Questioning the ethics of historical narratives and the construction of national identities, this anthology of Polish plays explores the trauma of war, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and reappraisals of the postcommunist reality in Poland. The eleven selected pieces dive deep into complex subjects such as Poland's loss since the Holocaust, its difficult postwar relations with Germany, the social metamorphoses since the political upheaval of 1989, and the needs of Polish families and youth since the nation's transition to a free-market economy. Krzysztof Warlikowski's acclaimed production (A)pollonia, which calls upon excerpts from Greek tragedies, novels by Jonathan Littell and J. M. Coetzee, and reportage by Hanna Krall, provides the title for the anthology, as it encapsulates the key subjects, conflicts, and dilemmas prominent in the Polish theater of the last decade. The texts are wonderfully accompanied by thirty-five black-and-white photographs of performances, along with a DVD showcasing select scenes from the original Polish productions.
The introduction provides the historical and political framework for the collected texts, and the foreword explains the scope of the international collaboration that produced the exceptional translations in this volume.
Krystyna Duniec is professor in the Theatre Department of the Institute of Art at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Body in Theatre: An Anthropological Perspective. Joanna Klass is a senior theater expert at the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw. Joanna Krakowska is assistant professor in the Theatre Department of the Institute of Art at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.