Nowy Yorick

The competition is aimed at young artists debuting in the Polish theatre and is intended to encourage them to read and re-enact the works of William Shakespeare, to seek answers for contemporary problems in his works, and to test new theatrical forms with their help.

The originator of the New Yorick competition is Łukasz Drewniak, a theatre critic, editor, and selector of the Golden Yorick competition having worked with the Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk for many years. In his words: “The Shakespeare Festival does not want the reception of Shakespeare to die out in Poland, particularly in the younger generation. We want to encourage directors to face the dramas of the Stratfordian, to reward the most interesting adaptations and approaches to his classic themes, and to educate the future potential winners of the competition. Hence the idea of a new, two-tier competition – the New Yorick – complementary to the Golden Yorick.”

The New Yorick statuette will be awarded as a part of the 27th international Shakespeare Festival. Three presentations will be competing for it, produced by the laureates together with the theatres invited to cooperate by the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre – the Polish Theatre in Poznań, the Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica and the Powszechny Theatre from Warsaw.

The competition received 27 entries from direction students from all schools in Poland, directors at the beginning of their careers, and artistic collectives. The selection was made by the heads of the above-mentioned theatres – Maciej Nowak, Jacek Głomb, Paweł Sztarbowski – who chose three adaptations. Each of the productions will be funded by the organisers of the international Shakespeare Festival with 25,000 PLN as the monetary part of the prize. They will be presented as ‘work in progress’ during the festival and judged by an international jury consisting of: Eleanor Skimin, Jacek Kopciński, and Aneta Mancewicz.

The finalists of

New Yorick

The following performances made it into the New Yorick final:
  1. Jan Kamiński, “Richard III” ( choice of the Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica)
    Jan Marek Kamiński’s proposal impressed us with the maturity of its approach. His explication of Richard III combines a deep philosophical foundation with an inventive staging concept. At the same time, the director’s ideas spring from Shakespeare’s drama rather than trying to force a thesis onto it. All of these things give us hope for the production of an outline of a play with contemporary and universal content, in which visual appeal is combined with the sphere of meanings in a harmonious whole. – Jacek Głomb, Director of the Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica
  2. Pamela Leończyk and Daria Sobik, “Zimowa Opowieść” (the choice of Zygmunt Hübner Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw)
    “Therapy culture” is becoming an increasingly important part of our social functioning. This is why Pamela Leończyk and Daria Sobik’s proposal convinced us with the bold idea of a deeply psychological interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, based on the fundamental question – “What does the play tell us about trauma?”. At the same time, delving deeper into the psychology of the characters and immersing them in contemporary therapeutic theories offers ample room for actors to resonate with the theme of Leontes’ jealousy and ways of coping with compulsive reactions. – Paweł Sztarbowski, Deputy Programme Director of the Zygmunt Hübner Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw
  3. Mira Mańka, “Lover’s complaint” based on Shakespeare’s poem “Lover’s Complaint” (selection of the Polish Theatre in Poznan).
    I decided to choose Mira Mańka’s project to be performed at the Polish Theatre in Poznan_1875 because it appeared to me as fresh and opened up new, contemporary perspectives on an old master. Primarily because the young director reached for literary material that is not obvious for the theatre, such as sonnets. In the age of turbo-impressionism, these works are perhaps more likely to find audience recognition than others in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Secondly, she has offered a perspective on this piece from a very contemporary perspective, that of inclusive practices that include people with alternative sensory sensitivities to the mainstream. This is both intriguing and opening. I await the outcome of this directorial gesture with great excitement. – Maciej Nowak, Artistic Director of the Polish Theatre in Poznań_1875


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