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Page 72

CULTURE

BRIGHTENING UP EMILIAN KAMIŃSKI - actor, director, owner of the private Kamienica theatre company in Warsaw, founder of the Atut Foundation, winner of the “Polish Market” Honorary Pearl 2019 in the field of culture, talks to Maciej Proliński. Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the Kamienica theatre company. As an actor, you have been present on the Polish theatre and cinema circuit for over four decades. What is the most lasting value for you in this trade? In my opinion, passion and ideas should closely accompany each other. But craft is the most lasting feature of this profession, something my masters taught me, and there were so many of them. Not until many years later did I realise how many of their tips and suggestions helped me to pick my own way. I would suggest that young people who enter the profession should respect those who have been there for years. I often meet with such arrogance and ignorance among young people who believe that everything begins with them. Nothing begins with you, young person, even your life doesn’t. Helmut Kajzar, the excellent Polish director and playwright, who is very unfortunately forgotten, said that in Poland we have a big problem because "categories are in a shameful state of chaos." He also said that we need to capture the spirit of the time. These are wise words, for as artists, we should capture the spirit of the time, but we should also be able to learn from the older, more experienced generation. PM

Your professional path has been marked by meetings with prominent artists - Polish cultural institutions. Let's focus on them for a moment ... Great Polish theatre and film actors such as Zofia Mrozowska, Tadeusz Łomnicki, Aleksander Bardini, Andrzej Łapicki taught me how to act at the Warsaw State Theatre School. It was a great time. The school shaped me. Tadeusz Łomnicki - in my opinion the greatest Polish actor - always talked about the acting craft which is the basis of everything. Talent is what we have from God. Craft is something we can develop, he said. Having graduated, I worked full-time in Warsaw repertory theatre companies for many years. I was part of the Na Woli Theatre company led by Tadeusz Łomnicki. I performed at the National Theatre in high-profile productions by the legendary director Adam Hanuszkiewicz. But it wasn't enough for me to be just an actor. I wanted to create my own productions. Over the following years - until 1996 – I was able to fulfil my dreams, including as a director, under Janusz Warmiński - a wonderful man, former, longtime director of the Ateneum theatre company. Years later, I decided to carry on what Warmiński did for me at the Kamienica, along with my wife, actress Justyna Sieńczło. PM

Is the Kamienica your dream come true? It takes a long time to build a boat, you then launch it and it floats. But you need a crew to make it happen. 15 years ago I found a magnificent 100 year old house at 93 Solidarności Avenue in Warsaw. Out of respect for this building, I called my theatre company Kamienica (which means tenement house in Polish ed.) because it is housed inside a building which PM

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miraculously survived World War II. The Kamienica is a gift of human kindness. In the first few years, the city of Warsaw and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage helped me a lot in the construction of this place. Dozens, if not hundreds, of private people also helped, which I am eternally grateful for. Then I picked the boat’s crew. I had my ups and downs, it was probably because I lacked management experience. But today my company is a great crew without whom I wouldn't exist. We are also blessed with a wonderful, loyal audience. A theatre company succeeds when audiences fill the house. Fortunately, there is no problem with that. The feedback we get from them is very important. They come here because they think it is a place which is entertaining, educational and alive. The Kamienica is a place you take full responsibility for, both from the artistic and business point of view. It’s a private theatre company, which means that the commercial side does matter. I have no problem combining the role of an actor, director and business manager. I treat everything as a task I need to perform. A task for the host of this place. From the very beginning, the Kamienica has been more than a traditional theatre company. We create a home-like space where audiences and actors are in close contact with each other. We want to give the place a special local feel. I feel very much at home in Warsaw, the city where I was born. The theatre has three stages of different sizes (one large, and two small ones) for very different productions. My unchanging rule is to put on plays which don't take away your will to live. In my opinion, the theatre is there to brighten up your world. It’s what you can say about good literature, music, songs and paintings. When it comes to our activities, three trends prevail. One is comedies and light dramas. Another one is social dramas, which help us fulfil a public mission. Then come our public activities. "Share and help" is the main idea behind the Atut Foundation. Our theatre company hosts a number of events organised for those in need, for example for the homeless. Besides, the Kamienica Theatre is a perfect venue for corporate events, receptions, and other events. The events we organise are appreciated by our clients because of the unique setting, ambiance and comprehensive services we provide, including our own original catering. PM

What are the highlights of this season? I enjoy putting on new productions, because it's a really busy season for us. It kicked off with "Bluff" directed by Marcin Perchuć, which is about working for a big corporation. One of the most important premieres is the play "Omnipotent Online" by Wawrzyniec Kostrzewski, who has also directed the production. It is addressed to younger audiences. We want to show them what is happening on the web, how destructive it can be. Last month saw the premiere of an English comedy about marital problems, PM

Profile for Polish Market

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...

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