Arka Theatre - made of dreams and heart. Theatre for the open-minded.
It all started with a dream. Three artists from Wroclaw - Renata Jasińska, Bogdan Michalewski and Andrzej Nowak - decided to found a theater of their own, free from the constraints of typical repertory theatre. Initially, it was just one of the many alternative theaters in Poland, that were created as a from of rebellion of young artists against rigid form of national theatres. Artists identified their personal life with the activities of the theater, looking for equality and partnership. Critical attitude towards mainstream theatre pushed them to create their own team and audience, that would share their views. An idol for the restless trio, was Jerzy Grotowski ,one of the geniuses of the world theater, and his idea of the ‘poor theater’, close to the viewer. The trio desired to embody this idea.
The theatre, almost immediately began fruitful cooperation with the individualities of Wroclaw’s theaters. Among others, Krzesisława Dubiel ,Jacek Głomb, Bogusław and Danuta Kierc, Agata Pukło, Andrzej Hrydzewicz, and Marek Oliwa were invited aboard. . After three years of cooperation the three artists found themselves at crossroads and they decided to split up so that each one of them could follow the artistic path that he or she had chosen.
Renata Jasińska remained faithful to Arka, and in 1997 she was joined by a French - Alexandre Marquezy, who now supports her creative work. In 2002, due the efforts of the artist, The Association of Friends of the Arka Theatre , which strengthened the position of the theater, was created. Renata Jasińska deservedly became the President of the Association and director of the Arka. The idea of the integration of people with disabilities with able-bodied was born. Theatre wanted to create an artistic world of different cultures, nations, beliefs by bringing together the French, Jews, Italians, Americans and Germans. An intense, almost laboratory work of the whole team, not just artistic but also technical and administrative staff, brought the desired results. . Hard, laboratory work of the whole team, not only the artistic one, but also technical and administrative , brought unexpected results. This well-known theatre is today an important complement to the development of the cultural map of Wroclaw.
Currently, there are 24 people working here fulltime. Among them, there are eight actors; graduates of Polish and European art universities, seven students with intellectual disabilities referred as Adepts, and besides, technicians, administration staff ,as well as public relations and marketing specialists. Theatre follows a beautiful idea of integration and tolerance (a total of 11 people with disabilities working in the theatre). Viewers already know that in this theater the most important thing is "to be who you really are" by fulfilling desires, aspirations and continually developing creative and artistic skills.
Here is a clearly visible realization of not only artistic, but also a purely human dream: performances of the highest artistic quality claim a worthy place in the world for the most vulnerable, for those, who are not able to fight for their rights (including a full access to, and possibility of co-creation of the cultural goods). Another dream of Arka Theatre management is to create an international scene.
And today? The Arka Theatre, through the extraordinary effectiveness of the message contained in the performances shares its secret with the audience. The viewer realizes how much can good will and hard work do to overcome our limitations and strengthen ourselves. The main philosophy of the theatre is the human condition: internal growth, and striving for higher spirituality in a world dominated by consumption and confused values.Our artists invariably depend on an unconventional approach to the forms of artistic expression. The level of the performances (which we obviously also contribute to professional actors), commands respect and esteem of the people who are part of the theater world, and every show has something magical in it.
Good reviews also reached across the ocean: we established collaboration with two U.S. universities from Buffalo and Arizona, and their Departments of Film, Theatre, and Television. One of the people interested in cooperation with our theatre is Kazimierz Braun, a famous Polish director , and a former inhabitant of Wrocław, who is currently working for the University of Buffalo. He will visit our theatre with a young originator Max Archimedes Levitt. Arizona will be represented by Megan Mongird. We also established cooperation with Goldoni Theatre in Livorno (Italy), led by director Lamberto Giannini.
Arka Theatre participated in important theatre festivals in Warsaw, Gdynia, Gdansk (Shakespeare Festival) and in Lodz, and we also visited France; Paris and Auxerre, and performed in Livorno (Italy). We also participated in a theater event in Berlin together with the Association "Christiania".