International Women’s Day 2020

“Portraits of Famous Polish Women”

In preparation for celebration of International Women’s Day 2020 members of the Polish Canadian Women’s Society in Edmonton decided in autumn of 2019 to organize specific event, presentation of silhouettes of famous Polish women through history, starting with Queen Jadwiga to modern times. Bożena Wojno, skilled in production of performances, decided to take challenge together with Urszula Kunikiewicz, who prepared texts in non-typical form, eg. every heroine was talking about herself. This idea was very appealing to eight ladies, who would play roles.

Preparations started; at every meeting the vision grew. We  decided to add visual portraits of our heroines and delightful, but not well known collages of our Nobel Prize winner, Wisława Szymborska. Prepare snacks. Print posters, flyers…

Gradually things were progressing, largely due to cooperation of kind friends from Polish community: Polish printer, Polish carpenter, or owner of beautiful, old candelabras.

The concept of spectacle was: Encased in the picture frame deceased woman wakes-up and tells the audience about her life; personally and without omissions. Not talking only about her achievements, but also admitting their weaknesses. To be real and truthful.

Spectacle took place on 8th of March 2020 in Polish Hall. All  actresses wore historical costumes, make-up and accessories. Musical background was provided by our extraordinary musicians, Tatiana Warszyńska and Joanna Ciapka-Sangster. Scenography and lightning were like in normal theatre. Spectacle was a great success, room was full of spectators, everybody was very impressed.

Casting (from right to left): Joanna Ciapka Sangster — Violin ; Kazimiera Kozinkiewicz — Izabela Czartoryska ; Ela Jusza — Maria Sklodowska Curie ; Elzbieta Zadora- Paszkowski — Oueen Jadwiga ; Urszula Kunikiewicz — Krystyna Skarbek ; Bozenka Wojno — Magdalena Abakanowicz ; Jadwiga Skowronski — Emilia Plater ; Krystyna Kozicki — Wislawa Szymborski ; Krystyna Sierko — Helena Modrzejewska ; Tatiana Warszynski — Violin


Introduction by Terese Szlamp-Fryga