Wroclaw Mime Theatre

Henryk Tomaszewski

Wroclaw Mime Theatre named after Henryk Tomaszewski.
The Wrocław Mime Theater was established in 1956 The program premiered on November 4, 1956 on the stage of the Wrocław’s Teatr Polski. At that time, the following were presented: The Condemned to Life, the Hunchback from Notre-Dame by V. Hugo, Coat by M. Gogol, Fairy about the Negro and the Golden Princess.

Tomaszewski himself credits this Program to the feature period (1956-1961), when he drew most of his inspiration from literature. In Program II, Tomaszewski refined Beller of Notre-Dame and Coat, which brought the first awards for the theater at the 6th World Youth and Student Festival in Moscow in 1957.

Program II also included: En passant, Jasełka, Kabala, Orpheus in search of Eurydice. On January 1, 1958, the Studium was transformed into a professional theater, granting him a grant and changing the name to the City Mime Theater, a year later, on January 26, 1959, to nationalize the fingerpiece under the name Wroclaw Mime Theater, recording artistic direction to Henryk Tomaszewski.
In this way, the author’s formula of the theater was sanctioned. The uniqueness of the Wrocław Mime Theater is the result of a peculiar vision of directing and authorial programs, from which the only such theater in the world grows, where the movement is treated not as a simple equivalent of the word but a synthesis of sensations and impressions. From the Program I can already see the characteristic features of Tomaszewski’s theater, which allow to talk about a Polish school mime. Through the introduction of a team game, intentionality and psychological motivation, Tomaszewski’s actors create full-fledged acting creations. Breaking with the classical convention of the French pure mime, cooperation with the most outstanding artists (including Jadwiga Przeradzka, Aleksander Jędrzejewski, Zofia de Ines, Władysław Wigura, Franciszek Starowieyski, Krzysztof Pankiewicz, and Andrzej Majewski) favored formal exploration, building a great artistic and musical setting . In subsequent programs, Tomaszewski clearly moves away from literature; he is looking for inspiration in the sources and forms of theater (including in the Eastern theater, in the comedy dell arte), in a silent movie, psychology, and in fact the movement itself: its motorics and texture.

On the UNESCO website, you can see the entire first etude of Henryk Tomaszewski titled Pianist. The Etude is part of the movie Fri Mimes of East and West, made in December 1961, and published for the first time in 1962.

Wroclaw Mime Theatre is still in a good shape, creating new performances every year, with 17 active shows. Theatre is also very active with education, with workshops for different kinds of people, amateur, profesionals, kids, youngsters, teachers, adults and he Elders.

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