“The crisis at TR Warszawa threatens to disintegrate the team and lose the artistic position of the theater. In the atmosphere of the escalating conflict, the chances of reaching an agreement are decreasing. All parties care about the well-being of the ensemble and the theater, but the lack of dialogue makes it impossible to resolve the conflict” – wrote Grzegorz Jarzyna in a statement sent to at the beginning July. The director hopes that in this way it will be possible to avert the crisis in the theater.
Conflict at TR Warszawa. Grzegorz Jarzyna leaves
On June 20, 2021, the actresses and actors of the Rozmaitości Theater in Warsaw announced that they were starting a protest against the “harmful and incompetent management of the ensemble by the management of TR Warszawa”. They emphasized that within two years, nearly 30 people left the team “tired of tensions, intimidated and mentally burned out”. They emphasized that in January a vote of no confidence was also submitted to the management and its representatives, but mediations and further attempts at talks did not help.
“In the current situation, the only possible solution for us is a change in the managerial positions of TR Warszawa. We are afraid that otherwise the ensemble of our theater will cease to exist” – wrote TR Warszawa actors and appealed to the mayor of Warsaw with an appeal for an immediate competition for the position of director / director of TR Warszawa.
Maria Maj, Jan Dravnel and Natalia Kalita in an interview with “” described:
Currently, our theater exists mainly to meet the needs of administering and building structures that become the goal in themselves. Simply put: the theater has no host (…) It is worth fighting for us, so as not to waste what we have managed to build over the years.
“This situation will cause the next employees to leave and the team will crumble. Our team is bleeding and we may not make it to the competition in the form we are now” – emphasized the theater actress in an interview for Aleksandra Popławska.
Jarzyna announced that he would not take part in the competition for the position of the director of TR Warszawa, he also announced that he would end his work as the deputy director for artistic affairs “upon the election of the new director of the theater. He will hand over his duties and artistic plans to the future director / artistic director”. He then expressed his hope that in this way he would be able to heal the situation:
In this way, I want to avert a conflict and open a space for understanding within the team and to secure the continuation of the theater’s artistic work. My goal is to preserve an institution that has been co-created by many people over the past 25 years.
I believe that TR Warszawa will remain a symbol of positive changes in the theater and will maintain its high artistic quality.
Jan Dravnel in an interview with Dawid Karpiuk for “” emphasized:
As a team, we lost our trust in Grzegorz. Also because of his attitude towards us. On the one hand, we owe him a lot, but some things are not forgiven. New times have come, we don’t have to accept the old behavior.
Even before Jarzyna announced his departure, Dravnel stated that such a solution “would give us all space for some healing”.
Dzieduszycka wants to stay. “For us it is unacceptable”
Natalia Dzieduszycka is planning to take part in the competition for the position of director. The theater actress Agnieszka Żulewska described in an interview with Magda Piekarska: “I cannot believe that after everything that happened, Natalia Dzieduszycka still emphasizes that she will compete in the competition for the director of TR! there is no conflict. We were under the delusion that they would still be able to hit their chest and admit responsibility for the bad situation in the theater. Only under that condition could we talk about getting out of it. “
Rafał Maćkowiak, during the conversation with TOK FM at the end of June, explained that there had already been signals that there would be a split in the management team and it did not mean anything good in practice:
As far as we know, our directors, Grzegorz Jarzyna and Natalia Dzieduszycka, do not plan to participate in this competition together. For us, this means functioning for 15 months with a conflicting management team. This is unacceptable to us.
Anna Rochowska also explained in an interview that it is time to change the management, because it is “impossible to work” in this way. “We do not think that they are bad, but that they missed the moment when they could leave with honor. Natalia Dzieduszycka could say: I did my job, I fixed the finances, thanks to which the theater was back on its feet” – she noted and added that they are also inadequate methods of working with actors by “crawling through the stage”, which Jarzyna used to do. “It is about breaking this violent pattern of thinking that is so deeply embedded in the phenomenon of power,” she explained.
A crisis of confidence at all possible levels
Director of the Culture Office of the Capital City of Warsaw Artur Jóźwik in an interview with Gazeta.pl said that he has been in contact with the crew of TR Warszawa for over a year: – The conflict in the theater lasted a very long time. We have been in contact with actors, trade unions and people who are not also affiliated to a trade union since April 2021. The conflict is very serious on many levels, he described.
– He’s intensified in the last two weeks. It began with the protest of the actors who demand that the management leave. There were also a very large number of statements from sister institutions, letters of support for the crew. Yesterday’s resignation of Grzegorz Jarzyna, which was an independent decision, is important. I suspect that it was very difficult for him, because he has been associated with TR Warszawa since 1998. It was certainly not easy for him, but I think it is a responsible step. If only for the sake of the team and the future of the theater, he emphasized.
We wrote to TR Warszawa asking for a comment on this matter. We are waiting for answer.
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