David is going to Israel – performance accompanying the Estranged: March ’68 and Its Aftermath exhibition

Dawid jedzie do Izraela
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

The play דוד נוסע לישראל (David goes to Israel) by Jędrzej Piaskowski and Hubert Sulima is a theatrical fantasy which refers to the many centuries of Jewish history and culture in Poland.

  • 7, 8, 9 September (Friday - Sunday), 7 PM, language: PL

The performance begins with an attempt at reconstruction of the March ’68 reality. The antisemitic campaign is in full swing. Polish parents raising an adopted boy decide they must give him back his—so far hidden—Jewish identity. Their struggle with the existing narratives and stereotypes pertaining to Polish-Jewish relations leads to a truly unexpected ending.
While working on the play, the authors used the 50th anniversary of March ’68 events commemoration as their point of departure. They studied the current Polish-Jewish discourse in its broad context, paying particular attention to the rhetoric, narratives and figures that dominate it.

A collection of stories and narratives which revolve around the cultural figure of a Jew, present in the collective memory—both historical and contemporary, constitutes a thematic axis of the play. The overlapping time frames conjure up a fairly-tale like, grotesque reality of the Polish-Jewish universe where a “typical” Polish family from the period of the People’s Republic encounters historical figures, among them: Władysław Gomułka, Aldona Giedymin (wife of Casmir the Great), and even Mary of Nazareth. At the same time, the play takes the form of a parabolic story woven as a reaction to the political upheaval, akin to the basis of Andrzej Szczypiorski’s famous “March ’68” novel titled Mass for the City of Arras.

From the authors:

We strove to construct a connective perspective that could defy, at least for a while, the existing narratives. We believe that the nature of discussions on “Polish-Jewish subjects” most often—perhaps inadvertently—provokes divisions and enhances the figure of a Jew the Estranged in the collective consciousness. That is precisely why we challenge the clichés present in these discourses, and we repudiate the cult of memory, national martyrology and political correctness shared by both nations. We hope that our play, a priori assumed to be a voice in the debate on “Jewish issues” will elude being pigeonholed and will deliberately touch upon the “Polish issues”, among them patriotism, national identity, or the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence.

  • Directed by: Jędrzej Piaskowski
  • Dramaturgy: Hubert Sulima
  • Adopted for stage: Jędrzej Piaskowski, Hubert Sulima
  • Stage design: Kornelia Dzikowska
  • Costumes: Hanka Podraza
  • Music: Jan Tomza-Osiecki
  • Choreography: Mikołaj Karczewski
  • Assistant director: Wojtek Sobolewski
  • State management: Malwina Szumacher
  • Production: Magda Igielska
  • With the appearance of: Jan Dravnel, Natalia Kalita, Rafał Maćkowiak, Sebastian Pawlak
  • Co-production: TR Warszawa Theatre, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

The program Estranged: March ‘68 and Its Aftermath consists of a series of projects and a temporary exhibition at POLIN Museum. It aims at recalling the memory of the causes, the course and the consequences of the March '68 antisemitic campaign on the 50th anniversary of the events.