Writing for me is more like a character trait rather than an activity.
I write because it is rare for me to be a able to express exactly what it is I mean, when I speak. What is more, my communications with others tend to consist of an unending string of “but on the other hand”’s. No one has the time or desire to listen to such complicated arguments. Plays, however, are able to shoulder all kinds of contradictions, each character can assert something completely different without repercussions, which I see as an asset, not a weakness.
Besides, I believe there is nothing more important in this world than telling stories. Without them, we would be no different from hens. Hens are nice, they cluck, eat seeds and lay eggs, but without stories, not much else remains. And when a hen is dying, it probably doesn’t even know that it missed out on something.
Maria Wojtyszko was born in Warsaw in 1982. She is a screenwriter and playwright. She studied Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw, Screenwriting at the Łódź Film School, and Feature Film Directing at the Wajda School. She also finished the Playwriting Lab at Laboratorium Dramatu in Warsaw, where she collaborated with other playwrights on Kabaret Na Koniec Świata (Cabaret for the End of the World). She has written a few short films and for many television series including Przystań (The Harbour), Doręczyciel (The Mail Carrier), and Bez Tajemnic (Without Secrets, based on the HBO series In Treatment).
She has written plays for both children and adults. Her plays have been produced in Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Finland. She received an award presented jointly by Teatr Stary Kraków and the monthly Dialog for her play Macica (Womb). Her play Pierwszy człowiek świata (The First Person On Earth) won the children’s theatre contest organized by Centrum Sztuki Dziecka (Children’s Art Centre) in Poznań. The play Sam, czyli przygotowanie do życia w rodzinie (Sam, Preparing for Family Life) was the Grand Prix Winner at the XX Konkurs na Wystawienie Polskiej Sztuki Współczesnej (All Poland Staged Contemporary Play Contest). Her play Piekło-Niebo (Hell/Heaven) received the Best Dramatic Text Award of the season two years later in the same contest. The latter was also a finalist for the Gdyńska Nagroda Dramaturgiczna (Gdynia Dramaturgical Award), the first time a children’s play was ever considered for this award.
She has been the Literary Manager of the Wrocław Puppet Theatre since 2012, where she enjoys promoting contemporary Polish drama.
Jola, a DJ, dies in a car accident on her way home from a concert. She goes to Heaven. Being a single mom to seven-year-old Teddy (Tadzio), however, she decides that she cannot die. She is so stubborn and rude that God decides to send her to Hell as punishment. But Jola is resolute despite her new circumstances. With the help of her new-found devil friend, Tarpit (Osmółek), she decides to escape from Hell. Lucifer and God are both forced to set off in pursuit of her. Will Jola succeed in returning to her son?
Thirteen-year-old Sam is the son of intellectualists who “don’t cook, don’t clean, but avidly participate in all sorts of demonstrations”. What is worse, Sam’s parent’s decide to divorce. Dad proceeds to have a series of affairs, while Mom hooks up with a Muslim emigrant from the former Yugoslavia. Under these difficult conditions, Sam falls in love with a girl from class. Viola, unlike our hero, comes from a large, Catholic family. Sam tries to reconcile his parent’s and concurrently win Viola’s heart.