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Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival in 2013

Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival is an international theatre festival devoted to the idea of the Elizabethan theatre, and especially to the works of William Shakespeare. The event was first organized in 1993, on the initiative of Theatrum Gedanense Foundation, which had been created by Professor Jerzy Limon and Władysław Zawistowski, with Charles, Prince of Wales as its patron. Its original name, "Gdańsk Shakespeare Days" was transformed into "Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival" in 1997, during the celebration of Gdańsk's millennium.[1]

The Festival is held annually during the first week of August. Most of the plays are performed on the theatre scenes of Gdańsk, Sopot, and Gdynia (Tricity). Some are shown in spaces such as st. John's Church, the former Royal Gun Factory, or Gdańsk Shipyard and in the open air.[2]).

The Festival aims at presenting and popularizing the output of William Shakespeare by presentation of his plays, but also by other means. After the performances the public can meet with directors and actors. Within the framework of the festival an educational program for students is organized as well. It is called "Letnia Akademia Szekspirowska" (Summer Shakespeare Academy).[3]


Golden Yorick prizeEdit

It is a prize given every year to the best Polish staging of the Shakespearean play in a theatre season. It has been awarded by the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation since 1994. Each year the prizewinning performances are invited to participate in the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival.[4]


Accompanying eventsEdit

Summer Shakespeare Academy consists of theatrical and creative workshops conducted by Polish artists and famous foreign personalities. The participants are encouraged to develop their passions for theatre, dance, photography or painting.

Shakespeare Daily is the newspaper that has accompanied the festival for many years. It is created and edited by the participants of journalism workshops. It contains the information about festival events, reviews, and articles about plays and artists.[16]

'Dolne Miasto Górą' (which could be translated as "Dolne Miasto is the Best") is the common name of various artistic workshops organised in Dolne Miasto and Orunia (districts of Gdańsk). It is also called "Shakespeare mania" and consists of free workshops for children and teenagers conducted by young artists from Gdańsk. The project was created by Joanna Śnieżko-Misterek, Teatrum Gedanense Foundation and Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre. The aim of the action is to make the youth conscious of their abilities and to help them develop their interests and self-esteem.[17] The end of the workshops is always celebrated with a theatrical parade. Actors, human-shaped puppets and various artists, together with the residents of Dolne Miasto, march along Długi Targ, which is the centre of the Old Town of Gdańsk.[18]

The events do not end with the festival's last day. After the festival photographic and literary competitions are organised. Each year a competition for the best festival photograph and review is held. There is also an annual exhibition of the works of young independent artists.[19]

Editions of the festivalEdit

13th Shakespeare FestivalEdit

13th Shakespeare Festival was held 1–10 August 2009. It was the first edition of the festival that had a theme – multimedia. Many of the festival theatre groups employed multimedia in their performances.[20] The event was accompanied by an international conference on the phenomenon of multimedia arts in the theatre: Blending the Media. Art in the theatre/theatre in the arts. Among the guests of the conference were such theatre studies stars as Marvin Carlson, Patrice Pavis, Bryan Reynolds, Erika Fischer-Lichte czy Eli Rozik. A lecture was given by Elizabeth LeCompte, the founding member and the director of an experimental theater collective – The Wooster Group.

It was during this edition that festival performances could be seen outside the Tricity for the first time. This event was called Shakespeare in Pomerania Region. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by the Globe Theatre was shown in Słupsk, Pruszcz Gdański, and Kościerzyna.

Performances of the main stage:

  • HAMLET/Amleto. Nella Carne il Silenzio – Compagnia Laboratorio di Pontendera (Italy)
  • The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream – two performances by Propeller company from Watermill Theatre, Great Britain
  • Hamlet – The Wooster Group (USA)
  • Warum, Warum directed by Peter Brook – Miriam Goldschmidt's monodrama
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream – Globe Theatre (Great Britain)
  • The Merchant of VeniceBremer Shakespeare Company (Germany)
  • The Taming of the Shrew – The Wybrzeże Theatre (Poland), First distinction in the Golden Yorick competition
  • King Richard III – co-production of two theatres: The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj (Romania) and The Gyulai Castle Theatre (Hungary)
  • Othello. Variations on a theme – The Stefan Jaracz Theatre, Łódź (Poland), Honorary distinction in the Golden Yorick Competition
  • HamletThe Radu Stanca National Theatre in Sibiu (Romania)

As a part of Shakespeare Miniature Scenes were shown:

12th Shakespeare FestivalEdit

12th Shakespeare Festival was held 2–9 August 2008.Among the many performances of the year, the festival included a variety of workshops and lectures by distinguished theatre practitioners. Caleb Marshall (Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Great Britain) gave an acting workshop on Romeo and Juliet, Yoshihiro Kurita (Ryutopia Theatre, USA) and Jarosław Bielski (Replika Theatre, Spain) gave acting workshops on Hamlet, and Bryan Reynolds and Chris Marshall (Transversal Theatre, USA) gave a workshop on transversal acting methodology. Ińaki Arana (Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico, Spain) gave an artistic swordplay workshop, and Bare Feet (Zambia) and the Other Side of the Mirror Theatre (Gdańsk) gave African dance and drumming workshops. Also, Lonnie Alcaraz (Transversal Theatre, USA) gave a workshop for lighting directors and Michael Hooker (Transversal Theatre, USA) gave a workshop for sound directors.

Performances of the main stage:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fundacja Theatrum Gedanense. Międzynarodowy Festiwal Szekspirowski" [Theatrum Gedanense Foundation. International Shakespeare Festival] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2010-06-05.
  2. ^ "Klata Fest. "H." w Teatrze Wybrzeże w Gdańsku" [Klata Fest. "H." in the Wybrzeże Theatre, Gdańsk] (in Polish).
  3. ^ "Festiwal Szekspirowski" [Shakespeare Festival. Summer Shakespearean Academy] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 15 July 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Złoty Yorick dla "Burzy" Krzysztofa Warlikowskiego" [Golden Yorick for Krzysztof Warlikowski's "Tempest"] (in Polish). 2003-11-25.
  5. ^ a b c d "Historia działalności Fundacji Theatrum Gedanense" [History of the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation] (in Polish).
  6. ^ Harner, James L., ed. (1999). "Individual Works". Shakespeare Quarterly. Folger Shakespeare Library. 50 (5, World Shakespeare Bibliography 1998): 727. eISSN 1538-3555. ISSN 0037-3222. JSTOR 2902383 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ "Teatr im. Heleny Modrzejewskiej. Nagrody" [Helena Modrzejewska Theatre in Legnica. Awards] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-08-24.
  8. ^ "Polityka. Piotr Cieplak" (in Polish).
  9. ^ "V Międzynarodowy Festiwal Szekspirowski Trójmiasto" [5th International Shakespeare Festival] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-09-27.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Werdykt Konkursu na Najlepszą Polską Adaptację Szekspirowską sezonu 2004/2005" [The Jury's Verdict in the Competition for the Best Polish Shakespeare Production in the 2004/2005 season] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2010-09-19.
  12. ^ "Werdykt w Konkursie na Najlepszą Inscenizację Szekspirowską w sezonie 2005/2006" [The Jury's Verdict in the Competition for the Best Shakespeare Production in the 2005/2006 season] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.
  13. ^ "Werdykt Konkursu na najlepszą adaptację Szekspirowską w sezonie artystycznym 2006/2007" [The Jury's Verdict in the Competition for the Best Shakespeare Production in the 2006/2007 season] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.
  14. ^ "Burza – Teatr Nowy, Poznań (Laureat Złotego Yoricka)" [The Tempest – Nowy Theatre, Poznań (winner of the Golden Yorick)] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-10-09.
  15. ^ "Werdykt Jury Konkursu na najlepszą adaptację Szekspirowską w sezonie artystycznym 2008/2009" [Jury's Verdict in the Competition for the Best Shakespeare Production in the 2008/2009 season] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2009-12-10.
  16. ^ "Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival. Shakespeare Daily". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17.
  17. ^ "Dolne Miasto Górą!!!" [Dolne Miasto is the Best!!!] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2009-03-17.
  18. ^ "Teatr dla was. Szekspiromania czyli Dolne Miasto Górą!" [Theatre for you. Shakespeare-Mania or Dolne Miasto is the Best] (in Polish).[dead link]
  19. ^ "Wystawa "Migawki Szekspirowskie"" ["Shakespearean Photos" exhibition] (in Polish). Archived from the original on 2011-10-09.
  20. ^ Mirosław Baran (2009-08-11). "Nowe Media Szekspira" [The New Media of Shakespeare] (in Polish).
  21. ^ "Production Credits - The Tempest: Lightwork - Image Performance - Theatre Company". Retrieved 2018-11-30.

External linksEdit