Six actors, no script. Seated behind the auditorium,Anna Karasińska, a young vital force in Polish theatre, gives directions with a microphone. A laboratory of virtuoso improvisation.
Six actors, a bare stage, harsh lighting, no script. Seated behind the auditorium, invisible for the audience, microphone in hand, the director Anna Karasińska, a vital force in Polish theatre, gives directions, composes mini narratives. Impressively precise in their approach, the actors are promptly transformed in this laboratory of improvisation. If the imagination is a muscle, then this is its gym.
What magical link unites actors and spectators, one that has the latter believing in an entire world when in fact the stage is empty? Rebelling against the theatrical heritage of the Polish masters, Karasińska questions the rules governing the actor’s work, thereby activating our power of evocation. From shadow to light, she brings forth anonymous figures of daily life: the cashier at the supermarket, the passenger next to you on the bus, the pedestrian on the street. With a gesture or a grin, fauna spring to life and then disappear. In music, a fantasia is an instrumental piece of no fixed form, shifting between two poles, between freedom and rigour. Exactly like Fantasia.
Produced by TR Warszawa
Directed by Anna Karasińska
Performed by Agata Buzek + Dobromir Dymecki + Rafał Maćkowiak + Maria Maj + Zofia Wichłacz + Adam Woronowicz
Dramaturgy Jacek Telenga + Magdalena Rydzewska
Set and Costume Design Paula Grocholska
Choreographed by Magda Ptasznik
Lighting Design Szymon Kluz
Stage Manager and Direction Assistant Malwina Szumacher
Producer Katarzyna Białach
International Projects Agata Kołacz
Presented with the support of Instytut Adama Mickiewicza in association with Centaur Theatre
Written by Diane Jean
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at TR Waszawa, Warsaw, on April 9, 2017
Anna Karasińska (Warsaw)
She has been called « a virus in Polish theatre », but the young director Anna Karasińska initially studied fine arts, philosophy and choreography before attending film school in Łodz.
An assistant for other directors, she directed a few short films before moving on to theatre. She made a brilliant début with her first play Ewelina’s Crying, which was a huge success. Produced in 2015 by the company TR Warszawa, one of the most important theaters in Poland (leaded by Grzegorz Jarzyna, it has produced as well plays directed by Krystian Lupa, Kornel Mundruczo and Krzysztof Warlikowski), the piece is a dazzling parallel narrative that demands of the actors that they play amateurs performing as « real » actors.
Opting for formal simplicity and disdaining hierarchy, she shatters traditional rules of theatre. Influenced by her Buddhist practice, she creates shows that are a powerful experience for the actors and for the spectators. Looking at the other becomes a revolutionary act. After making its début in Warsaw, Fantasia was then presented at Dublin Theatre Festival and in Hellerau – European Centre for the Arts, in Dresden in 2018, as well in Münchner Kammerspiele in 2019.