Teatr Na Walizkach ('Out of a Suitcase' Theatre) is a theatre & cultural centre in Poland created in 2005.
Founded by three professional actors (Anna Went, Łukasz Jędrzejczak, and Oleg Yemtsev), the organisation aims on one hand to increase the skills of education and cultural operators (from the socio-cultural area), on the other to produce and present high-quality performances in interaction with audiences, based on street theatre/art, comedy & tragedy, visual comedy, puppetry theatre and comedia dell' arte. They find inspiration in films from the silent era (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton), the contemporary Russian clowning school, improvisational theatre, puppet theatre, and pantomime. They also organise circus workshops where children and adults can learn circus skills through interactive play.
Teatr na Walizkach uses 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). 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.
The organisation’s objectives are:
1. Supporting cultural education through art;
2. Increasing knowledge and stimulating the needs of urban and rural residents in the field of culture and art;
3. Building intergenerational bridges for better understanding;
4. Building cooperation between organisations, institutions, artists, for better integration, efficient organisation of activities and events, and for capacity building;
5. 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).
Why did they join the ENCC?
Teatr na Walizkach shares the same views as the ENCC. Their activities have goals that are beyond the spheres of art and culture. Social empowerment motivates them to explore new ways of working, and of interacting with their audiences. They promote art, cultural values, share and exchange practices and solutions to stimulate positive social change. In addition, their work focuses also on community development (including rural areas), capacity building of local animators and mobility.
“By joining the ENCC, we would like to develop new international partnership, be inspired by our peers, acquire new competences and share our experience. At present, facing the COVID-19 crisis, we need to diversify our activities and we want to search for innovative audience development solutions. We also desire to support recommendations at European level from places that usually do not have their sufficient representation: sharing the voices of small towns and rural areas towards better planning of grants and cultural programs.”