MART Foundation and Arlekin Players Theatre will co-produce the award-winning, electric Polish play Our Class, written by Tadeusz Słobodzianek.
Our Class, the award-winning play by Polish writer Tadeusz Słobodzianek, will be performed for the first time in New York at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) from January 12–February 4, 2024. The production is adapted by Norman Allen, and directed by Igor Golyak.
Our Class received the 2010 NIKE Literary Prize and has had productions throughout the world since its premiere at the National Theatre in London in 2009. The play follows ten Polish classmates — five Jewish and five Catholic — growing up as playmates, friends and neighbors, who then turn on one another with life and death consequences. Inspired by real life events surrounding a horrific 1941 pogrom in the small village of Jedwabne, the play follows their lives from childhood through eight decades of upheaval.
About Tadeusz Słobodzianek
Tadeusz Słobodzianek is one of Poland’s most important dramatists. He was born in Yeniseysk, Siberia, and graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow with a degree in theatre studies. A prolific and internationally recognized playwright and director, he is also Poland’s most important educator and developer of new playwrights. He was the Head and Artistic Director of the Gustaw Holoubek Drama Theatre in Warsaw. Among his most notable works are The Pea-Roller (1990 Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival), Merlin (1992, Fringe First Award), and Our Class (2010 Nike Literary Award). In 1991, he co-founded Teatr Wierszalin. In 2003, Slobodzianek founded Laboratorium Dramatu (Drama Laboratory) in Warsaw, which represents a fundamental reform of dramatic pedagogy in Poland and has launched an entire generation of contemporary playwrights. Between 2010 and 2012, he served as the executive and artistic director in Teatr na Woli im. Tadeusza Łomnickiego, and from 2012 till 2022, he was the executive and artistic director of the Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw (Teatr Dramatyczny m. st.Warszawy).
About Igor Golyak
Igor Golyak was born in Ukraine. He is the founder and artistic director of Arlekin Players Theatre & Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab. A global leader in virtual theater, he recently directed The Orchard, featuring Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov Off-Broadway and in Boston. He received international acclaim for virtual productions WITNESS, chekhovOS /an experimental game/ and State vs. Natasha Banina, receiving multiple New York Times Critic’s Picks. He received Elliot Norton Awards for The Seagull, The Stone, and Dead Man’s Diary, including Best Director. He also received This Week In New York Pandemic Awards and Broadway World’s Best Director of a Streamed Production Award. Golyak’s Arlekin, a company of immigrants, launched an #Artists4Ukraine Initiative in 2020, and has performed all over the world. Golyak received a master’s degree in directing from the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts and an acting degree from Moscow’s Schukin Theatre Institute (Vakhtangov Theater).
About Arlekin Players Theatre
Arlekin Players Theatre was founded by Artistic Director Igor Golyak in 2009, and launched its (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab in 2020. Arlekin recently produced The Orchard featuring Jessica Hecht and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and received world-wide acclaim, including two New York Times Critic’s Picks, for their virtual projects during the pandemic, including WITNESS, State vs Natasha Banina and chekhovOS /an experimental game/. Arlekin received multiple Elliot Norton Awards for productions of The Stone and The Seagull. A company of immigrants, Arlekin has toured internationally, and performs works that play on the ideas of cross-culture, home, and traditions, challenging the idea of nationality, and finding common themes that unite. This season, Arlekin is producing multi-media staged readings in partnership with Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings and the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD), presented by Lincoln Center and The Huntington Theatre. Arlekin launched #Artists4Ukraine in 2020 to raise funds for humanitarian aid and stand in solidarity with artists in Ukraine.