Curators of the 27th international Shakespeare Festival

in Gdansk
The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre Team

Collective curator

An international programme

“This is the excellent foppery of the world!”

For the first time in the 27-year history of the festival, the curatorial team, consisting of employees of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, proposes the international programme

Some of us have been associated with the festival for over twenty years. Some – only a year. But we all love theatre, we know what festivals we would like to attend, what bores us and what kind of talk about Shakespeare interests us. Our proposals are the result of numerous discussions and compromises – from the substantive to the financial.

This year we will show you the last production of Peter Brook, a co-production of our theatre with a world star – Belgium’s Needcompany, as well as another world star, this time from Great Britain – Charlotte Rampling. There will be a flamenco version of Hamlet, straight from Sevilla and two Shakespeare-inspired stand-up monodramas from England!

Together we chose the motto for this year’s festival, discussing for hours what Shakespeare meant and what we mean by invoking him four hundred years later. We worked together on all the changes to this year’s festival rules and competitions, we collectively selected this year’s special guests, we suggested workshops, meetings, blogs, spoilers, and everything that will be happening around the festival.

With trembling hearts, we look forward to the ten premieres we will see during this year’s edition. We believe that the mission of our theatre, as the organiser of the festival, is not only to present outstanding personalities of the stage and the most acclaimed productions, but also to give a chance to talented artists who need support (financial, substantive, logistical, and providing premises) to spread their wings.

We also see the need to promote William Shakespeare because, people, there is a crisis in the Polish theatre! Directors choose the Master from Stratford less and less. We want to change that.

We are excited about our curatorial debut, but we are professionals – each of us has brought a piece of their own specialisation, both in their jobs or education, to the programme decisions. Among us we have cultural managers with years of experience in international programming, we have experts in Shakespeare and Elizabethan theatre working on their PhDs, we have people whose festival memory goes back to the 1990s. We have audience development specialists and those who have asked us this question first and foremost: “will this meet the interest of our audiences?” We also have young and vibrant theatrologists that follow current trends and media specialists that support them.

We welcome you to the 27th international Shakespeare Festival!

Curatorial team

Anna Albinger – artistic events coordinator
Maria Gostyńska – plenipotentiary of the director for relationhs with theatre partners
Agata Grenda – director of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre
Jarosław Grodź – marketing manager
Zuzanna Medygrał – audience development specialist
Marta Nowicka – theatre offer development specialist
Paulina Popiół – PR manager
Sonia Romanowska – manager of Audience Services
Jacek Skolimowski – music scene coordinator
Melania Szymerowska – theatre producer
Anna Szynkaruk-Zgirska – deputy director
Joanna Śnieżko-Misterek – festival coordinator
Bartłomiej Wutkowski – graphic artist


Katarzyna Knychalska


This is the third edition of the ShakespeareOFF stream divided into two modules: Productions and Presentations. As the current curator, I am most happy that the Festival supports financially and logistically new independent productions. It is still too rare a form of support for the OFF scene and at the same time it brings measurable benefits for the development of the circulation of Shakespearean works in Poland, which is one of the main missions of the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre. Apart from the Production Competition, the ShakespeareOFF strand is calling for ready-made independent productions for the festival in the Presentations module. ShakespeareOFF Productions and Presentations are judged by an international jury – the same one that will award the Golden Yorik Prize.

Within the ShakespeareOFF Productions Competition, three very interesting proposals were selected, which above all approach Shakespeare’s work in an unconventional way. The submissions for this edition show a new trend of the trend – searching for creative impulses in specific Shakespearean characters and translating past attitudes into present-day experience. The artists also chose interdisciplinarity as the leading slogan for their concepts – that is why among the finalists we have proposals that in an interesting way combine various theatrical and musical forms, with a noticeable prevalence of dance theatre, which is becoming more and more active in Poland today.


Katarzyna Knychalska graduated from the Faculty of Polish Philology with a specialization in theatre studies at the University of Wroclaw. In 2009, she established the Nie-Taki Theatre Foundation, of which she is the president. Within the activities of the Foundation, she creates and manages many social and cultural projects. Among others: the portal “TEATRALNY.PL”. – of which she is the initiator and editor-in-chief, as well as the theatre magazine “nietakt!”, published since 2009, of which she is the editor-in-chief and one of the authors. So far, there have been 35 issues of the magazine, which is the only medium in Poland that deals with theatrical fringes and the broadly defined off-scene.

She is a co-creator of the All-Poland Theatre Offensive – a nationwide movement of independent theatres, which was established to unite independent theatres, plan joint projects and solve problems facing the theatre off community.
Since 2011, she has also been a programme consultant of the Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica and as part of her duties, she co-creates the theatre’s repertoire. She is the curator of the off-current at the Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk and the New Theatre Festival in Rzeszów. Since 2016 she is the director of “The best Off” Competition for the best performance of independent theatre and its permanent juror.

She is also the author of many articles and columns on theatre, as well as plays and theatre adaptations that have been staged in theatres in Poland and Europe: “My Bosnia” (2014, Stary Theatre in Boleslawiec), “Stilon, the best of worlds” (2016, Osterwa Theatre in Gorzow Wielkopolski), “Many demons” according to Jerzy Pilch (2016, Dramatic Theatre in Batumi, Georgia, 2018 Silesian Theatre in Katowice) “The Station” according to B. Hrabal (2017, Dramatic Theatre in Panevezys, Lithuania), “Classic co-production” (2020, Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica). Twice nominated for the WARTO award. In 2019 she received the Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage “Young Poland” and in 2022 the creative scholarship of the Marshal of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.


Łukasz Drewniak

Golden Yorick Competition

Łukasz Drewniak is a theatre critic, editor, moderator, programmer, consultant and expert on contemporary Lithuanian theatre. He teaches at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. Łukasz Drewniak founded and was the first editor-in-chief of Didaskalia theatre journal. He edited the books Dziennik podróży z Kantorem Wacława i Lesława Janickich and Izabella Cywińska’s biography Dziewczyna z Kamienia. He was Artistic Director of the Cracow Theatrical Reminiscences festival in 2002–2005. His theatre reviews appeared in Tygodnik Powszechny (1995–2005), Przekrój (1999–2012) and Dziennik – Gazeta prawna (2005–2010). He has worked as a journalist and host for TVP Kultura since the channel’s inception. Łukasz Drewniak co-programmes guest performances at the Teatr Stary in Lublin and chairs a series of discussions called The Battle for Culture. He is the author of Kołonotatnik, published at, which comprises journalism, essays on theatre, reviews and facetiae. He is based in Kraków, Poland.

Since 2012/2013 he has qualified Polish performances taking part in the Golden Yorick Competition organised as a part of selection for the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival. The competition aims to select the best national adaptation of William Shakespeare’s works. During the first three editions him and Professor Jerzy Limon selected the best performance, from 2016 he is to qualify 3 to 5 productions for the competition finals, which are then presented to the festival audience and assessed by the Jury, which chooses the performance for the Golden Yorick Award.

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