TEATR NA WALIZKACH ('OUT OF SUITCASE' THEATRE & CULTURAL CENTRE) — using silent comedy and clowning to reach very diverse audiences!
Teatr na Walizkach is a private theatre & cultural centre operating mainly in Poland. Founded by three professional actors (Anna Went, Łukasz Jędrzejczak, and Oleg Yemtsev), the organisation aims on one hand to produce and present high-quality performances in comedy and clowning, on the other to increase the skills of education and cultural operators from the socio-cultural area. Their specific objectives are the following: Supporting cultural education through art — Increasing knowledge and stimulating the needs of urban and rural residents in the field of culture and art — Building intergenerational bridges for better understanding — Building cooperation between organisations, institutions, artists, for better integration, efficient organisation of activities and events, and for capacity building — Using direct contact between artists and audiences, and the emotions that art creates, to create dialogue with people in difficult social situations (e.g. refugees), or those with health problems or disabilities (e.g. patients in hospitals). Thus, they organise performances that are based on street theatre/art, comedy & tragedy, visual comedy, puppetry theatre and comedia dell' arte; and inspired by the films from the silent era (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton), the contemporary Russian clowning school, improvisational theatre, puppet theatre, and pantomime. These styles of silent comedy enable them to reach very diverse audiences. In addition, they organise circus workshops where children and adults can learn circus skills through interactive play. They also use the universal language of theatre and clowning as a tool to interact with hospital patients (especially children and young people), in cooperation with “Red Noses Poland” (see “Red Noses Clown Doctors International” network). During the pandemic, Teatr na Walizkach also began to implement film projects on their brand-new Youtube channel: Walizka TV.
Staff members: 1-5
Expertise: Participation / audience engagement
Target groups: They reach the community in its diversity.
Areas of work: Sociocultural activities & cultural mediation — Artistic activities — Art education & other educational activities — Local / regional / national projects — Event management
Fields of work: Theatre — Circus art / Clowning — Street art — Painting, drawing — Sculpture
Topics of work: Diversity, minorities, interculturalities & identities / migration & refugees — Fighting discrimination / stereotypes, inclusion, social cohesion & community development — Intergenerational relations & ageing — Children (0-12 years old) — Young people (13-30 years old) — Participation / audience engagement — Territorial development on local and regional levels as well as in urban and non-urban areas — Development of underused spaces
EU/International cooperation: International theater festivals - Polish Institute, Institute Adama Mickiewicza, Polish embassies Work with refugees on the island of Lesvos - Red Noses International
On the international level, they have also conducted workshops and interactive performances in refugee camps, for example on the Greek island of Lesbos. They've shown their interactive programs in Italy, Germany, Belarus, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Tunisia and Hungary.
Priorities for the network: Developing new international partnerships — Acquiring new competences through trainings — Sharing and exchanging practices, experiences and solutions with their peers to stimulate positive social change — Promoting artistic and cultural values — Finding innovative audience development solutions (especially during the pandemic) — Sharing the voices of small towns and rural areas towards better planning of grants and cultural programs at EU level