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    2008-2009 reviews:
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    The Files

    THE FILES is based on actual Secret Police reports on the theater’s activity written during the period from 1975 to 1983 (reports that by definition also covered the actors’ contacts, friendships, and meetings), juxtaposed with the actors’ private letters at the time the reports were written, as well as excerpts from the performances to which the reports referred. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this extraordinary, historic troupe " in a sardonic docudrama on their art as seen through the eyes of the police. Performed in English.

    The cast features Adam Borowski, Tadeusz Janiszewski, Marcin Keszycki and Ewa Wojciak.

    Theatre of the Eighth Day was founded in 1964 by a group of arts and humanities students in Poznan. The inspiration for its name came from a poem by Polish poet Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski on the creation of the world. “It says that on the seventh day God rested, and on the eighth day he created theater,” explains Ewa Wojciak, a co-founder and the director of Theatre of the Eighth Day. But the theater’s name carried yet another meaning " the 'eighth day' symbolized a day of freedom that existed outside the official calendar. The theater's style was influenced mostly by the work of Grotowski . They developed their own acting method and their own approach to creating performances through group acting improvisations. Their independence and the will to speak with their own voice about the surrounding world and the individual’s existence led the group into trouble with the Communist state apparatus, even though it had never been intended as a political theater of opposition.

    During Martial Law (December 1981 and further into the eighties) the theater was forbidden to present its performances in spaces other than churches, their foreign tours were banned, and their own space, as well as all subsidies, were taken away. In 1985, part of the group, thanks to all sorts of subterfuges (among them fake marriages with foreign actors), left the country. One of them, Marcin Keszycki, managed to get out of Poland in May 1988 after he had been refused a passport 23 times. In 1989, following the first democratic election after 50 years of communism, the theater was invited to return home by the first non-communist Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki. The theater subsequently built a new home in Poznan in the form of a center for alternative culture.

    This production of THE FILES is made possible in part by funding from the Marshal’s Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Poznan, The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York.

    Made in Poland:  Oct. 24, 2008 - Nov. 30, 2008
    Previews start: Oct. 22, 2008
    Schedule:  Tuesday " Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturday at 2:30 PM and 8:30 PM; Sunday at 7:30 PM
    Venue:  59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th St.
    Price:  $25 ($17.50 for 59E59 Members)
    Tickets/info:  (212) 279-4200


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