The 250th Jubilee of the National Theatre

Programme for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 anniversary seasons

Premieres in the anniversary seasons

Our three stages host premieres of Polish works, both classical and contemporary. The Jubilee programme features dramas and works by Polish authors to celebrate the 250th anniversary of The National Theatre, the first public theatre to stage plays in the Polish language.           

    • Ivona, Princess of Burgundy by Witold Gombrowicz, dir. Agnieszka Glińska (October 25, 2014);

    • Fredraszki adapted from Aleksander Fredro, dir. Jan Englert (December 18, 2014);

    • Brazilian Short Story based on Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’s prose, dir. Marcin Hycnar (March 28, 2015); 

    • A Mass for Arras by Andrzej Szczypiorski, a monodrama played by Janusz Gajos (May 21, 2015);

    • White Marriage by Tadeusz Różewicz, dir. Artur Tyszkiewicz (October 2, 2015);

    • Kordian by Juliusz Słowacki, dir. Jan Englert (November 19, 2015);

    • Forefathers’ Eve by Adam Mickiewicz, dir. Eimuntas Nekrošius (March 2016);

    • Master Thaddeus based on Adam Mickiewicz’s epic poem, dir. Piotr Cieplak (May 2016).

    • From April 2015 to March 2016, in a series of readings MASTER THADDEUS - All the Words directed by Piotr Cieplak, all the twelve books of the Polish national epic will be presented. The event will be concluded by the special, six-day premiere of Master Thaddeus in May 2016.

Main Jubilee Events

19th November, 2015. The National Theatre’s Jubilee Gala

Kordian by Juliusz Słowacki /premiere/

The staging of the one of the most significant works of the Polish theatrical heritage. Subsequent stagings of Kordian on the national stage have shaped the course of the Theatre’s history. The production directed by Jan Englert reinterprets the romantic drama in the spirit of our contemporary times.

Theatre Fair — IT'S ALL HUNKY-DORY!

12th September, 2015. Theatre Square (Plac Teatralny), noon-10 p.m. 

An all-day, open outdoor event held in Theatre Square (Plac Teatralny) – celebrating the centuries-old presence of the National Theatre in the Polish public life.

The visual installation in the space of Theatre Square is designed by Marek Grabowski. We will present the musical performances of the National Theatre acting company, as well as the artistic programme of the students of the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, conceived and directed by Andrzej Strzelecki.

The programme of the Theatre Fair also includes: the reading of Book VI and VII of Master Thaddeus under the direction of Piotr Cieplak, meetings with star actors, documentary films, the presentations of theatre techniques, an outdoor exhibitions on the history of the National Theatre, an auction of stage costumes and events for children.

The days’ events will be culminated by the presentation of a multimedia installation by Krzysztof Wodiczko, one of the leading Polish visual artists of international renown.

National Theatres’ Meeting 2015

anniversary edition, October  December, 2015 

The fourth edition of the international theatre festival will feature the performances of the most important national theatres in Europe, with special emphasis on the Polish repertoire to highlight the National Theatre’s anniversary season.

October 2015:

    • Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern (Dramaten), Stockholm 
      Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen, dir. Stefan Larsson  (October 10–11)
  • Burgtheater, Vienna 
    Platonov by Anton Chekhov, dir. Alvis Hermanis (October 17–18)

    December 2015:
  • CDDB Théâtre de Lorient / La Colline - théâtre national, Paris
    The End of History by Christophe Honoré based on History by Witold Gombrowicz, dir. Christophe Honoré (December 4–5)

    • Lietuvos Nacionalinis Dramos Teatras, Vilnius
      Our Class by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, dir. Yana Ross. (December 8–9)

Symposium of National Theatres

November 20-21, 2015

For the third time, the directors of national theatres from different countries will meet in Warsaw to discuss responsibilities and challenges faced by contemporary national institutions. The free, open-to-the-public debate will be honoured by the presence of theatre scholars and renowned intellectuals. The National Theatres’ Meeting and the accompanying Symposium confirm the position of the National Theatre as a well-recognised European centre of the research focused on the character and role of national stages in the 21stcentury.  

Anniversary publication

The History of the National Theatre of Poland

published to commemorate its 250th anniversary

This is the first publication of the comprehensive history of the National Stage accompanied by a wide selection of illustrations.

A generation-spanning series of seven volumes includes the publications not reissued for years: Bogusławski by Zbigniew Raszewski and The Great and Sad Theatre of Warsaw 1868-1886 by Józef Szczublewski, both accompanied by the afterwords commenting these already classic works in the context of the current findings on the subject. 
The studies written by the experts specializing in the history of the National Theatre: Halina Waszkiel, Wojciech Dudzik, Olga Bieńka reveal ground-breaking conclusions challenging conventional notions of the National Stage’s activity during successive periods. 
The series is to be concluded by the prize-winning book by Magdalena Raszewska, The National Theatre 1949–2004.

Zbigniew Raszewski Bogusławski, in two volumes

Halina Waszkiel Hard Years. The Theatre of Warsaw 1815–1868 

Józef Szczublewski The Great and Sad Theatre of Warsaw 18681880 

Maria Olga Bieńka From Zenith Until Dusk. The Theatre of Warsaw 1880–1919 

Wojciech Dudzik In Search of Style. The National Theatre in the Years 1924–1939 

Magdalena Raszewska The National Theatre 1949-2004

Scientific Editors: Tomasz Kubikowski, PhD.;  Prof. Magdalena Raszewska, PhD.
Reviewers: Prof. Jarosław Komorowski, PhD.; Prof. Jan Michalik, PhD.


Education programme

Timeline. The National Theatre towards Eras and Challenges

the anniversary series of public lectures ( December 2014 – December 2015 ) 

The National Theatre’s stages have hosted many important premieres over 250 years of its history — important not only in terms of their artistic and intellectual value, but also political and social significance. In the anniversary season, renowned Polish intellectuals will deliver lectures on the greatest achievements of our Theatre.

The anniversary education programme also includes:

      •  Behind the Scenes – 150 theatre lessons
      •  Meetings on the occasion of premieres
      •  Workshops for children and young people


250 years of the National Theatre of Poland

The online exhibition presents the turbulent history of the National Stage using a large selection of illustrations and audio-visual materials. It has been created as part of Google Cultural Institute project in collaboration with the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute.

The History of Europe as Told by Its Theatres

10th February – 30th April 2015 at the foyer of the Bogusławski Hall

The exhibition explains previous generations’ ideas about theatre, tracing connections between the history of Europe and its stages. The show is held as part of the international project European Route of Historic Theatres and will travel across Europe between 2015 and 2017. Due to the 250th anniversary of the National Theatre and public theatre in Poland in 2015, the first opening of the exhibition is to take place in Warsaw, at the National Theatre.

The National Theatre celebrating the 250th— anniversary of public theatre in Poland

The National Theatre, along with other national theatre institutions: the Grand Theatre –Polish National Opera and The Helena Modrzejewska National Old Theatre, takes part in the special edition of the THEATRE POLAND program. 











    Feblik (Old Polish for an ‘infatuation’), surprising drama by Małgorzata Maciejewska received the Tadeusz Różewicz Drama Award. The spectacle directed by Lena Frankiewicz. 


    After the well-received Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Sławomir Narloch returned to the National Theatre with another premiere – A Dream Play by Strindberg.



    King Lear may be Shakespeare's boldest examination of human nature. Jan Englert plays the title role. The tragedy directed by Grzegorz Wiśniewski. 


    Piotr Cieplak directs Waiting for Godot by Beckett. Is this a classic yet? Does it still have its avant-garde power? And, are we still waiting?


    To celebrate 230 years since Aleksander Fredro's birth, the National Theatre invites you to an evening dedicated to the life and works of Poland’s greatest comedy writer. 


    Vienna in economic crisis and its lost inhabitants; portrait of the society in which fascism is born. Małgorzata Bogajewska directs Ödön von Horváth's 1931 drama.


    The play by Thomas Bernhard, one of the most outstanding playwrights of the second half of the 20th century. In the title role – Jerzy Radziwiłowicz. 


    Have you ever quarreled with the Time or visited a forest where things have no names? The musical performance based on the famous novels by Lewis Carroll. 


    Jan Englert stages a classic play by Molière. What is Alcest's misanthropy: an uncompromising commitment to the truth or a doomed uprising against social conventions?


    Staging the most important novel by Polish Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk directed by Michał Zadara. 


    An iconic work of Polish cinema, rethought thirty-five years after its creation. Wojciech Faruga directs The Decalogue by Krzysztof Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz. 


    Grzegorz Wiśniewski returns to the classic drama about human passions interwoven in a ruthless machinery of history and intrigue.


    Maciej Wojtyszko directs his own play about Baron von Münchhausen, a famous adventurer and swindler.

  • Solidarity with Ukraine | Солідарні з Україною

    The ensemble of the National Theatre stands in solidarity with the Ukrainians who are fighting for the independence of their homeland.


    Complicated love intrigues and music. Piotr Cieplak directs Twelfth Night, or What You Will, one of Shakespeare's most important comedies.


    The new theatrical version of the Australian prose classics directed by Lena Frankiewicz. In the role of Mrs Appleyard – Ewa Wiśniewska.


    Artur Urbański directs his own play which main character is Ruth Berlau, one of Bertolt Brecht's closest associates and life companions.

  • SNOW

    Staging of the Young Poland movement modernist drama by Stanisław Przybyszewski – Snow directed by Anna Gryszkówna.


    A theatrical version of the famous film by Ingmar Bergman directed by Grzegorz Wiśniewski. Danuta Stenka as Charlotte.


    How does evil arise that we do not understand?Mother Joan of Angles by Iwaszkiewicz directed by Wojciech Faruga. 

  • The National Theatre at Google Cultural Institute

    Virtual exhibition 250 Years of Teatr Narodowy (National Theatre of Poland) is available online at Google Cultural Institute.

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