Wanda Siemaszkowa’s Theatre in Rzeszów is the only dramatic theatre in Rzeszów and in whole Subcarpathian Voivodeship. It has been working for 70 years and it was founded in 1944 as the National Theatre. The theatre is based now in two landamarked buildings. The main stage is located in a former building of the “Falcon” Polish Gymnastic Society, that was built in 1890-1900. The studio stageis located in a former villa of Holzer family.
Today, the theatre is a group of about 100 workers: technicians, administration, audience service and almost 30 great, talented actors. The director of Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre in Rzeszów is Jan Nowara, the initiator and founder of TRANS/MISJE Festival.
During one season the theatre presents about 400 plays for almost 70 000 viewers, including 7-9 premieres. It’s the flagship of Rzeszów and it serves the essential role in creating cultural life of the city and south-eastern Poland as well. The theatre programme takes into account the tastes and the needs of different social groups. The repertoire includes Polish and foreign classics, children’s
literature and modern drama. It stages plays by Shakespeare, Moliere, Dostoevsky, Witkacy and Wyspiański.
Besides its cultural activity the theatre runs, since 1997, Szajna Gallery. It’s a place devoted to world-famous artist Józef Szajna.
The theatre also organises an international event called Theatre Poster Biennale (pol. Biennale Plakatu Teatralnego) and two theatre festivals- Rzeszowskie Spotkania Karnawałowe and Festiwal Nowego Teatru. Festiwal Nowego Teatru promotes creative activities which are aiming at extending the theatre and drama boundaries through new media and virtual world.
Thanks to the festivals, during each season Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre hosts outstanding Polish actors that perform in the plays by well-known directors from the theatres such as: Wybrzeże Theatre from Gdańsk, Contemporary Theater from Szczecin, Teatr Nowy from Poznań, National Stary Theatre from Cracow, Polonia Theatre or Powszechny Theatre from Warsaw.
The theatre runs also some educational projects like DKT – Dyskusyjny Klub Teatralny and Workshops for the teachers called Warsztaty dla nauczycieli: Teatr w szkole/szkoła w teatrze, Teatr w plecaku, Pogotowie Teatralne, Zabawy Teatralne.
In 2013 a project called Teatr e-misyjny was done with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It aimed at overcoming the natural sense of incompetence and bringing young people closer to the theatre. Taking part in this project became a good pretext for the young people to create their own independent opinions after watching the play.
In 2015 Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre carried out the investment project called Touring Theatre (pol. Teatr wędrowny), what would be impossible without a set consisting of a touring scene and a tent-like structure auditorium. This mobile theatre scene allowed us to present beyond our theatre “The Nonexistent Knight”, the play prepared as an outdoor one. The mobile theatre scene – the vehicle of medieval actors which is brought into XXI centry, reminds about the journeys of traditional theatre companies, that were perfoming and travelling from town to town.
Also the project called Higher than the mountain pasture. A saga in six acts (pol. Wyżej niż połonina, Saga w VI aktach) leaves the theatre building. The play with the same title was presented in those places in Bieszczady Mountains which are located far from big cultural centres. The play, that takes advantage of local creativity (the “living theatre” formula) is set in the lanscapes of Bieszczady Mountains, was presented in the locations it was talking about, to people who live there. Two edtions of this project (in 2015 and 2017) activated local creative sectors of Subcarpathian region and were a great chance to promote both the Subcarpathian Voyvodeship and Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre.
In 2017 Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre made, as a part of TEATR POLSKA project, a tour with “BEZE MNIE” play around the places situated far away from the centres of cultural life, with no formal theatres. The project was aiming at increasing the access to the programme of Wanda Siemaszkowa Theatre by making it mobile. The project included not only the play presentaion, but also educational workshops that helped with getting the idea of this particular perfomance and the art of theatre in general.
More info www.teatr-rzeszow.pl