Journal: Tomasz Man in Italy for “111”

The Polish author Tomasz Man was in Castrovillari for an artistic residence focused on his text “111”, with the Italian company Zahir. On June the text will be presented at the Festival Primavera dei Teatri.

Here we publish the journal of the author about his experience.

My residence in Cosenza was amazing. I met a very professional and prepared team to work with on my play “111”. I was there for a week. Every day there was a rehearsal that took place in the Auditorium theater. The rehearsals were of about four hours. The actors went through the lines of the text reading it both in Italian and English. We checked whether a given word or phrase fit the situation. How does this word work translated into Italian? For example, in Poland, ambers are very common by the sea and can be found on the beach. In Italy, there are no ambers. So we changed with another stone. It was a great experience because, sometimes, living in one culture, we do not realize that there are small things that may be completely incompatible with another culture. I also remember that we were talking about sharing wafer on Christmas Eve. In Poland, this is an eternal tradition that in Italy doesn’t even exist. Always in the play, at a certain point, behind the window at school, the son sees rowans that are not popular in Italy. And so we changed it into an olive tree. In Poland, there was a popular festival in Sopot. In Italy, it is widely unknown. We turned it into the Sanremo Festival. On the last day, the director and actress asked me to lead a workshop on my text. I conducted workshops based on the work of the actor’s imagination with the internal image of the given stage situation. In addition, I led exercises based on changes in rhythm and mood. I played the guitar showing how important it is for the actor’s interpretation of the music and its character, tempo, intensity. With Emilia, Rita, Marco and Ernesto, we have created a real group of people who really want to do something interesting on stage. These are precious occasions for the actors and their training, the chance to work with high sensitivity and curiosity, very friendly and incredibly open which meant that actually after this week I did not feel the language barrier at all because we already communicated without unnecessary words. We spoke English but we’ve learned from our native Polish and Italian languages as well. This is one side of the residence directly related to my text. The other side is about getting to know the theater environment in Cosenza and the work of Scena Verticale. I had the chance to watch great performances, find out how the theater in Italy works and, on the other hand, share my knowledge about Polish theater. Everyone was very hospitable and friendly. I also visited the city and the museum thanks to them. I spent a very intense time working on the text and a great time learning about the Cosenza culture and the surrounding area. I take home with me a great experience and I can’t wait to return to Primavera dei Teatri Festival in Castrovillari. I wanted to thank you for allowing me to go to Cosenza. I feel wiser thanks to this artistic and social experience.

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