Artists give real-life couples the chance to say “I do” in play based on Polish classic

The theatre is looking for couples willing to get married as part of an artistic performance. Darek Delmanowicz

Newlyweds wanted! A Warsaw-based theatre is looking for brides and grooms to be, or newly married couples, for a theatrical open-air wedding performance – with wedding guests thrown in!

On May 9, 2020 the TR Theatre will perform ‘Wedding in Bródno’ (Wesele na Bródnie). Inspired by one of the most iconic Polish dramas, Stanisław Wyspiański’s ‘The Wedding’, this artistic and social open-air event will take place in Bródnowski Forest, a large green area within Warsaw city limits.  

‘The Wedding’ intertwines reality with fantasy, while providing a commentary on Polish society. Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

The creative minds behind the entire event, director Agnieszka Olsten and visual artist Paweł Althamer, said: “Just like in Wyspiański's drama, poetry will intertwine with reality. The characters from ‘The Wedding’, the newlyweds and the wedding guests will sit next to each other behind the table.” The artists invite the residents of Bródno and other districts to attend the ceremony, in the hope that it will break down barriers, create a platform for a celebration without divisions that could undermine Polish national mythology.

“We provide wedding guests, representing various social, professional and national groups, wedding scenery, interdisciplinary artistic activities prepared by invited artists and creators, as well as a meal and fun until dawn with music performed by the Bródno Wedding Orchestra,” the artists added. “The couples participating in the event will be invited to take part in joint preparations for the wedding, including dance workshops and the creation of flower women.”

“Just like in Wyspiański's drama, poetry will intertwine with reality,” says Althamer (pictured).Jakub Kamiński/PAP

Wyspiański’s ‘The Wedding’, published in 1901, was inspired by the real-life marriage of poet Lucjan Rydel and a peasant woman, Jadwiga Mikołajczykówna. The play intertwines reality and with fantasy, authentic figures with symbolic ones, depicting the traditional wedding reception, while at the same time providing a commentary on the Polish mentality and national character, referring to two unsuccessful uprisings.

Paweł Althamer is recognized as one of the leading Polish contemporary sculptors, video artists and installation creators. He is best known for his large-scale figurative sculptures placed in urban environments, including his native Bródno.

Agnieszka Olsten (pictured): one of the brains behind the project.Andrzej Rybczyński/PAP

Agnieszka Olsten is a graduate of the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Her works are known to theatre audiences all over Poland. Her most notable pieces are ‘Comedian’ in the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź based on a Thomas Bernhard play and ‘Samsara Disco’ in Wrocław’s Polish Theatre, inspired by the writings of Anton Chekhov and Viktor Pelevin.

Althamer and Olsten will hold castings for their upcoming performance so newlywed couples, honeymooners or newly married couples who want to renew their vows, have until January 15 to have their crack at theatrical stardom.  The main requirement – a willingness to take part in an unusual art project. The deadline for applications is January 6.