Dedicated to news and information about the activities of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles. Since 1971, we have been promoting Polish art and culture in California through events, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, book readings, and more...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas and Past President's Plans for 2013

As requested by Board Member Andy Dowen, I inform that the Modjeska Club events on December 15 (Christmas Party) and January 12 (Exhibition Tour of Art by Ewa Matysek-Mazur and Lecture by Prof. Andrzej Mazur of the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw) will proceed as planned. Board members Krystyna Bartkowska and Wanda Presburger are coordinating the Christmas Party, and Andy Dowen is responsible for the event on January 12.

 As the President, I have nominated numerous past President and Board Members of the Club to be recognized by the Polish government for their role of promoting Polish culture in America, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Club. The list includes, in addition to names I nominated, all the past presidents of the club who had previously received similar awards: Andrzej Maleski, Danuta Żuchowska, Dorota Olszewska, Edward Piłatowicz, Elżbieta Kańska, Jan Gąssowski, Jolanta Zych, Krystyna Kuszta, Krystyna Okuniewski, Maja Trochimczyk, Sophie Tchaikovsky, Stefan Wenta, Tadeusz Bociański, Tadeusz Podkański, Vitold Tchaikovsky, Franciszka Tuszyńska, Wanda Baran, and Stefanie Powers. The award ceremony is tentatively scheduled for February 9, 2013 (to be confirmed).

Photos from the recently completed events may be seen in the following albums on Picasa Web Albums:

In addition, I organized and the Board has approved the following schedule of events for 2013 to be implemented under the leadership of interim President, Elzbieta Kanska, by the Board of Directors including Danuta Zuchowski, Treasurer, Andrew Dowen, interim Secretary, and members Krystyna Bartkowski, Leela Chmielewski, Krystyna Okuniewski, Wanda Presburger, Bogdan Plewnia, and Jolanta Wilk.

FEBRUARY 23, 2013 - Balbina BRUSZEWSKA at Galeria Hellada (date subject to change, not confirmed)

A graduate of the Polish National Film School, director, writer, currently working as the artistic director of the Se-Ma-For Studio in Poland and one of the Experts at the Polish Film Institute. Her film THE CITY SAILS ON won 11 awards during only 1 year since the premiere. She’s been nominated to the Yach awards for the best Polish music videos 4 times, her graduation film scored the Grand Prix at the two biggest Film School festivals in Poland (Lodzia Po Wisle Festival in Warsaw and the Polish National Film School festival in Turek). Currently she is working on her first feature film in the cooperation with Se-Ma-For Film Production (Poland) and Archangel Film Group (Switzerland) and occasionally giving lectures on animation and the language of film editing in various schools all over the world.

MARCH 9, 2013 - Dominika SWIATEK and TEATR HYBRYDY - Poetry of Zbigniew HERBERT

 Recital of Dominika Swiatek, member of the famous Hybrydy, Student Theater of the University of Warsaw, that celebrates its 55th anniversary this year. Coordinated with Maciej Dzieciolowski, Theater's Director. The four touring artists requested lodging and help in sight-seeing in lieu of honorarium, but there are no volunteers to host them. More information about the program: www.dominikaswiatek.pl WWW.teatrhybrydy.pl

MAY 4, 2013 - Agnieszka ROMASZEWSKA-GUZY, Editor-in-Chief, Belsat TV, Poland (not confirmed)


Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy was born in 1962 in Warsaw. Throughout her studies at the Warsaw University History Department she helped building the Independent Students’ Association (NZS) and was member of its national board. After the communist government brought in martial law on 13 December 1981, she spent five months in prison. Between 1987 and 1990, she was a PhD student at Yale University. In 1990, after the fall of communism in Poland, she suspended her academic career in the USA. In 1991, she began working at the daily newspaper, Zycie Warszawy. In April 1992, she started her career at Polish Public Television (TVP). There she worked as the head of the reporter pool and deputy chief of the news program Wiadomosci, national reporter, Evening News and Primetime News editor. Since 1999, as TVP special envoy and foreign desk editor, she reported on events in Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Romania, and Afghanistan.

In 2004 to 2005, she worked as an international reporter, specialising in broadcasts from Belarus and Ukraine. In November 2005, the TVP Board of Directors appointed her permanent correspondent in Minsk, but the Belarusian authorities cancelled her visa the following month. Since early 2007- until March 2009, served as the director of TVP Polonia- international channel for Polish minority abroad. She initiated and developed the idea behind the creation of Belsat TV – the first independent television channel in Belarus – which began broadcasting in December 2007 and that she now runs. Between 1998 and 2004, she was a member of the Main Board of the Polish Journalists Association and since 2011 she is vice president of it.


MAY, 20013 - About Leonidas DUDAREW OSSETYNSKI, Modjeska Club Founder - Marcin FRYBES in Conversation with Andrzej SIKORA, President of the Literary Institute of Paris (the publisher of "Kultura"), exact date TBA

JUNE, 2013 - Andrzej STASIUK, writer (exact date TBA)


Andrzej Stasiuk (born 25 September 1960 in Warsaw, Poland) is one of the most successful and internationally acclaimed contemporary Polish writers, journalists and literary critics. He is best known for his travel literature and essays that describe the reality of Eastern Europe and its relationship with the West. After being dismissed from secondary school, Stasiuk drifted aimlessly, became active in the Polish pacifist movement and spent one and a half years in prison for deserting the army - as legend has it, in a tank. His experiences in prison provided him with the material for the stories in his literary debut in 1992. Entitled Mury Hebronu ("The Walls of Hebron"), it instantly established him as a premier literary talent. After a collection of "Love and non-love poems" (Wiersze miłosne i nie, 1994), Stasiuk's bestselling first full-length novel Biały kruk (English translation as White Raven in 2000) appeared in 1995 and consolidated his position among the most successful authors in post-communist Poland.


SEPTEMBER 15, 2013 - The Mystery of Hanka Ordonka by Kazimierz Braun, performed by TEATR POLSKI, Toronto, starring Agata PILITOWSKA


This play presents the life and career Hanka Ordonowna, the extraordinary woman and famous singer, actress, dancer, and lyricist who lived between 1902 and 1950. Her career flourished between the world wars, when she became the darling of the Polish cultural milieu. Today she is recognized as one of the greatest Polish singers of the 20th century. Polish with English subtitles.

 Agata PILITOWSKA graduated from the Cracow University Theatre School in Cracow, Poland and came to Canada in 1986. Agata Pilitowska lives in Toronto. She played many English speaking roles in local theatres. From 1992 she is associated with the Salon of Poetry, Music, and Theatre where she played in more than 100 productions, most notably in the series of dramas, written and directed especially for her and for Maria Nowotarska by Kazimierz Braun. These plays were performed not only in Toronto, but also in many cities throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, as well as in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her evening of poetry, Szymborska Nobel 96, was performed in Polish and English, among other places at the Concordia University in Montreal, Washington University in Washington D.C., and as part of the International Writers’ Festival in Ottawa. Since 1999 she has been a presenter and journalist for OMNI TV, where she hosts a weekly programme Z Ukosa (Sideglance). For OMNI TV she dubbed thirty three hours of TV programme "Canada, the Peoples' History" and twenty programmes Ecce Homo. She was also narrator and host of Polish language version of the series Science Show. Agata Pilitowska was awarded the title "Distinguished Advocate of Polish Culture" (2004), the medal "Gloria Artis" (2006), and the "Golden Owls" statuette (2011) for her achievements in acting and theatre in Vienna, Austria.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The President Resigns - Interim President is Elzbieta Kanska


On Saturday, December 8, 2012, Maja Trochimczyk resigned from her position of President of the Modjeska Club. These duties will be from now on in the hands of Elzbieta Kanska, Vice-President and the interim President of the Club.

The following events have been planned and will or will not be implemented at the discretion of the new administration of the Club: 

  • December 15, 2012 - Christmas Party with Wojtek Szeremeta and his group of Christmas Carolers (club members only)
  • January 12, 2013 - Exhibition and Lecture by Andrzej Mazur at the Eva Matysek-Mazur and Andrzej Mazur Exhibition at the Rolling Hills Estates
  • February 9, 2013 - Awards Ceremony for Modjeska Club's Past Presidents and Board Members at the Polish Consulate's Residence (club members only)
  • February 23, 2013 - Meeting with Balbina Bruszewska about New Generation in Polish Film (at Hellada Gallery)
  • March 9, 2013 - Student Cabaret Hybrydy of the University of Warsaw performing a poetry and song recital
  • May, 2013 - Meeting with Marcin Frybes and Andrzej Sikora, President of Literary Institute of Paris, about Leonidas Dudarew Ossetynski, Club Founder (and a posthumous award from the Polish government for him)



 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Sunday! Anna Seniuk at Magicopolis at 5:30 p.m.



On December 2, at 5:30 p.m., at Magicopolis Theater (1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401), the Modjeska Club will present Anna Seniuk in a play by Stanislaw Balinski, "Wieczor w Teatrze Wielkim," with live music by Magdalena Malecka. Reception to follow by Moonrise Press and Friends. 

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF THE HOUR! We will have access to the theater only at 4:30 p.m. and have to set up the stage and reception areas.

PROGRAM NOTES

Anna Seniuk (born November 17, 1942 in Stanislaviv) is a Polish TV and theatre actress. After World War II, together with other Poles from Stanisławów, she was forced by the Soviet government to leave her hometown, settling in the town of Zator, near Oświęcim. In 1964 Seniuk graduated from Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna (Academy for the Dramatic Arts) in Kraków and debuted in the renowned Helena Modrzejewska Theater (Old Theatre). In the early 1970s, she moved to Warsaw, where played in several theatres.

Since 2003, she has been working in Warsaw at the National Theatre. Seniuk is known to Polish viewers mainly for her role of Magda Karwowska in the immensely popular 1970s Polish TV series Czterdziestolatek (The Forty-Year-Old). She has cooperated with Polish Radio and has been featured in more than 40 radio shows. Among her most famous film roles, there are appearances in such productions as Europa Europa, Potop and The Maids of Wilko.

Stanislaw Balinski was a poet, essayist and diplomat, born on August 2, 1898 in Warsaw. He also studied Law and Musical Theory and Composition at the University of Warsaw. He was a member of the famed and notorious poetic society, "Skamander" that remained active during the Second World War in spite of the dangers under Nazi occupation. After the war, Balinski chose to make London his home; he died there on November 12, 1984.

Stanislaw Balinski's 'Evening at the Grand Theatre' is a comic and sentimental homage to the artist's and musician's of his time - that of prewar Warsaw. The Romantic Poet tells of a time when Theatre was likened to Religion and the tremendous importance and reverence the Theatre had in society. Anna Seniuk masterfully engages her audience in this comic and endearing spectacle that illuminates a remarkable epoch in Polish Theatre. Polish community will undoubtedly recognize this performance as the season's finest; it is highly entertaining and touches on very relevant themes about art and society in Poland. This is a subject of great interest to the Polish community, on that will no doubt be very much appreciated.

_____________________________

Program Notes by Ars Longa Foundation of Vancouver, Canada, the organizer of Seniuk's tour.

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A MESSAGE FROM CRITICAL MASS ABOUT AMERYKA 

Cześć!  My name is Valerie Spencer, and I’m a member of Critical Mass Performance Group.  I’m reaching out to members of the Southern California Polish community to spread the word about our latest theatre piece, AMERYKA

 It’s a kaleidoscopic look at the centuries-long relationship between the United States and Poland with an emphasis on the Revolutionary War period, the Cold War period, the 1980s/Solidarnosc era, and post 9/11.  The piece has been in development since 2010, and we’re about ¾ of the way there.  Occasionally we invite members of the public to take a peek at the work while it’s still under construction, and I’d like to let you know about some upcoming showings:

December 6-9
South Coast Rep
Studio SCR series
DISCOUNT CODE: 7565




Thursday, November 15, 2012

ARDEN ON NOVEMBER 24 & ANNA SENIUK ON DECEMBER 2, 2012


MODJESKA'S HOME IN ORANGE COUNTY, NOVEMBER 24, 10:00 AM 
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Modjeska Club I’m pleased to invite you to join us for a trip to Modjeska Historic Site – the home of Helena Modjeska that she called “Arden” – located in Santiago Canyon, Orange County. This site is a National Historic Landmark. During the guided tour of the museum we will see precious documents, portraits, and furniture owned by Modjeska and her husband, Count Chłapowski. The gardens were designed by the famous California gardener, Theodore Payne. ww.ocparks.com/modjeskahouse



We made this reservation (limited to 40) in July, selecting the first available date. We will meet at 10 am on Saturday 24 November 2012. Parking is limited to 20 cars, so carpooling is highly recommended. RSVP: Danuta Żuchowski (626 577 1258); for carpooling call Elżbieta Kańska (323 462 6428). After the tour of Arden we hope to meet everyone at a picnic in the Modjeska Park across the street. The admission is free (paid by the club) but please bring your own picnic baskets!


ANNA SENIUK  - WIECZOR W TEATRZE WIELKIM, DECEMBER 2, 2012, 5:00 PM

On December 2, at 5 p.m., at Magicopolis Theater (1418 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401), the Modjeska Club will present Anna Seniuk in a play by Stanislaw Balinski, "Wieczor w Teatrze Wielkim," with live music by Magdalena Malecka.

PROGRAM NOTES

Anna Seniuk (born November 17, 1942 in Stanislaviv) is a Polish TV and theatre actress. After World War II, together with other Poles from Stanisławów, she was forced by the Soviet government to leave her hometown, settling in the town of Zator, near Oświęcim. In 1964 Seniuk graduated from Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna (Academy for the Dramatic Arts) in Kraków and debuted in the renowned Helena Modrzejewska Theater (Old Theatre). In the early 1970s, she moved to Warsaw, where played in several theatres.

Since 2003, she has been working in Warsaw at the National Theatre. Seniuk is known to Polish viewers mainly for her role of Magda Karwowska in the immensely popular 1970s Polish TV series Czterdziestolatek (The Forty-Year-Old). She has cooperated with Polish Radio and has been featured in more than 40 radio shows. Among her most famous film roles, there are appearances in such productions as Europa Europa, Potop and The Maids of Wilko.

Stanislaw Balinski was a poet, essayist and diplomat, born on August 2, 1898 in Warsaw. He also studied Law and Musical Theory and Composition at the University of Warsaw. He was a member of the famed and notorious poetic society, "Skamander" that remained active during the Second World War in spite of the dangers under Nazi occupation. After the war, Balinski chose to make London his home; he died there on November 12, 1984.

Stanislaw Balinski's 'Evening at the Grand Theatre' is a comic and sentimental homage to the artist's and musician's of his time - that of prewar Warsaw. The Romantic Poet tells of a time when Theatre was likened to Religion and the tremendous importance and reverence the Theatre had in society. Anna Seniuk masterfully engages her audience in this comic and endearing spectacle that illuminates a remarkable epoch in Polish Theatre. Polish community will undoubtedly recognize this performance as the season's finest; it is highly entertaining and touches on very relevant themes about art and society in Poland. This is a subject of great interest to the Polish community, on that will no doubt be very much appreciated.

_____________________________

Program Notes by Ars Longa Foundation of Vancouver, Canada, the organizer of Seniuk's tour.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MARCIN FRYBES TALKS TO LESZEK JAŻDŻEWSKI, 10/27/2012 & MORE ON KRAFFTOWNA

Leszek Jażdżewski, a noted Polish journalist and editor in chief of Liberté!, will visit the Modjeska Club to discuss – in English – about “The Change of Generations in Poland – Challenges and Opportunities.”  The event will be directed at our young-at-heart membership with political interests, especially those who will bring English-speaking guests.  Our meeting will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, October  27, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. at Hellada Gallery (117 Linden Avenue  Long Beach, CA 90802, tel. 562. 435. 5232).  We will start early, to leave time for Halloween parties in the evening, including one at Hellada.  The interview with our distinguished guest will be conducted by Marcin Frybes, a distinguished historian and journalist. 

Leszek Jażdżewski is the founder and editor-in-chief of LIBERTÉ!, Polish liberal journal (English version of LIBERTÉ! portal is at www.liberteworld.com). He is a publicist, NGO activist (Non-Governmental Organizations), and coauthor of books Liberal reflections on life chances and social mobility in Europe, and  Democracy in Europe Of the People, by the People, for the People? He is also the coauthor of Central European Dictionary of Political Concepts
 
Jażdżewski publishes in various Polish newspapers and journals (Wprost, Newsweek, and Gazeta Wyborcza among others). He is also a frequent commentator on TV and radio. Leszek is an active member of the NGO community. He is a member of LYMEC – uniting young European liberals and the secretary of Transport Integration Society supporting modernization of Polish transport. He is also a member of European Convention on Liberal Democracy (ECLD).  The seating is limited to 50 guests.  The event is free, open to guests, and in English.  


Barbara Krafftowna receives 2012 Modjeska Prize from Maja Trochimczyk

Krafftowna's Visit and Modjeska Prize - Aftermath

The visit of Barbara Krafftowna - Polish Film Festival and 2012 Modjeska Prize was very successful and enjoyable for everyone involved.  Many photos were taken and an album is in preparation.  

The delightfully witty and charming actress "stole the show" at the Opening Gala of the Polish Film Festival  on October 9, 2012 and at the Modjeska Club Party on October 13, 2012.  

TV Polonia broadcast a report by Matylda Liro about the festival including a segment about the award:
Barbara Krafftowna received her 2012 Modjeska Prize at the Opening of the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, at the Egyptian Theater, on October 9, 2012. Our award was the first to be given, just before the opening speeches and award ceremonies of the Festival itself. The actress, in black evening dress, complete with twenties-style jet-hat, feather boa, and fishnet stockings read a short thank you note in Polish, translated by the Emcee of the evening, Mr. Banas. It was quite a moment for us all!


On Saturday, October 13, 2012, we met again, at the hospitable home of Elzbieta and Jan Iwanczyk, in Brentwood Hills near the Getty. Our reception and interview with the 84-year old legendary actress was attended by over 100 club members and festival guests. Ms. Krafftowna showed off her prize, talked about her career, in an interview prepared with Andrzej Maleski, a long-time friend. She prepared three short "surprises" - two comic sketches first published in 1895, and a one-minute reflection on the word "Jeszcze" (still) by Professor Jan Bralczyk, also a former guest of the club.

Pictures from Barbara Krafftowna's visit to California are in our Picasa Web Album: 


The Club’s events for the fall of 2012


⦾November 24 – visit to Arden

⦾December 2 – Anna Seniuk at Magicopolis  

⦾December 15 – Christmas party 

Please note that there will be no New Year’s Eve Party, since half of the Board will not be here, and there are no volunteers to organize it. For those interested, the Polish Scouts will have their “Sylwester” at the Polish Parish on Adams.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Barbara Krafftowna Receives the 2012 Modjeska Prize

The renowned Polish actress Barbara Krafftówna is the recipient of our 2012 Modjeska Prize. The eminent actress who started her career in 1946 is celebrated for hundreds of theater, film and TV theater roles in Poland and California. She is recognized as a specialist in the theater of the absurd (Witkacy, Gombrowicz) and is beloved for her performances in cabaret, including the legendary Kabaret Starszych Panow.

The presentation of the Prize will take place at the Opening Gala of the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 9, 2012. The Modjeska Club members will then attend a special reception and an interview with the star scheduled for October 13, 2012 at a private residence in Los Angeles.

Krafftówna started her acting career in 1946, performing on the stage, on TV, in films and cabarets. Her oeuvre includes: 62 outstanding theatrical roles (in theaters in Gdynia, Łódź, Wrocław, Warszawa, and Los Angeles), 33 roles in TV theater and over 43 film roles (in such films as Wojciech Has’s – Jak być kochaną, 1962; Andrzej Wajda’s – Popiół i diament, 1958; as well as films by Jan Nowicki, Kazimierz Kutz, and others). She has specialized in the theater of grotesque and the absurd (Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz, Eugene Ionesco, etc.). She also performed numerous cabaret and comic roles. Her contributions to Polish culture, to the history of theater in Los Angeles and to the history of Polish émigrés in California are invaluable. Barbara Krafftówna received over 20 awards and medals from the Government of Poland, such as the Commodore Cross of Polonia Restituta, Medal Gloria Artis, and more.

In 1983, in Los Angeles for the title role in Mother (Matka) by Witkacy, directed by the founder of the Modjeska Club, acting coach, director, and author Leonidas Dudarew Ossetyński, Krafftówna received 11 awards from a number of critics. She has performed in three productions for UCLA Laboratory of Theater Research (Seneca's Hippolytus in 1989; A Feast at Countess Kotlubaj's in 1997 and A Meditation on Virginity in 2004--both based on Gombrowicz short stories).

Created in 2010, the “Modjeska Prizes” were previously awarded by the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club to Polish actors Jan Nowicki, Anna Dymna and Marian Dziędziel. Ms. Krafftówna will be the guest of the Modjeska Club and simultaneously of the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles where her films will be screened. The Modjeska Prize is named after Polish actress who settled in California, Helena Modrzejewska (1840-1909).

Krafftowna at the Modjeska Club in 2003, L to R:
Krystyna Kuszta, Barbara Krafftowna, Jolanta Zych, and Tadeusz Podkanski.
The event took place at the residence of Joanna and Andrzej Maleski.

To see pictures from Krafftowna's visit to California in October 2012 visit our Picasa Web Album:

https://picasaweb.google.com/100602334921816625334/ModjeskaPrize2012ForBarbaraKrafftowna


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who Was Pola Negri? A Play by Kazimierz Braun

On Sunday, September 30, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. the Modjeska Club presents a play written and directed by eminent Polish playwright and scholar, Prof. Kazimierz Braun: Stories of Pola Negri.  The one-evening performance will take place at Magicopolis, 1418 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA. Starring AGATA PILITOWSKA with MARIA NOWOTARSKA, the play (performed in Polish with English subtitles) traces the history of Polish star of silent film, Pola Negri.



POLA NEGRI was the greatest Polish star in the history of cinema. She was born as Apolonia Chałupiec, in the small town of Lipno, near Toruń in 1897. From 1923 to 1934, she performed in twenty four Hollywood films, including The Spanish Dancer, Forbidden Paradise, A Woman of the World, Hotel Imperial, Loves of an Actress, and A Woman Commands. Each of them received enthusiastic reviews. At the same time, Negri also gained notoriety as the heroine of a scandalous romance with Charlie Chaplin, followed by an engagement to Rudolf Valentino. Just before their wedding, Valentino died in unexplained circumstances. Shortly afterwards, Negri married a Georgian prince, Sergey Mdivani. This was her second marriage. To make matters worse, public opinion judged Negri's marriage to Mdivani as a betrayal of Valentino, whom she had mourned publicly and for whom she had arranged a spectacular funeral. Attendance at her films fell, which translated into a withdrawal of contracts from film studios. Negri returned to Europe to work in Germany. As the Nazis tightened control over the film industry, screenplays in which she wanted to perform were censored. Asked to appear in an overtly anti-Polish film, she fled Germany. Negri lived for a while on the French Riviera, until the Second World War caught up with her. In 1940, she left once more for America. Apart from three insignificant roles, however, no film offers awaited her in Hollywood. She spent her last years in San Antonio, Texas, where she died in 1987.


Kazimierz BRAUN

Prof. Braun is a director, writer and a scholar. He studied Polish language and literature at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, where he obtained his doctorate, and later obtained his postdoctoral “habilitation” degree at the University of Wrocław in Poland. He studied theatre direction at the University Theatre School in Warsaw, Poland. He holds the title of professor in Poland as well in the United States where he presently teaches at the New York State University in Buffalo. Professor Braun was a director of the J. Osterwa Thetre in Lublin and the Contemporary Theatre in Wrocław, Poland. There, he directed a sensational production of The Plague based on the novel by A. Camus, in which he alluded to martial law imposed on Poland at that time. For this, he lost his job and was forced to emigrate. Presently he directs plays and lectures in the Unites States and other countries, including Poland. He is the author of over thirty books, papers, as well as novels which were published in Polish, English and Czech languages. He also wrote several plays, staged in Poland, The United States, Canada, Ireland, and Russia. For Maria Nowotarska and Agata Pilitowska he has written a series of plays, featuring great women who emigrated from Poland: Helena - Play About Helena Modjeska, American Dreams, Tamara L., Radiation, Tales of Pola Negri, and Ordonka’ Secrets. These plays were performed in many countries - in Polish, with simultaneously projected translations in other languages. Professor Braun received many prestigious artistic and literary prizes and awards: Guggenheim, Fulbright, Turzański Foundation, and from a Foundation in Japan. He also received the Polish Cross of Merit and the Polish “Gloria Artis” medal.

POLISH THEATER OF TORONTO


Established in 1990 by Maria Nowotarska, the Polish Theater presents plays and poetry readings on a range of Polish topics to audiences around the world. The most important part of the theater's repertoire are plays written by Kazimierz Braun for Maria Nowotarska and Agata Pilitowska and directed by the author: American Dreams, Tamara L., Promieniowanie (Radiation), Opowieści Poli Negri (Tales of Pola Negri), Tajemnice Ordonki (Ordonka’s Secrets). These plays were performed in Toronto and other Canadian and American cities: Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Sarasota, Phoenix, San Francisco as well as in Europe: Warsaw, Cracow, Zurich, Paris, Stockholm, Malmo, Utrecht, Duesseldorf, Vilnius, Lyon, Toulouse, Athens, Braga, Palma de Mallorca, London, Vienna and in Brazil's Sao Paulo.


Maria NOWOTARSKA

Maria Nowotarska graduated from the Cracow University Theatre School and for thirty three years was a staff actress at the J. Słowacki Theatre in Cracow, Poland. During her career there, she played many significant roles under the direction of several outstanding directors, both in comedy and drama. She played in a number of Polish films: Nad Niemnem (On the River Niemen), Między Ustami a Brzegiem Pucharu (Between lips and the rim of the cup), Kolory Kochania (Colours of love) and in many TV productions. She came to Canada in 1990 and singlehandedly created Polish theatrical life in Toronto. She is the artistic director, stage director, as well as actress of the “Salon of Poetry, Music and Theatre” Polish Theatre. The Salon's productions included an array of the best Polish poets, from Kochanowski to Szymborska and Twardowski. Ms. Nowotarska created the Actors' Studio which is associated with the Salon and which introduces young people of Polish origin to work on stage. Ms. Nowotarska’s Salon was honoured with the Medal of Polish Senate, and the “Cracow 2000” medal . She herself was awarded the Prize of The Adam Mickiewicz Foundation in Canada, and from the Turzański Foundation. She was also accorded the title “Woman of the Year” (1995) and received the Golden Medal of the Canadian Polish Congress. She was awarded the “Cross of Merit” by the President of the Polish Republic, the title “Distinguished Advocate of Polish Culture”, and the “Gloria Artis” medal by the Polish Minister of Culture. She was awarded a Gold Medal by the American Polish Institute in Miami, Florida and the “Golden Owls” statuette in Vienna, Austria.

Agata PILITOWSKA

Agata Pilitowska graduated from the Cracow University Theatre School in Cracow, Poland and came to Canada in 1986. Agata Pilitowska lives in Toronto. She played many English speaking roles in local theatres. From 1992 she is associated with the Salon of Poetry, Music, and Theatre where she played in more than 100 productions, most notably in the series of dramas, written and directed especially for her and for Maria Nowotarska by Kazimierz Braun. These plays were performed not only in Toronto, but also in many cities throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, as well as in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her evening of poetry, Szymborska Nobel 96, was performed in Polish and English, among other places at the Concordia University in Montreal, Washington University in Washington D.C., and as part of the International Writers’ Festival in Ottawa. Since 1999 she has been a presenter and journalist for OMNI TV, where she hosts a weekly programme Z Ukosa (Sideglance). For OMNI TV she dubbed thirty three hours of TV programme “Canada, the Peoples' History” and twenty programmes Ecce Homo. She was also narrator and host of Polish language version of the series Science Show. Agata Pilitowska was awarded the title “Distinguished Advocate of Polish Culture” (2004), the medal “Gloria Artis” (2006), and the “Golden Owls” statuette (2011) for her achievements in acting and theatre in Vienna, Austria.