19 edycja

… don’t wait

Permanent temporariness is a sociological term that defines the state of Polish work migrants who have been abroad for many years. They postpone their decision to come back to Poland as they constantly set new goals and strive to achieve them. A new car, a bigger apartment, a house, refurbishment, university education of children, and repayment of a loan – the needs are growing and so are the expenses. Most Poles are over-qualified for the jobs they perform abroad; they set their ambitions aside and take the jobs that the citizens of a given country do not want; nonetheless, their loss and profit balance of emigration does not allow them to arrive at a clear decision about coming back. When asked about when they are coming back, they answer: “I don’t know,” “in a while,” “not yet,” or “we’ll see.” They fear unemployment, low income, bureaucratisation, and inefficient social care. More and more often this indecision is conditioned by ideological reasons and social moods in Poland. And although life in exile is not a bed of roses, and the aggressive and ruthless Western capitalism poses new challenges and does not spare anyone, a growing number of Poles decide to emigrate from Poland, regardless of age, education and social status. The decision whether to come back or to settle abroad for good, is not an obvious one anymore.

This is how the life is suspended. Some people bring their families abroad, some families collapse. People are suspended between the two countries. What is contemporary emigration like? Who leaves the country to seek a better future? Who do they think they are? What is their attitude towards the country they live in and the country they come from? What is their life outside Poland like? How do they see Poland? What to they think about themselves and how do they treat each other? How do they cope with everyday problems? What are their dreams? What are their goals?

We were inspired by a drama “Kebab”, a story of three Romanians living in Dublin, written by Gianina Cărbunariu, a Romanian dramatist. The text seemed so universal and familiar that we decided to use it as the basis for the story of Polish labour emigration of the 21st century.

Together with Szymon Bogacz – another dramatist, set designer – Katarzyna Szukszta, choreographer – Katarzyna Kostrzewa and the actors: Kornelia Agnowska, Włodzimierz Dyła, Michał Kosela and Piotr Mokrzycki, we attempted to define ourselves in the place and time we live in. Drawing from our observations and experiences, conversations with the emigrants and relating to the Polish emigration tradition, we are trying to find answers to the following questions: What does it mean to be a Pole in the United Europe? Which circumstances determine our definition of patriotism? Are there any limits to the love of our homeland; what are they? And finally, what determines the decisions and why it is usually money?
Robert Zawadzki

Robert Zawadzki (born in1980) – actor, graduate of the Wrocław Acting Department at PWST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow, and a student of Management for Artists and Culture Animators (Faculty of Management) at Warsaw University. He cooperated with different theaters in Poland and abroad, including: Laboratorium Dramatu (Laboratory of Drama) in Warsaw, Scena Prapremier InVitro in Lublin, H. Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica, Bałtycki Teatr Dramatyczny (Baltic Dramatic Theatre) in Koszalin, Na Woli Theatre in Warsaw, Studio Theatre in Warsaw, Teatr Polski (Polish Theatre) in Bielsko-Biała; two years ago started cooperation with the Irish National Theatre – Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He won the Fringe First award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2013). He also guest starred at the Soho Theatre, Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

His directorial debut was “Zabawy na podwórku” (Games in the Backyard), the play he produced in cooperation with Kochanowski Association and Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole (2012)


script: Giannina Cărbunariu and Szymon Bogacz
directed by: Robert Zawadzki
dramaturgy: Szymon Bogacz
set design: Katarzyna Szukszta
choreography: Katarzyna Kostrzewa

cast: Kornelia Angowska,  Włodzimierz Dyła,  Michał Kosela, Piotr Mokrzycki

Coproduction of the J. Szaniawski Theatre in Wałbrzych and the Centre for Culture in Lublin – International Festival “Theatre Confrontations”

Premiere: Wałbrzych – October 3rd, Lublin – October 17th, during the International Festival “Theatre Confrontations”