Culture News, 11/11/2017

Theater’s New Roles in Urban Space

Magda Grudzińska, the theater curator from Poland, discussed with Kharkiv art community new ways of collaboration between theater and civil society. Grudzińska gave a lecture within the “Theater in the City” project at the Kharkiv State University of Art on November 8. 

The project aims to highlight tasks of theater institutions in city space. It’s no longer an architecture form, but an essential public place with new responsibilities and cooperation possibilities. Thus, it was interesting to hear the experience of the Wojciech Boguslawski Theatre in Kalisz, curated by Magda Grudzinska, on implementing different social and art projects which strive to make theatre more open and available to various communities of the city. It demonstrates how she and her team understand the notion of public theatre.

In her lecture, Magda used the term “theater – Agora” referring to the heritage of ancient Greece. Agora was the central public place to speak about city-state’s problems. In a contrary, now theater in Ukraine sees its function mainly to entertain people. But it could be a place of communication and creation of new meanings and senses.

In particular, there are lots of public discussions about hard memories in Ukrainian history nowadays. Theater, in this case, can be the place to actualize such public debates. Further, her ideas of dealing with people with various disabilities are very useful for Kharkiv art institutions. Grudzińska shares her experience in transforming the traditional theater into the live space.

Author and curator of “Theater in the City” Nadia Sokolenko works on a project in collaboration with Polish Institute Kyiv and Theater on Podil.