O filar opiera się śpiewająca aktorka

Show of the micro-musical titled “A Hug Promotion”. Photo: Joanna Biesiaga

A new cycle of events in the Syrena Theatre. Its aim is to workshop a selected topic. We will be inviting artists who are not part of the mainstream of Polish musicals and music theatre scene.

During the course of the project, participants will spend several days working on a short musical (15–30 minutes) to be presented in the Syrena Theatre. These micro-musical forms can later become a basis for further work on the topic or a completed work, although this is not the basic aim – what is more important is to try out the musical potential of a given topic, or a given team of creators. Equally important is providing the invited artists with an open creative atmosphere and possibility to freely experiment with the musical and theatrical form.

1. Edition – “A Hug Promotion”

1. Edition
“A Hug Promotion”

Creative team of the micro-musical “A Hug Promotion”
Direction and choreography: Tobiasz Sebastian Berg
Music: Dawid Majewski
Screenplay and dramaturgy: Ewa Mikuła
Dramaturgy and director’s assistant: Lucy Sosnowska
Consultations: Oktawia Kromer
Space and light direction: Klaudia Kasperska
Costumes: Edyta Jermacz
Cast: Małgorzata Kowalska (Hugger), Anna Andrzejewska (Skin), Weronika Łukaszewska (Ania), Bartosz Witkowski (Widower), Hubert Konieczny (Łukasz)
Premiere: June 18, 2023

Is it possible to replace contact with another human with something else in our current era characterized by individualism, the continuous pursuit of personal ambitions, and the dynamic development of technologies? This is the topic explored by the creators of the “A Hug Promotion”, the first micro-musical. It was inspired by the book by Oktawia Kromer, “A Strictly Platonic Service. How Loneliness Become a Business”, written about the phenomenon of professional hugging.

“Hugging”, which began in the United States but is also practiced in Poland, is a paid service that offers hugs for clients. Sessions have a number of restrictions, and the most important is their platonic nature. Inspired by the phenomenon, perceived as an example of the commercialization of one of the most intimate and tender interpersonal activities, the creative team wanted to explore the condition of loneliness in contemporary society. The project combined words and movement using the convention of musical theatre, presenting monologues written in musical form.

Photo: Joanna Biesiaga (x2)
Trzech aktorów siedzi na kanapie
Jacek Mikołajczyk i Monika Walecka na widowni Teatru Syrena

2. Edition
Girls, jazz it up!”

Creators of the micro-musical “Girls, jazz it up!”
Screenplay and direction: Iza Natasza Czapska
Musical direction: Tomasz Filipczak
Light direction: Gustaw Trzciński
Costumes: Paulina Huczyńska
Space: Zuzanna Miladinović
Cast: Monika Mariotti (Carmen Moreno), Justyna Gajczak (Jeanne Johnstone), Izabela Perez (Elizabeth Charles)
Music band: Tomasz Filipczak (piano), Justyna Mikrut (percussion), Paweł Domert (upright bass)
Premiere: February 26 & 27, 2024

The second edition of the micro-musical project will present “Girls, jazz it up!” written and directed by Iza Natasza Czapska.

Poland after the Second World War. A ruined country and a new, communist order. A mean, grim, hopeless time. But, in these conditions, jazz music is reborn. Although it was banned in 1949, it flourishes in the darkness of basements, where people gather to play and listen to “rotten”, western music. And it explodes in 1959 during the First National Jazz Festival in Sopot, a legendary event which turned into a manifestation of the power stemming from the combination of youth, talent, and art.

It might seem impossible, but it actually happened! At that time, three excellent singers from behind the iron curtain lived and performed in Poland: Jeanne Johnstone from London, Elizabeth Charles from Edinburgh, and Carmen Moreno, the daughter of a Spanish mother and a Pole, who, despite not knowing Polish, moved to the country with her parents at the end of the war. All three singers sang with practically every major Polish band from the post-war period, recorded albums, and performed concerts all across Poland.   

“Girls, jazz it up!” is a story about the tragic circumstances that brough them to Warsaw, about their friendship, romantic entanglements, and difficult life decisions. In the show, audiences will get to enjoy listening to world famous musical standards performed by Monika Mariotti (Carmen Moreno), Justyna Gajczak (Jeanne Johnstone), and Izabela Perez (Elizabeth Charles). The artists will be accompanied by a live band.

Photo: Joanna Biesiaga (x4)