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March 27 we salute World Theatre Day

Today March 27 we salute World Theatre Day.

The International Theatre Institute (ITI) is popularizing this art since 1962, inviting acting communities each March to hold events and stage plays to mark this occasion. Most of us will "attend" spectacles online. The purpose of WTD is to stimulate appreciation for the value of this art form. Theatre was and is very popular in Poland. Did you know that before the Depression Chicago alone enjoyed 14 active Polonia theatres? As Poles erected marvelous churches, parochial theatre groups and independent drama circles blossomed. Free Poland, White Eagle, Sons of Freedom, Freedom Bell are just few names chosen by literary-dramatic circles. Their patrons incl. Helena Modjeska, Sienkiewicz, Slowacki, Pulaski, Zeromski, Wyspianski. However, there were struggles. As Promienista, another theatre troupe put it "thousands of our youth fall into the arms of Americanization to the detriment of Polishness". A stronger focus on the purpose of preserving Polish language, heritage was reached by solidifying Polonia in a Union of Polish Literary-Dramatic Circles in America. Financial support for Polonia's amateur theatres was provided by merchants and famous innovators like engineer Ralph Modjeski (Helena's son). Beloved actors incl. Lidia Pucinska, Kazio Majewski and our own PMA star Basia Kozuchowska. For the record theatre began in 6c B.C. Athens when Greeks first used drama to investigate the world they live in-like Sophocles' Antygona, favorite play of Karol Wojtyla (Pope JPII ) which he performed in high school. Other world greats incl. Shakespeare, Moliere, Miller, Shaw. Poland's best incl. Jan Kochanowski (genius of Renaissance), Romantisicm dramatists: Slowacki, Mickiewicz, Krasinski, comedy - Fredro, Boguslawski.

B. Czerkawski

Photos present H. Modrzejewska, S. Eminowicz, Zeromski sculpture, Wyspianski Amor putto watercolor

#worldtheatreday #swietoteatru #polskiteatrwchicago

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