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Chopin Without Piano at FringeArts, produced by Centrala, Warsaw, conceived and written by Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka, directed by Michał Zadara. Chopin performed by Barbara Wysocka. Photo by JJ Tiziou. Courtesy of Swarthmore College.

Questions of Practice: Centrala’s Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka on Intersecting Contemporary Theater and Classical Music in Performance

Director Michał Zadara and actress Barbara Wysocka of the Polish theater company Centrala discuss the possibilities for contemporary theater and classical music to combine in performance. Based on their experiences of creating Chopin Without Piano, an adaptation of Fryderyk Chopin’s two piano concertos performed without a piano, they find that “music gives [the theater work] a structure, a shape, and a form…emotionally and formally,” as Wysocka says.

Centrala’s Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka on intersecting contemporary theater and classical music. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on October 26, 2015.

Swarthmore College brought the North American premiere of Chopin Without Piano to Philadelphia in the fall of 2015 with Center support, with performances at Swarthmore and FringeArts.

Video trailer for Chopin Without Piano. Courtesy of Centrala and Swarthmore College.

Theater director and Centrala co-founder Michał Zadara has created over 50 performances, installations, and independent films in Poland, Austria, Germany, Israel, and the US. A graduate of Swarthmore College and the Theatre Academy in Krakow, Zadara was the featured director of the 2008 Warsaw Theater Meetings Festival. The recipient of the Silver Cross for Service from the President of Poland, Zadara co-wrote and directed the Center-funded presentation of Chopin Without Piano.

Barbara Wysocka is an actress and member of Centrala. A graduate of the Theatre Academy in Krakow, Wysocka has performed and directed at the Stary Teatr in Krakow, Wrocław Contemporary Theatre, Polish National Opera, Schaubühne in Berlin, Germany, among many others. The recipient of the Polityka Passport Award, Wysocka co-wrote and performed in the Center-funded presentation of Chopin Without Piano.