Dziewczyna (Polish for "girl") is an 80 minute theatrical concert that tells the story of a Polish girl named Elzbieta.
It begins in August 1956 as Sopot, Poland hosts its first ever Jazz Festival. Jazz was emerging from the underground and seen as a symbol of freedom and liberation. Four-year-old Elzbieta watches her father’s counterculture jazz ensemble play at the festival. Later, in October 1956, Maksymilian Jach and band member Janusz Tumas travel to Warsaw to protest, demanding the government release the jailed Cardinal Wyszynski. Maks is arrested and disappears, sending Elzbieta on a lifelong quest for her father shaping her role as a family member, woman, and citizen, her Polish identity, and a way to tell her story.
In a series of flashback vignettes, live jazz, classical and electronic musical selections, Elzbieta recounts her life in communist Poland and missing her lost father. Through videos and historical photography, we witness her scarring memories of soviet tanks outside Warsaw in 1956; share in her poignant reminiscences as she grows from a young girl to a young woman; and observe as she chronicles searching for her father, the deaths of family members and friends, protests met with violence and repression, and a life that is constantly threatened by the regime whose official image directly opposes the rapidly developing political and artistic movements. It is through this turmoil that Elzbieta develops the desire to stand up for liberty and for Poland.
As the Solidarity movement spreads, our story comes to a close. In December 1981, Elzbieta revisits her horrible memories when tanks return to the streets as martial law is declared, but this time she is ready to stand up and fight for freedom. In an act of solidarity with our audience, we present a montage of the events that will shape Poland in the 1980s and the future republic. Where Dziewczyna ends, the modern Polish journey begins.
Original Music & Sound composed by Ann Warren, Chris Kadis Moscato, Christopher Dickson
Dramaturge - Nancy Greening
Projections and Original Videos by Robert Morton
Additional Video by Allan Markowitz
Setting, Screen & Equipment Design - Richard Sage;
Lighting Design - Milim Sung
Costume Designer - Catherine Siracusa
Fashion Advisor - Colleen Fletcher Miller
performed by concrete timbre
Ian J. Baggette – Bass
Angelo Di Loreto – Piano
Manuela Le Chler - Alto Sax;
Aleksandra Miglowiec – Flute;
Robert Morton – Projections
Chris Kadis Moscato – Computer
Mauricio de Souza – Drums;
Ann Warren - Computer, Electronics
Keiji Yoshino – Guitar;
Michael Stebbins - Voiceovers
The play premiered in Yiddish in 1917 with a cast headed by David Kessler, and it was revived in 1922 directed by Maurice Schwartz and starring Paul Muni (then known as Muni Wiesenfriend) and Jack Rechtzeit.