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Michal Walczak, photo by Teatralna studio
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
at The Graduate Center CUNY
in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York

Michal Walczak

Monday, December 3, 2012, 6:30 PM
The event is free and open to the public.

Martin E. Segal Theatre, the Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street), New York, NY
Tel: (212)817-1863

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center welcomes one of Poland's most beloved and prolific playwrights, Michal Walczak, for an evening of play reading and discussion. Walczak's 2001 play The Sandbox, produced at eleven theatres and translated into six languages, thrust him onto the international scene. Since then, his oeuvre has grown to include over 20 plays, including 2004 The First Time (translated into nine languages) and, more recently, three plays for children. New York audiences were treated to Walczak's rough-and-tumble take on contemporary gender relations as part of Made in Poland: A Festival of New Polish Plays (59E59 Theaters, 2008). The playwright will join us for a special evening focused on his past, current, and future projects, moderated by Frank Hentschker of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. A staged reading of excerpts from Walczak's plays The First Time and The Sandbox starring Lanna Joffrey and Jens Rasmussen and directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman, will be followed by a Q & A and reception.

In The Sandbox a young man addicted to television and to all-things Batman, struggles as he is only able to express his emotions through the language of movies. A young girl is nostalgically attached to her doll, bringing the toy with her wherever she goes. The characters paths cross in a sandbox, where they discover that with the memory of childhood innocence, comes the ability to communicate, and from here the comical confrontation and battle of the sexes ensues.

The First Time is a story about a couple fumbling to initiate an erotic encounter on a rainy night. Instead of following their own desires and instincts, they are implementing the rules of the beautiful life from glossy magazines, disregarding the reality around them. The play is peppered with unexpected twists, frequently verging on the absurd.

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