytska, Anastasiia Kulinich,
Hanna Mykhailova, Katerina Aleinikova, Elena Zui-Voitekhovskaya,
Kamila Michalska, Maria Robaszkiewicz, Polina Shkliar, Ewa

Our show is about women and war.
About defence mechanisms, about responsibility.
About our reaction to war in Europe.
About the rituals of war violence against women and civilians, which are always the same.
(Marta Górnicka)

Twenty-one women: the Ukrainians – refugees from Mariupol, Kyiv, Irpin and Kharkiv – Belarusians and Poles. They sing children’s rhymes and old songs, cast spells and shout about politics.
At the beginning, there is a shchedrivka, a ritual of happiness and rebirth, a wish for all people for a new time and a good life. It’s a strange idea, because the following songs mix a chronicle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the individual stories of the refugee women.
“There are no props, no lighting, no instrumental music, plain costumes, but the audience’s eyes are not left dry,” reported a moved reviewer* after the premiere. “The play shows the war from the point of view of women, persons who have the ‘privilege of escape’ or the curse of powerlessness. It tells of the crimes, of women confined to the sphere of inaction, of their participation in the war reduced to the role of mothers and weepers. (…) We leave the theatre with a feeling of powerlessness in the face of the world’s hypocrisy and with an awareness of our duty to act. With pity and fear. The chorus tells us that we can change reality without actually leaving home”.
* Aniela Bocheńska, e-teatr, “Nowa Siła Krytyczna”

fot. Bartek Warzecha



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