Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Modjeska Club Presents Actress and Author Beata Pozniak, Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 7 pm


The Modjeska Club is pleased to present actress and author Beata Pozniak on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 7 pm via Zoom.  The program will include video and a live performance, as well as interview by Maja Trochimczyk and Elizabeth Kanski. The meeting room information will be distributed to guests and members of the Club via email. 


Beata Poźniak, an actress, voice over artist, activist, painter and poet. She narrated the #1 bestseller, “The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great”, a 19 hour audiobook for Random House, where she made use of her European background in bringing to life the 78 characters and their colorful accents.   After embodying one of the most intriguing women in history, she read another 19 hour story of the “Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great”.  This was followed by a teen romance/adventure/sci-fi thriller, “The Illuminae Files”, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which won an AUDIE Award.  After that, she co-narrated “The Tsar of Love and Techno” by Anthony Maara which was selected in the Top 5 Best Audiobooks of the year by The Washington Post.  “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead”, the finalist for the Man Booker International Prize by a NOBEL Prize winner in Literature, Olga Tokarczuk read by Beata, which earned her an EARPHONES Award for Best Performance and interpretation. 

Also, recently she narrated and produced the European Homer Award winning book, “Libretto for the Desert” poetry dedicated to the victims of genocide and war for which she received the 2019 International Maria Konopnicka Award. And was nominated for the 2019 Voice Arts Award. For ‘The Light in Hidden Places” by Scholastic, she received an 2020 Earphones Award and a 2020 Voice Arts Award nomination in the Outstanding Audiobook Narration Category https://soundcloud.com/beata-pozniak/light-in-hidden-places-scholastic-audio . For performing LIVE at The HAMMER Museum Wislawa Szymborska’s poetry, she was nominated for a Voice Arts Award https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haV8ltlVuVI&t=17s 

Beata won the 2020 Voice Arts Award in the "Outstanding Video Game Character - Best Performance" Category for voicing Skarlet, the Blood Queen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tY2mKe2vr4  In the almost 30 years of the Mortal Kombat franchise, Beata is the first actor to receive such a prestigious honor for voicing one of the characters.

  •  “Beata Pozniak is the Empress of Audiobooks." Hollywood Today 
  • “Narrator Beata Poźniak is a master of the many accents.”  AudioFile Magazine  
  • “Beata Poźniak is the first non-native English speaking narrator hired by the largest publisher in the world – Random House…” The Hollywood Times

On screen she is remembered as Gary Oldman’s on-screen wife, Marina Oswald in Oliver Stone’s eight times Oscar nominated film “JFK” and the first female President of the World in the hit SCI-FI series “Babylon 5”.  On “Mad About You” played Helen Hunt’s and Paul Reiser’s maid, then Irene, a revolutionary overthrowing the Russian government in George Lucas’s “Young Indiana Jones: Russian Revolution 1917”, and a double agent working for the CIA and Mossad on the hit TV series “JAG” .

 Recently she played a cameo in a feature based on true facts about 1930’s genocide Holodomor - “Mr. Jones” – she plays a historical figure, a journalist that gets deported from Soviet Union for reporting to the west. She played Beata, an actress a WW2 survivor in “All These Voices” for which it won a student OSCAR. On “Melrose Place” she played Dr. Fielding a single mom marrying a gay character, who becomes a father to her child . She also narrated documentaries such as, “The Officer’s Wife” about the mass murder of Polish officers in the Katyn forrest and co-narrated “Freedom from Despair”, a film about communism, which won several Awards and received an honorable mention in the US Congress. As a co-producer, she is proud to be associated with "An Unknown Country” which received a nomination for EMMY Award for Best Documentary.

An Earphones Award Winner and a Voice Arts Award Winner – “this is a very special honor for me particularly that not long ago it would have been unthinkable to cast a female voice over actress and narrator for whom English was a second language. These voice awards are proof that in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.”.    

Beata has directed multi award winning experimental film poems. “People on the Bridge”  is inspired by Hiroshige Utagawa ukiyo - art piece and a poem written by Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska.  “Mnemosyne – International Women’s Day” is based on a poem and a painting that Pozniak created https://www.amazon.com/Beata-Pozniak-March-International-Womens/dp/B00KVVCJAM . The work depicts a community of all races of the world in a female form. It evokes the achievements of women along their struggle for peace and equality in the face of discrimination and war. 

Pozniak has also written and directed experimental stage plays based on poetry. Among them are “Immigration and the American Experience”, “Poeticus Umbilicus” or “We and They”.  The later and “The Return of Umbilicus” was selected for the Peter Sellars’s International Theatre Festival. As a poet, in 2019 she was invited by the Yale Club to read her work. Her poems have been translated into Armenian, Greek, Korean and Polish. Last year, her poems were published in Swansea “The Seventh Quarry Poetry”  and also in Bengali – Bilingual Poetry Magazine “Shabdaguchha”. This year her poetry is included in “Musings During a Time of Pandemic - A Wold Anthology of Poems on COVID-19” and “I Can’t Breathe: A Poetic Anthology of Fresh Air” a compilation of poems that focuses on racism, colonialism, slavery, freedom, justice and human rights. Beata is a human rights activist, and introduced the first bill in the history of US Congress to recognize officially International Women’s Day in the United States. 

For several years Beata served and serves as one of the Judges for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Awards. She is a classically trained actress and holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Film and Drama and for several years served on the faculty at USC - Masters Degree Program. 

More info: https://www.beata.com




Videos to enjoy:

1) https://youtu.be/nd5lA2WOI0Y

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tY2mKe2vr4

3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haV8ltlVuVI&t=17s

4) https://youtu.be/6xxPflVsmqs

5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMzZ3OulfeI

6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXuEXnZtXJA

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Dr. Iwona D. Korga Presents the Pilsudski Institute of America, Sunday, January 31,2021 at 4 pm on Zoom

Pilsudski Institute in America, photo Marek Zielinski
Video from the Event: https://youtu.be/a6dihbNHiKo

Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is honored to invite members and friends of the Cclub to a lecture and presentation in the Zoom format on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 4 pm. 

Dr. Iwona D. Korga President and Executive Director of the Pilsudski Institute will appear in the program illustrated with video and slides:

Instytut Piłsudskiego w Ameryce - historia, ludzie i działalność
The Piłsudski Institute in America - history, people and activity

The presentation will be in Polish.

We will send invitations to members and guests via email. If someone uses a name in Zoom that is different from their own name (iPhoneuser, phone number, Admin, etc.), please send the information by e-mail to the president@modjeska.org. 


President and Executive Director of the Józef Piłsudski Institute in America, historian, researcher of the Polish community. Dr. Korga comes from Krakow and has lived in New York since 1991. She has been associated with the Piłsudski Institute since 1994, first as a librarian and archivist, then as deputy diretor, executive director since 2005, and finally the president since 2016.

A graduate of MA studies in the field of history (1991) of the Pedagogical University in Krakow, she received the doctor of humanities degree from the same university  in 2004. In New York in 2008, she completed a Master's degree in Information Science and Library Science at Queens College (CUNY). She also worked as Polish teacher in high school classes at the Polish Saturday School at the parish of St. Cyril and Methodius in Brooklyn (from 2014), and, in the years 1995-2001, at the School of Polish Culture and Language St. John Paul II in Maspeth, NY.

She actively participates in scholarly conferences in the United States and Europe, organizes and conducts educational programs, workshops and history lessons for students of Polish and American schools as part of the Polish-English bilingual program. Dr. Korga is the creator and co-author of the educational portal of the Piłsudski Institute entitled poznajhistorie.org. This portal conducts training for teachers in Polish history.

Dr. Korga is the author of the book (2011) entitled Poland is Fighting! The propaganda policy of the Polish government-in-exile towards the American society 1939-1945. [Polska Walczy ! Polityka propagandowa rządu polskiego na uchodźstwie wobec społeczeństwa amerykańskiego 1939-1945] and of many popular historical articles in the Polish press in the USA and in scholarly periodicals.

In the years 2004-2018 she was a member of the board of the Polish American Historical Association, in the years 2016-2018 she served as the Second Vice President. Since 2018, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union.

Recipient of the following honors from the government of Poland: the Gold Cross of Merit, the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis, the Medal of the National Education Commission and, in 2018, the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Virtual Presentation of Modjeska Prize 2020 to Andrzej Seweryn, January 2, 2021, at 12:30 pm on Zoom

Link to the YouTube Video of the event: https://youtu.be/gXguc-S6qrg

Dear Club Members and Friends,

It is a great honor and delight to invite you to the virtual presentation of the Helena Modjeska Prize 2020 to eminent Polish actor Andrzej Seweryn. This zoom event will take place on Saturday January 2, 2021,  at 12:30 pm The interview with our distinguished guest will be conducted by a Club member and amazing actress Katarzyna Smiechowicz. The presentation of the Prize will be from the garden of Club President Maja Trochimczyk.  

Among the most successful Polish actors, Seweryn starred in over 50 films in Poland, France and Germany. The current General Director of Teatr Polski in Warsaw, he is among an elite group of only three foreigners accepted to Comédie-Française. His critically acclaimed film and theater roles gained him multiple honors and awards, such as   He visited the Modjeska Club several times, most recently in 2017, when Andy Dowen was the president, and Ewa Barsam hosted the event in her elegant residence. 

Andrzej Seweryn with President Andrew Dowen, 2017

The link will be emailed to members and guests, not to be posted in public but to be shared with friends. 

WHEN: Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 12:30 pm

WHAT: Modjeska Prize 2020 Presentation

WHERE: Zoom Meeting by Invitation Only

WHO: Andrzej Seweryn will be the recipient of the Modjeska Prize 2020 and will be interviewed by Katarzyna Smiechowicz, with Maja Trochimczyk presenting the Modjeska Prize virtually. 

Andrzej Seweryn with Prof. Elzbieta Trybus, 2017


Andrzej Teodor Seweryn is one of the most successful Polish theatre actors. He starred in over 50 films, mostly in Poland, France and Germany. He is also one of only three non-French actors to be hired by the Paris-based Comédie-Française. He is currently serving as director general of the Polski Theatre in Warsaw. 

The biography below is from Wikipedia. Read also his biography on the portal Culture.Pl: https://culture.pl/en/artist/andrzej-seweryn

Seweryn was was born on 25 April 1946 in Heilbronn, Germany. His parents, Zdzisław and Zofia, were captured and forced into slave labor in Germany during World War II. After the birth of Andrzej, they returned to Poland. In 1968 he graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw and worked at Teatr Ateneum where he continued to act until 1980. Already in the 1970s he gained much fame following his appearance in numerous films directed by Andrzej Wajda, notably Without Anesthesia, The Promised Land and the Man of Iron. For his role in Wajda's 1980 Dyrygent Seweryn received the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1980 Seweryn also made his stage debut in France following the staging of Wajda's interpretation of plays by Stanisław Witkiewicz at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers.

The imposition of the martial law in Poland in 1981 found Seweryn in France. A sympathiser of the outlawed Solidarity, he decided to stay abroad and settle in France. With time he also applied for French citizenship. During his stay in France he collaborated with some of the most renowned theatre directors. Among them were Claude Régy (La Trilogie du revoir and Grand et Petit by Botho Strauss), Patrice Chéreau (Peer Gynt by Ibsen), Peter Brook (The Mahabharata), Bernard Sobel (Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertold Brecht, Tartuffe by Molière), Deborah Warner (A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen), Antoine Vitez (L'Échange by Paul Claudel), Jacques Rosner (The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov and Breakfast with Wittgenstein based on a novel by Thomas Bernhard), and Jacques Lassalle (Jedermann by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and The Misanthrope by Molière). Since 1993 he has performed in Comédie Française in Paris (receiving full membership in 1995, as the third non-French in the history of that theatre) and taught at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1996 he received Witkacy Prize - Critics' Circle Award. For his contribution to French culture in 2005 was awarded with Légion d'honneur, in addition to Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Ordre national du Mérite. 

Andrzej Seweryn appeared in over fifty motion pictures, most them Polish, French and German productions. He is best known in the United States for his portrayal as Julian Scherner in the film Schindler's List. Seweryn was allegedly chosen for the role of Scherner since he bore a striking physical resemblance to the actual Julian Scherner, based upon photographic evidence from World War II. He has also portrayed the French Revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, in the film and mini-series La Révolution française (1989) a.k.a. (The French Revolution). His 2006 film Who Never Lived was entered into the 28th Moscow International Film Festival. In 2016, he won the Best Actor Award at the Locarno International Film Festival for the film The Last Family. 

His awards include: 

1980 - Silver Bear for his role in Dyrygent / The Orchestra Conductor at the Berlinale International Film Festival1994 - Grand Prize for acting for his role in Amok at the Cairo IFF

1996 - Witkacy Award

1997 – Minister of Foreign Affaris Diploma for outstanding merits to Polish culture abroad; Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland

1998 - Award for the title role in the Television Playhouse (Teatr Telewizji) production of Slawomir Mrozek's Krawiec at the National Competition for the Staging of Contemporary Polish Plays

1999 - Order National du Merite for contributions to French culture

2000 - Polish Television's award for his role in the film, Prymas / The Cardinal at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdansk

2001 - Golden Duck award for his role in Prymas / The Cardinal

2005 - Légion d'honneur for his contribution to French culture.

2006 - Golden Medal Gloria Artis - Merits for Culture 

2008 – the Great Bow Award / Wielki Ukłon – an honorary award of the Quest Europe in Zielona Góra; the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta

2010 – the Audience Award organised by the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków for the role in Imagine Yourself... William Shakespeare 

2012 – Santo Domingo Muestra Internacional De Cine Award for the role in Little Rose directed by Jan Kidawa-Błoński; 26th Tarnów Film Award for life-time merits to Polish ciematography, especially for an outstanding performance in Promised land directed by Andrzej Wajda

2013 – an award from the Wocław City Council and Grand Prix Geras at the Wrocław WROSTJA Meetings of One Actor and Small Forms

2014 – Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Award for outstanding performances at the Polish Theatre in Warsaw, especially in Shakespeare's plays; the Złoty Glan Award of the Charlie cinema in Łódź

2016 – the Icon of the Polish Cinema / Ikona Polskiego Kina Award for life-time achievements in acting granted at the 5th Suspense Film Festival in Kołobrzeg; Golden Leopard for the Best Actor at the 69th Locarno International Film Festival for the role of Zdzisław Beksiński in The Last Family

Portrait by A. Kruk, Wikimedia Commons, 2009.

His films include: 

  • Beata (1965) as Pupil
  • Album polski (1970, a.k.a. Polish Album) as Tomek
  • Przejście podziemne (1974, TV Short, a.k.a. The Underground Passage) as Stach
  • Ziemia Obiecana (1975, a.k.a. The Promised Land) as Maks Baum
  • Noce i dnie (1975, a.k.a. Nights and Days) as Anzelm Ostrzenski
  • Opadły liście z drzew (1975, a.k.a. Leaves Have Fallen) as Smukły
  • Zaklęte rewiry (1975, a.k.a. Hotel Pacific) as Henek (voice)
  • Obrazki z życia (1975, a.k.a. Pictures From Life) as Writer
  • Polskie drogi (1977, TV Series) as Sturmbannführer Kliefhorn
  • Człowiek z marmuru (1977) a.k.a. Man of Marble as Reader (voice)
  • Długa noc poślubna (1977, TV Movie a.k.a. Long Honeymoon)
  • Granica (1978, a.k.a. The Limit) as Zenon Ziembiewicz
  • Bez znieczulenia (1978) a.k.a. Without Anesthesia as Jerzy Rosciszewski
  • Bestia (1978, a.k.a. Beast) as Ksiadz
  • Roman i Magda (1979, a.k.a. Roman and Magda) as Roman Barwinski
  • Rodzina Połanieckich (1979, TV Series) as Bukacki
  • Kung-Fu (1979) as Marek Kaminski
  • Dyrygent (1980, a.k.a. Orchestra Conductor) as Adam Pietryk
  • Golem (1980) as Doctor Creating Pernat
  • Człowiek z żelaza (1981) a.k.a. Man of Iron as Kapt. Wirski
  • Dziecinne pytania (1981, a.k.a. Childish Questions) as Bogdan
  • Peer Gynt (1981, TV Movie) as Le cuisinier / Le propriétaire d'Haegstad / Le père de la mariée
  • Najdłuższa wojna nowoczesnej Europy (1982, TV Series) as Hipolit Cegielski
  • Roza (1982)
  • Danton (1983) as Bourdon
  • Marynia (1984) as Edward Bukacki
  • Haute Mer (1985, TV Movie)
  • Qui trop embrasse... (1986) as Marc
  • La Femme de ma vie (1986, a.k.a. Women of My Life) as Bernard
  • La Coda del diavolo (1986, a.k.a. The Malady of Love) as The pedlar
  • Na srebrnym globie (1987, a.k.a. The Silver Globe) as Marek
  • La Révolution française (1989, a.k.a. The French Revolution) as Maximilien-Marie-Isidore De Robespierre
  • The Mahabharata (1989, TV Mini-Series) as Yudhishthira
  • La bonne Âme de Setchouan (1990, TV Movie) as Wang
  • Napoléon et l'Europe (1991, TV Series)
  • La Condanna (1991, a.k.a. The Conviction) as Giovanni, Public attorney
  • Indochine (1992) as Hebrard
  • L'Échange (1992, Short)
  • Amok [fr]
  • Schindler's List (1993) as Julian Scherner
  • Podróż na wschód (1994, TV Movie, a.k.a. A Journey East) as Jakub
  • Le Fils du cordonnier (1994, TV Mini-Series) as Célestin
  • Ohnivé jaro (1994)
  • Total Eclipse (1995) as Mr. Maute De Fleurville
  • Lucie Aubrac (1997) as Lt. Schlondorf
  • Généalogies d'un crime (1997, a.k.a. Genealogies of a Crime) as Christian
  • Billboard (1998) as Agency Manager
  • Ogniem i mieczem (1999, a.k.a. With Fire and Sword) as Jeremi Wiśniowiecki
  • Pan Tadeusz (1999, a.k.a. Tadeusz or the Last Foray in Lithuania) as Judge Soplica
  • Prymas - trzy lata z tysiąca (2000, a.k.a. The Primate) as Stefan Wyszyński
  • Zemsta (2002, a.k.a. The Revenge) as Rejent Milczek
  • Par amour (2003, TV Movie) as François
  • À ton image (2004) as Professor Cardoze
  • Kto nigdy nie żył... (2006) as Ordynator
  • Ekipa (2007, TV Series) as President Juliusz Szczęsny
  • Laa rounde de nuit (2007, a.k.a. Nightwatching) as Piers Hasselburg
  • La Possibilité d'une île (2008) as Slotan
  • Różyczka (2010, a.k.a. Little Rose) as Adam Warczewski
  • Uwikłanie (2011) as Witold
  • You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! (2012) as Marcellin
  • Sep (2013) as Reatorski
  • Zblizenia (2014) as Andrzej Milewski
  • Anatomia zla (2015) as Roman Szerepeta
  • The Last Family (2016) as Zdzisław Beksiński
  • The Mire (2018, TV series) as Witold Wanycz
  • Solid Gold (2018) as Tadeusz Kawecki

Finding the right angle to take a photo of the prize...


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Carols with Prof. Stanislaw Gorka, December 20, 2020 at 12:20 on ZOOM

Link to Video Recording of the event on YouTube: https://youtu.be/1FwZVVuWf8M

Welcome, in a mood for Christmas! We invite you to Christmas Caroling with Prof. Stanislaw Gorka from Krakow, who will sing for us Christmas carols and read Christmas poems. During our event at the McGroarty Arts Center in Tujunga, that seems so long ago,  as if in the last century, when we were able to meet in person, Prof. Gorka created a wonderful, warm, festive atmosphere, truly Polish and homey ... We hope that he will manage this miracle while using the cold computer screen...

The Zoom meeting invitation is sent via email, with links. Only people with their own names or previously reported unusual names in Zoom will be able to visit our meeting - due to the danger of nasty hackers we deny admission to "Iphone users" "Administrators" and especially "John Williams" who regaled us with Russian music and profanities last time around....

WHAT: CAROLING IN ZOOM (not to be confused with ZOMO)

WHO: Prof. Stanislaw Gorka

WHEN: Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 12:20 pm


1. Song from TV series "Plebania" "Stoisz sam pośrodku świata" - You Stand Alone in the Middle of the World 

2. Wśród nocnej ciszy  - In the Night's Silence

3. Na całej połaci śnieg - Snow on the Whole Field

4. Przybieżeli do Betlejem pasterze - Shepherds Ran to Bethehem

5. Powrót (Wiersz K.I. Gałczyński) - Return (Poem by Galczynski)

6. Lulajże Jezuniu - Hush, Baby Jesus

7. Chwalmy imię Pana (Joanna Kulma/Katarzyna Gaertner) - Let's Praise Lord's Name

8. Jezus malusieńki - Tiny Jesus

9. Cicha noc - Silent Night

10. Kolęda (wiersz Jana Lechonia) - A Carol (Poem by Lechon)

11. Pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki  - Lets All go to the Stable

12. Gdy śliczna Panna - When the Lovely Virgin

13. Wesołą nowinę - A Joyous News 

14. Ciemno tej nocy Betlejemskiej było - It Was Dark, This Betlehem Night

15. O maluśki, maluśki - Oh, So Tiny, So Tiny

16. Bóg się rodzi moc truchleje  - God is Born, Powers Tremble

17. Serca Wam się zgoją (Wojcich Młynarski/Jerzy Derfel) - Your Hearts Heal

Prof. Stanisław Górka - Theater, Film and TV Actor, Teacher

A graduate of the State Higher Theater School  of Al. Zelwerowicz in Warsaw. Since graduating in 1977, he performed in the team of the Współczesny Theater in Warsaw (until 2006), he also collaborated with the Dramatic and New Theaters in Warsaw, the Baltic Dramatic Theater in Koszalin and the Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz. 

A long-term academic teacher at PWST Al. Zelwerowicza in Warsaw, where he taught students voice emission using his own method, and currently teaches voice emission at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw.

Viewers remember Stanisław Górka mainly from the series "Plebania", in which he played the role of Zbyszek - the Church, but also from films by Kazimierz Kutz: "Turned", "Pułkownik Kwiatkowski" and Andrzej Wajda: "Conductor" and "Biesy".

He is the leader of the "Pod Górkę" Theater Society - a theater specializing in chamber vocal and acting forms founded in 1992. With almost thirty premiere performances, the actors of the "Pod Górkę" Theater traveled all over the world, playing several thousand performances.

Prof. Stanisław Górka in 2011 was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit, in 2013 - the Gloria Artis Medal; in 2015, he received the act of awarding the title of professor of theater arts from the President of the Republic of Poland.

  Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year 2021! 


Photoshop by Syl Ves