Main Page / Bez kategorii / Jakub Skrzywanek – winner of the 21st “Interpretations” Festival 2022
Jakub Skrzywanek – winner of the 21st “Interpretations” Festival 2022
Fot. A. Ławrywianiec

Jakub Skrzywanek unquestionably won the 21st edition of INTERPRETATION 2022 in Katowice with his performance “Death of John Paul II” realized at the Polish Theater in Poznan – all jurors cast their votes for him. We present the laureate’s silhouette and achievements.

Jakub Skrzywanek is a director, author, creator of performance installations, since January 2022 artistic director of the Contemporary Theater in Szczecin.

Born on 25.02.1992 in Wroclaw, he graduated from the Faculty of Drama Direction at the Academy of Theater Arts in Krakow, Polish Philology at the University of Wroclaw and the DOKPRO course at the Wajda Master School.

He often tackles current topics of public debate, while trying to undermine established myths and overturn social taboos. His performances often take the form of epic spectacles that combine elements of literature, film, documentary theater and work on archives.

Since his debut performance with “Tink Boys” at the Dramatic Theater in Walbrzych, which won multiple awards and was announced as the best debut of the 2015/16 season, his subsequent performances have been consistently featured at the most important Polish festivals and ranked at the top of the rankings prepared by the most important Polish critics.

Today he works with Poland’s most important theaters, including Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, Teatr Polski in Poznan, Teatr Współczesny in Szczecin, and the unique Teatr21 (whose professional acting troupe is made up of people with disabilities).

His acclaimed “Kordian” (Teatr Polski in Poznań, 2018) was about violence against women, with Alex Freihait (known from the duo Siksa) playing the role of Kordian.

As part of the celebration of the Anti-Fascist Year, he launched the “Triptych on Violence”, which opened the performance “Mein Kampf” (2019), prepared at the Powszechny Theater, where, for the first time in history, a direct polemic against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi manifesto was undertaken on a theater stage, which resonated not only in Poland , but also abroad, where Skrzywanek’s performance was very positively received, among others. Among others, by the Financial Times, New York Times, Der Freitag, Jerusalem Post, and L’Espresso.

After the next part of the Triptych, which was “Kaspar Hauser” (Teatr Współczesny in Szczecin, 2019), work began on the last part – “The Corpse Burner” – being prepared for Romania’s Teatrul Tineretului in Piatra Neamt, which were interrupted by the development of the Covid-19 pandemic.

His recent productions include: “Gargantua and Pantagruel” at the Wilam Horzyca Theater in Torun and the Jan Kochanowski Theater in Opole (2020), “Death of John Paul II” at the Polish Theater in Poznan (2022) and “Spartacus. Love in the Time of Pestilence” at the Contemporary Theater in Szczecin (2022).

Outside the theater, Skrzywanek creates performative social installations that critically comment on reality. As part of the “Polish Monuments” campaign, he unveiled a plaque commemorating Szmul Wasersztajn and his testimony to the murder of Jews by Polish civilians. Also in Cracow, as part of the Genius Loci festival, he prepared a several-day performance, the finale of which was to create together with the residents – “A monument to the residents of Cracow,” which eventually took the form of a defaced wall full of vulgar and xenophobic content.

In addition to his artistic activities, social, educational and pedagogical activities are very important to him. He has written plays for children and young people, and often conducts workshops focusing on working with groups that are often forgotten by theater.

In his work, he strives to use the theater and stage space as a platform of expression for all excluded and minority groups. This is how the prepared with Now Poliz! Poland’s first podcast series about the woods of a non-heteronormative family, “Famila,” as well as the documentary play created with young people, “To we are the future!” which was awarded at the Korczak International Festival, or the story of child refugees from war zones, “When my dad turned into a bush” (Drama Theater in Walbrzych).

Skrzywanek is the author of the dramas “Pimp Pogrom, Warsaw 1905”, and “We are the future!”, in which, based on archives or documentary work, he tries to talk about issues related to violence, national-ethnic identity, and maturation. Both texts were appreciated in the competition – the Gdynia Drama Award, being among the texts qualified for the semi-finals. He has twice received scholarships from the Mayor of the City of Wroclaw, and from the “Laboratory of New Theater” of the New Theater in Krakow, as part of which he prepared the play “We are the future!”.

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