Poland's renowned Scena Plastyczna KUL's
ODCHODZI (PASSING AWAY) -- created and directed by the highly acclaimed
visual theatre artist Leszek Madzik from text by famed author Tadeusz
Rozewicz -- will be given its New York premiere by La Mama ETC in association
with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York.
ODCHODZI -- set to a score of live scat singing, sung by Polish jazz
legend Urszula Dudziak, and performed by actors who don't speak a single
word -- uses shadow and light accompanied by haunting, original music
and movement to convey emotions and existential truths inadequately expressed
Adapted by Madzik from Tadeusz Rozewicz's award-winning book of prose
and verse, "Matka Odchodzi (Mother Departs)" -- winner of NIKE,
Poland's highest literary award in 2000 -- ODCHODZI (PASSING AWAY) is
a visual spectacle that examines the solitude and mystery of a loved one's
The production features original music by Marek Kuczynski, with vocals
by Urszula Dudziak. The cast includes Janusz Buchoski, Przemyslaw Dudek,
Jaroslaw Figura, Liwia Madzik, Monika Michalowicz, Justyna Niezgoda, Tomasz
Pluta, Tomasz Wentland, Bartlomiej Witek and Tomasz Zoltak.
Located in the Polish city of Lublin, Leszek Madzik and his Scene Plastyczna
KUL have created 17 spectacle productions -- including ECCE HOMO, ICARUS,
STIGMA (based on "The Seventh Seal" by Ingmar Bergman) and SHROUD
-- that have been performed world wide since the theatre company was formed
in 1969. Refining his personal vision of theatre as a place without words,
Madzik has established himself as Poland's master of a uniquely visual
and deeply spiritual theatre experience. While Madzik and Scena Plastyczna
are virtually unknown in the U.S., critics worldwide have attested to
the extraordinary effect of Madzik's productions and widely regard PASSING
AWAY as his most powerful work to date.
Poet, playwright and novelist Tadeusz Rozewicz is perhaps one of the pre-eminent
living writers in the world today and is unanimously listed among the
greatest Polish authors of the 20th Century. His plays -- including BITE
THE DUST and THE OLD WOMAN BROODS set for their New York premieres with
the Polish Cultural Institute in 2006 and 2007 -- are constantly presented
in Poland's best theater, but he remains barely known in the United States.
Renowned singer Urszula Dudziak, a former Los Angeles Times "Jazz
Singer of the Year" award recipient, is internationally recognized
as a master jazz scatter. A resident of New York City in the 1970s and
80s, and now living in her native Poland, Dudziak has previously collaborated
with such musical luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie
Hancock, Wynton and Bradford Marsalis, Lionel Hampton and Sting.
"I could burrow through half a dozen dictionaries and still not
find the words to describe theatremaker Leszek Madzik and his company
Scena Plastyczna: Madzik's work is breathtaking." -- Justin
Hayford, Chicago Reader
"Leszek Madzik has created an epitaph for a beloved one, written
with the beautiful, radiant language of black and white images and the
voice of Urszula Dudziak. The spectacle is shocking and movingly beautiful."
-- Echo Dnia
The NY-based Polish Cultural Institute is dedicated to promoting and
nurturing cultural ties between the US and Poland. During the Polish Cultural
Institute's first three years, its consistently sold-out productions have
grown in scope from the 50-seat Knitting Factory to the 2000-seat Carnegie
Hall. It has collaborated with cultural institutions including La MaMa,
Art at St. Ann's, Lincoln Center, BAM, Collective Unconscious, and MoMA.
Previous productions include the recent SAINT OEDIPUS, a critically acclaimed
adaptation of Gombrowicz's satirical novel FERDYDURKE, Slawomir Mrozek's
OUT AT SEA & STRIPTEASE and SERENADE & PHILOSOPHER FOX; DYBUK
directed by Krzystof Warlikowski at BAM Next Wave Festival; RISK EVERYTHING
directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna at Art at St. Ann's; and THREE SISTERS directed
by Krystian Lupa at the American Repertory Theatre (Cambridge, MA); plus
a spectacular four-night performance under the Brooklyn Bridge of the
street-theatre classic CARMEN FUNEBRE.