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Virginia teens breathe life into Galczynski's work

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  • marcinzmudzki
    VIRGINIA TEENS BREATHE LIFE INTO GALCZYNSKI s GREEN GOOSE THEATER Norfolk, Virginia, February 25 If you walked through Norfolk s downtown this week, you d be
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2002

      Norfolk, Virginia, February 25

      If you walked through Norfolk's downtown this week, you'd be
      surprised as I was. What caught my eye was a big sign
      saying "ZIELONA GES." My first reaction was "What?!!!" At first I
      thought my mind was playing a trick on me, but when I looked again,
      the sign was still there...

      Along Granby Street and perhaps in other locations in and around
      Norfolk, posters affixed on storefront windows invite people to
      see "The Little Theater of the Green Goose" by Konstanty Ildefons
      Galczynski, presented by The Governor's School for the Arts (GSA)
      Department of Theater. For real.

      In case you don't know, like I didn't know, what the Governor's
      School for the Arts is, it's a high school for artistically talented
      youths. Teenagers attend it parallely to their regular high school,
      somewhat like the musical high schools in Poland.

      "The Little Theater of the Green Goose" [Teatrzyk Zielona Ges] is a
      collection of hilarious sketches commenting on some of the
      absurdities of contemporary life. Galczynski published his Green
      Goose pieces in Przekroj magazine over several years after World War
      II. Eventually "Teatrzyk Zielona Ges" became a theater play; it has
      been available in English since the 1970s.

      I had the luck of being in Norfolk on the opening night of the "Green
      Goose." The premiere was sensational! With all due respect to high
      school theaters, what I saw was not your typical high school
      theater... These kids played like pros. Their energy reminded me of
      those enthusiastic first-time Olympians we saw on TV recently. They
      must have worked really hard to prepare for this show, yet their
      performance will be seen by audiences on only a few days. Moreover,
      you could see that these students enacted the various satirical lines
      and scenes with great understanding. Those teens are sharp! How was
      it possible for them to understand all those allusions to historical
      events and other works of art?... In the theater program, director
      Steve J. Earle explains:

      "Our rehearsal process began by spending four weeks researching the
      playwright and Poland during World War II. Next, we discussed what
      Galczynski might have been alluding to in the individual pieces.
      Then we worked to bring contemporary meaning to the sketches. During
      the process, we discovered an amazing connection [between] his world
      of the 1940's and ours today."

      Indeed the director's and the students' interpretation of
      Galczynski's text related quite well to today's events as well as
      current tastes, including references to Osama and experiments with
      body painting. The jokes were in tune with today's sense of humor
      and the artists' kept the audience LOLing.

      The bottom line is this: those who will go to see the performance
      will have a good laugh and forget about outside reality for a
      while... which is what is needed today once in while as much as it
      was needed during the war or soon after it.

      GSA's fascinating multiracial cast features the following rising
      stars: Shaquera Alls; Sean Blue; Whitney Dorband; Tanisha Giddens;
      Jacob Pennington; Tara Sheekly; Samuel Ball; Justin Demming; Liz
      Fenning; Danielle Mazur (!!!); Anthony L. Sanford, Jr.; and Meghan
      White. The set was designed -- in a way much like it would have been
      designed in a similar avant-garde theater in Poland -- by Shawn
      Crawford. Joseph Jankowich was the assistant stage manager. By the
      way, he is fourth-generation Polish American. How do I know?
      Because I happened to sit between his proud mom and Shaquera Alls'
      proud mom. There were many proud moms and dads in the audience that
      evening, people coming from various backgrounds. :-) They probably
      would have never socialized with each other if it weren't for their
      children's commitment to theater.

      "The Little Theater of the Green Goose" will be played by this
      company only three more times... on March 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and on
      March 3 at 4 p.m.. The venue is called GSA Black Box Theater and
      it's at 254 Granby Street in downtown Norfolk.

      Personally, I think the performance deserves to be shown in
      Washington and other cities. Any ideas on how to arrange that?

      If you can get to Norfolk on one of those evenings, I guarantee you
      that the show will be worth your trip. If you're traveling from far
      away, make sure you reserve your tickets because the show can be sold

      Marcin Zmudzki
      Temporarily in Norfolk, Virginia, USA


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