DYBBUK. Director Anna Smolar

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Сountries: Poland
City: Bydgoszcz
Place: Teatr Polski
Address: Mickiewicza 2
Date of premiere 4 december 2015

Anna Smolar’s play is inspired by a drama written by Szymon An-ski, here dramaturgically revised by Ignacy Karpowicz. The story of a group of teachers and their students struggling with the tragic death of one of their own is used by the artists as a springboard to discuss contemporary topical issues. When the ghost of a dead boy, the titular Dybbuk, takes over the earthly body of a girl he loves, it starts off a complicated, multi-level tale about the relationship between the living and the dead, specifically about the repressed fears, secrets, demons and skeletons in the closet of the members of this closed community—and elsewhere. The spiritual and cultural reality of a Jewish commune at the beginning of the twentieth century, synonymous with Otherness, collides dramatically with a world that looks uncannily familiar, as Freud would say. Fictional motifs and tropes are interwoven with personal anecdotes delivered by the actors, as well as pop-culture references and stereotypical notions of what characterizes Jewishness.

“The director, with the cast of the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, takes a closer look at the mechanisms of exclusion and school violence, and reflects upon notions of guilt and responsibility. Embarrassing problems and unresolved traumas come back, gathering strength and multiplying even in seemingly innocent and lighthearted dialogue. But the source of performative fun in Dybbuk lies not in demythologizing the past and its painful consequences, but rather in a perverse play on the audience’s expectations about what such a theatrical tale should look like.”

(from the theatre’s archive of reviews)

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Photo: Monika Stolarska
Performance dates
04 March 19:00 DYBBUK. Director Anna Smolar
05 March 19:00 DYBBUK. Director Anna Smolar
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