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:


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