the Polish Cultural Institute, and
the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland,
THE SEJNY CHRONICLES
the American Premiere!
Thursday, April 10, 2008 - Sunday, April 20, 2008
Thursday-Saturday 7:30PM; Sunday 2:30 PM
In Polish, Lithuanian, Yiddish and Russian, with English subtitles
La MaMa E.T.C. - The Annex
74 East 4th Street (bet'n 2nd Ave & Bowery), New York, NY
Tickets: $25 general admission, $20 students & seniors at the box office, Tel: 212-475-7710, www.lamama.org
PART OF BORDERLANDERS: FINDING THEIR VOICE FESTIVAL
I would gladly give up any premiere in our capital city to once again delve into the poetical climate of this performance... one of the most important theatrical experiences of my life. - Roman Pawlowski, leading theater critic of Gazeta Wyborcza
The Sejny Chronicles, a story of the multicultural town of Sejny, is a stunning montage of oral histories and legends that are spoken, sung and danced around a baked clay model of the town.
Actors approach the town, listen to the houses, and hear a Jewish prayer from one, the Lord's Prayer in Polish from another, and then in Lithuanian, and Russian& then lullabies in the many languages spoken along the shifting borders of Eastern Europe. The play is unusual because the actors - teen-age children of Poles, Lithuanians, and Russian Old-believers living until today in Sejny - tell the real stories and legends handed down by their own grandparents and great-grandparents. The performers represent the third "generation" of the youth to pursue this re-discovery of their roots. Uncovering these stories in the houses, one by one, in the dreamlike atmosphere of a scene by Chagall, they all become their own forefathers, voicing their memories of Roma caravans, Slavic solstice customs, and pagan legends, or in magically fluid transitions become the guests at a Lithuanian wedding or beggars gathering before the church. Then again they remember the tailor's daughter Rachel, or the Jewish child rescued from imminent death. It is the richness of a multicultural past re-discovered and brought to life by its youngest heirs. It speaks with disarming power to any of us who may feel we have lost our roots.
The Sejny Chronicles
Script, direction, and work with children: Bozena Szroeder
Collaboration: Malgorzata Sporek-Czyzewska, Urszula Wasilewska, Jerzy Czyzynski, and Wieslaw Szuminski
Translated into English by Danuta Borchardt
The actors: Aleksandra Tomal, Edyta Rogucka, Dominika Turowicz, Aleksandra Kotarska, Katarzyna Ostrowska, Dagmara Nieszczerzewska, Ula Kapp, Aleksandra Szruba, Jakub Ostrowski, Artur Mazewski, Robert Ogurkis, Patryk Zubowicz, Piotr Szroeder, and Michal Pawlowski
BORDERLANDERS: FINDING THEIR VOICE is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York in association with La MaMa E.T.C., Bowery Poetry Club, Millennium Film Workshop, Inc., and the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, New School for Social Research. All performance events are presented in the Lower East Side as a tribute to the multicultural heritage of a district that was home to many Eastern European immigrants in the early 20th century.
Special thanks to Professor Elzbieta Matynia of the New School for Social Research for her dedication and creative input.
Cafe Europa at The Bowery Poetry Club
Films About the Borderlands at the Millennium Film Workshop, Inc.
A conversation with Krzysztof Czyzewski at the New School for Social Research
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The making of a play
About Borderland Foundation