- January 4, 2013
„Pohulanka” Theatre – its meaningful centenary
The premiere performances “Kreacja” (Creation) of the PolishTheatre Studioin Vilnius directed by Lilia Kiejzik and “Pułapki Miłości” (Love traps) of the Polish Theatre in Vilnius directed by Inka Dowlasz- those two Polish amateur performances are put on the stage of the “Pohulanka” Theatre on the 4th of the January to open the ceremony of the centenary of the Theatre.
The main part of the celebrations of the “Pohulanka” Theatre is scheduled on autumn this year. Russian Drama Theatre in Vilnius, which has its seat in the building of “Pohulanka”, as well as the Polish Institute in Vilnius in cooperation with other Lithuanian institutions, are rehearsing for those.
Current events are held under the patronage of MEP and the Leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Waldemar Tomaszewski.
The building of the “Pohulanka” theatre (the name of the theatre originates from the name of the street at that time, the street on which the theatre was built) according to Aleksander Parczewski and Wacław Michniewicz’s architectural project, was built in years 1912-1914 on the initiative of well-off Vilnius citizen Klementyna Tyszkiewicz and landowner Hipolit Korwin-Milewski. During an unofficial tender, the project that combined modernist elements with a pursuit of the Polish national style was chosen. The theatre was built thanks to public donations from Polish community of Vilnius at that time. The building was handed over to the authorities of the city on the condition that only the Polish theatres would perform there.
One of the finest moments in the history of the “Pohulanka” theatre was the visit of Juliusz Osterwa with his group. The “Pohulanka” theatre became a seat for the “Reduta” theatre.
As an inaugural premiere in 1925, the performance “Wyzwolenie” by Stanisław Wyspiański, under the new direction, and with Osterwa in the role of Konrad. Over the next four years the “Reduta” theatre put on over 70 premieres. Juliusz Osterwa left Vilnius, and moved with “Reduta” back to Warsaw in 1929, but long after (even nowadays) the “Pohulanka” theatre is referred to as “Reduta”.
At the “Pohulanka” theatre a lot of Polish stage stars made their debuts. Danuta Szaflarska on this very stage made her debut as an actress. This is the place where the theatrical career started for people like Irena Eichlerówna, Nina Andrycz, and Henryk Borowski. Aleksander Zelwerowicz himself performed and managed the theatre. Unique outfits created by Zygmunt Bończa-Tomaszewski, Zdzisław Mrożewski, or Jerzy Duszyński. In 1939 in the “Pohulanka” theatre Hanka Bielicka made her debut, and during war Hanka Ordonówna’s performing moved audiences to tears.
After the Second World War, against the will of benefactors the building was handed down to the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (which was moved from Kaunas to Vilnius), and not as it was primarily intended, for the use of the Polish theatre. Subsequently the building housed the Youth Theatre (Jaunimo Teatras), and for several dozens of years it has been the seat of the Lithuanian Russian Drama Theatre.
For many years the Polish society of Vilnius region has been dreaming of re-gaining the rights for “Reduta” stage. The goal, however, is still out of reach… Fortunately, Poles take actions at the “Pohulanka” theatre- as Polish amateur theatres of Vilnius put on their plays, and the jubilees of Polish groups, and drama festivals are organized in the “Pohulanka” Theatre.
The major problem for Polish groups is the cost of renting the theatre, that has to be paid for the current owner… which is the Russian Drama Theatre.
Currently, the greatest problem of the theatre is the need of complete refurbishment. For several months, above the main entrance to the theatre, one may notice a sign that says: “I’m one hundred years old, I feel like twenty, yet I look like two hundred…. I hope I will live to a restoration.”
Based on: pap, pl.wikipedia.org, inf.wł., private research.
Tłumaczenie Jacek Malatyński w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Jacek Malatyński the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.