The first, and for a long time the only, registered theatrical company in Poland presenting plays exclusively in English.

The company was officially formed in 1992, after the success of the 1991 production of "A Tempest in a Spaceship", a musical based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest"'. This was the second play put on in English at the University of Gdańsk - the first had been produced some years earlier by Kathy Cioffi, an American theatre enthusiast who was accompanying her husband, Frank, on a Fulbright scholarship at the Institute of English. The first play was "Cloud Nine" by Caryl Churchill and was quite successful, but when the Cioffis went back to the States there were no enthusiasts left to continue the experiment. It was not until they returned in 1991 that another play was produced - "A Tempest in a Spaceship". The play was performed in Miniatura Theatre and the Students' Club "Żak" in Gdańsk, and at the "Riviera-Remont" in Warsaw as part of the 6th Festival at Drama in English. This time the enthusiasm would not die! Some students, mostly but not exclusively of English Philology, decided to take the bold step of officially registering as a company. The aim of the company was the presentation of English language theatre in Gdańsk, Poland and abroad. Such was the enthusiasm of the students that they not only formed the company but they also "hijacked" the Festival of Drama in English and brought it to Gdańsk, where it remained until 1997.

Since those humble beginnings Maybe Theatre Company has staged eight musicals: "Blood Brothers" by the Liverpool playwright Willy Russell, an adaptation of Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales", the traditional English Christmas pantomime "Cinderella", an adaptation of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol", "Little Pig" by Akumal Ramachander (world premiere!), "Grease" by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, "The Threepenny Opera" by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" based on the novel by Victor Hugo.

The Company has produced ten full-length plays: "Bedroom Farce" (Alan Ayckbourn), "Crimes of the Heart" (Beth Henley), "The Importance of Being Earnest" (Oscar Wilde), "Two" (Jim Cartwright),"Kvetch" (Steven Berkoff), "Queen Christina" (Pam Gems), "Educating Rita" (Willy Russell), "Loot" (Joe Orton), "Low Level Panic" (Clare McIntyre), "The Real Inspector Hound" (Tom Stoppard).
There have also been numerous smaller-scale productions, such as "The Dock Brief" (John Mortimer), "Confusions" (Alan Ayckbourn), "The Zoo Story" (Edward Albee), "Countdown" (Alan Ayckbourn), "Night" (Harold Pinter), "All in the Timing" (David Ives), "Revue Sketches" (Harold Pinter) scenes from Sophocles' "Antigone", "Overruled" (George Bernard Shaw), "Bar and Ger" (Geraldine Aron), "The Music Lovers" (Georges Feydeau), "Drama" and "The Bear" (Anton Chekhov), "This is a Chair" and "Far Away" (Caryl Churchill), "The Teacher's Nightmare" and "Wchodzimy" (Magda Komorowska), "Her big chance" (Alan Bennett), "Chinamen" (Michael Frayn), "Jan Chrzciciel" and "Improvisations".

Another undertaking was the recording of an adaptation of Lewis Carrol's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in association with Radio Gdańsk. This was subsequently broadcast on Radio Gdańsk one Christmas.
Maybe Theatre Company has also staged eleven musical evenings - three "Christmas Shows" of carols and songs about Christmas "All We Need Is Love", "Thank You for the Music" and "Sex'n'Drugs'n'Rock'n'Roll", "It Takes 2", "Monty Python Spectacular", "The Show Must Go On", "Niech żyją młode żądze", "Camera! Music! Action!"
Together with other theatre groups from the Languages Faculty, the Company staged two evenings dedicated to the work of Bertolt Brecht.

There have also been musical shows performed at IATEFL and PASE English Philology Conferences, the Summer Gala organised by the Pomeranian Chamber of Industry and Trade in June 2000, the ceremony of the conferring of the degree of doctor honoris causa on Madeleine Allbright, US Secretary of State, and appearances as part of Gdańsk University's Open Days in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.

In total the Company has premiered 81 productions of one kind or another since 1991! Maybe Theatre Company has appeared at the following international drama festivals: Warsaw (1991, 1999, 2000), Gdańsk (1992-1997), Bratislava (2000, 2001) Lublin (2003, 2004) and has toured to the following cities in Poland: Kraków, Poznań, Wrocław, Lublin and Elbląg and abroad - Newcastle.

Our audiences have become very loyal over the years and we almost always play to full houses. Many teachers bring groups of children from schools - both primary and secondary - and wherever possible we provide them with additional materials connected with plays and playwrights. In this way the pupils can improve their English and watch a very entertaining performance at the same time. University students also form a substantial part of our audience, but there is really no social group that is not represented. We are particularly pleased when people who say that they do not understand English come along to our shows and enjoy themselves enormously. We are delighted that our performances are in some small way helping to break down the barriers between people and spreading a bit of English-language culture to places where it might not otherwise have reached.

If you would like to become one of the Company's sponsors, to take part in our productions or to be associated with the work of the Company in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Institute of English. Who knows, maybe you could actually be taking part in one of our shows in the near future? We invite you most sincerely - and we are sure that you will have a good time.

And that's definitely and not just MAYBE!

Tadeusz Z. Wolański - Maybe Theatre Company, Institute of English UG

 
about us ... our shows ... news & plans ... photos ... contact

 

 
design by:
Design by: :Poziomka