they do not try to “make it beautiful”. The word “scenery” is not about them. After all, Polish stage designers do not just decorate performances, but create extraordinary independent worlds.

Anna Met

Collaborates mainly with female directors: Natalia Korchakovskaya, with whom she has been working almost from the very beginning of her career, Anna Smolyar, Grazhina Kanya and Anna Karasinskaya. The names of Ivan Vyrypaev, Pavel Passini and Marek Kalita also appear in her extensive portfolio. Met, a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, is the winner of the main prize of the Living Classics competition for the stage design for the play The Gates of Paradise at the Wrocław Theater Vspulchesny staged by Passini and Korczakowska’s Eve of Spring at the Wyrze Theater in Gdansk. In 2011, again in collaboration with Korchakovskaya, she made her opera debut, creating scenography and costumes for the production of the National Opera “Jacob Lenz” by Wolfgang Rim at the Bolshoi Theater Chamber Stage. She also worked on Moniuszko’s “Pebbles”.

Anna Met creates original, aesthetically adjusted worlds on stage – each in its own style. She feels great in the theater for a young audience, for example, she came up with an unusual, exciting mirror house in Smolar’s Cinderella. Takes up on the classics – she built a realistic wooden manor, faithful to the smallest detail, and “planted” a forest in Vyrypaev’s “Uncle Vanya”. She takes part in avant-garde projects, for example, she has developed a set design for “Narcotics” by Witkatsiya staged by Oscar Sadovsky.

The artist finds solutions for the monumental scale of the opera, but knows how to maintain adequate proportions – in the futuristic “2118” by Anna Karasinskaya, on the empty stage space, one could see a gleaming object resembling a giant shapeless “sculpture” made of crumpled foil. Thanks to the play of chiaroscuro, this simple, minimalist technique managed to build the right accents and create a fantastic, distant reality.

Michal Korhovets

Graduated from the faculty of painting. Creates scenography and costumes, makes films, is engaged in installation and video art. He is best known for the decoration of performances by Monika Strzempka, with whom he first collaborated in 2009 on the production “Long Live the War !!!” Since then, he has created a stage image for more than a dozen of her works. He also joined his creative forces with Jacek Ponezialek, Viktor Rubin and Magda Specht.

In 2013 he became a laureate of the prestigious V. Leon Schiller, awarded by the Union of Polish Stage Artists. His scenography for Courtney Love, directed by Strzempka (2013), won two special jury awards at the Divine Comedy Festival and the 19th Polish Competition for the production of a Polish contemporary play. Korkhovets recreated on stage the grunge atmosphere of a stuffy, dusty garage, in which chaos has long reigned instead of comfort, and mattresses and blankets lying around are associated not with a warm home bed, but with a gloomy burrow. A ceiling hung over the stage, creating the effect of crowding, and the actors treading paths in the scattered earth.

Its trademark is suggestive objects (most often old furniture, as if random dusty rubbish), faded colors and aesthetics of disorder: dirt or dust on the stage, tattered or broken things. Korkhovets is characterized by his love for … chairs and armchairs, which often clutter his set design. However, sometimes the artist is able to create a minimalist, soft image. This was the case in Jacek Ponezielek’s performance, where he relied on simple geometric designs.

In 2014, at the Chronicle Center for Contemporary Art bytom, the artist presented his first exhibition in which he showed an installation made up of his scenographic works:

My next projects form a single vision of the world, they can function independently – as extraterritorial works of art with their own discourse.

Dorota Navrot

Without her, it is difficult to imagine the theater of Michal Borchuch, with whom she has created many performances since 2012. It all started with The Snow Queen in Walbrzych, then she created the stage image for such important director’s productions as Paradiso (2014), Apocalypse (2014), All About My Mother (2016) and Frogs ( 2018). She also collaborated with Viktor Rubin, was an assistant to stage designer and performer Anna-Maria Karchmarskaya. She perfectly finds a common language with Tomasz Węgorzewski – she became the author of scenography for his “November” at the Theater. Fredro at Gniezno and “Vampira” at the Polish Theater bydgoszcz.

Dorota Navrot proves that a formal art education is not always necessary – she graduated from theater studies at the Jagiellonian University. In addition to the theater, he works as a costume designer and stylist in advertising and cinema.

Her unbridled spatial imagination unites the chaotic drama of the directors with whom she collaborates into a coherent whole. As a rule, these are open, lengthy compositions containing various non-linear narratives. Navrot’s projects do not limit the action and actors in any way, but they often reflect her sense of humor – in “Vampire” the prism splitting the light was created right in front of the audience from schematic curves of “cubes”; in “Frogs” she dressed Yan Sobolevsky in caricatured coats and a swan costume, and in “Apocalypse” an ambulance drove onto the stage, but not all, but only … the cut off rear part.

In the scenography of Navrot, it is clear that the artist and the directors speak the same language and are woven into a single creative organism. The unsaid worlds of Borchukh or Vengorzewski are born at the intersection of fragmentary drama and chaotic, often ornate scenography by Dorota Navrot.

Miroslav Kaczmarek

A true veteran of modern scenography. Author of stage design for more than 150 performances. Graduated from the Faculty of Visual Communication of the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts (now the University of Art). He created a permanent creative tandem with Jan Klata – together they worked on more than 20 productions. He also collaborated with Marcin Lieber and Victor Rubin. His portfolio includes the names of Yaroslav Tumidaisky, Machko Prusak, Agnieszka Olsten, Magdalena Miklash and Grzegorz Wisniewski.

He never dreamed of scenography. During his studies and immediately after, he was engaged in visual art and video art. According to him, the meeting with the theater of Krzysztof Warlikowski became a turning point for him:

I associated theater with something archaic. That all changed when I saw The Cleaned Up in 2002. This performance made me understand that the theater still offers many opportunities. Some time passed, and I myself made the first performance, then the second and off we go. Today this is my main, favorite and – still – fascinating activity,

  • he said in an interview with Isabela Shimanskaya.

Softness is clearly not its quality. Kaczmarek’s projects are bright and contrasting. They seem to challenge the viewer. The artist prefers decisive gestures – in the play “Tovyantsy. Kings of the clouds “staged by Rubin dozens (if not hundreds) of knives, hammers, sickles and other sharp objects stuck out of the walls. In Klyata’s Way to Damascus, he relied on a monumental structure of cells filled with … skulls.

An interesting stage decision was made in the play “Everyone will get what he believes in” (again in collaboration with Rubin) – a giant round table played the role of the stage, along which the actors moved in front of the spectators sitting around.

The artist was the author of the Polish pavilion at the 11th Prague Quadrennial of scenography and theater architecture. In 2012 he was nominated for the “Politicians’ Passport” award.

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