Theater Begins Here 

11.1.09 | Leading Polish playwright in residence at Playwrights' Center

Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is visiting thanks to a CEC ArtsLink Residency.

One of Poland's foremost contemporary playwrights, Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is currently in the Twin Cities on a CEC ArtsLink Residency in partnership with the Playwrights' Center. Her play The Death of the Squirrel Man will be given a public reading at the Center on November 11.

The Death of the Squirrel Man, which traces the life of German terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, was a refreshing breakthrough in Polish theatre, winning prizes from Teatr Rozmaitosci (TR Warszawa), Usta Usta/2xu Theatre and the Polish Ministry of Culture.

Squirrel Man went on to such festivals as New Plays From Europe (Wiesbaden), Cut and Paste (Berlin) and the Odeon Theatre’s Polish Theatre Festival (Bucharest). Numerous other theatres organized stage readings of this play in Poland, as well as in Stockholm, New York, and New Haven, CT.

In 2008 her play The Suitcase won the Metaphors of Reality competition organized by Polish Theatre in Poznan, the Grand Prix of the Polish Radio and Television Theatre Festival, and received an award from the Festival of Polish Contemporary Plays in Gdynia (where her other play Loose Screws was also recognized with an award).

In 2008 and 2009 Loose Screws, Catherine Medici, Suitcase and The Death of the Squirrel Man were successfully staged in theatres well known for popularization of contemporary repertoire such as Polish Theatre in Wroclaw, Teatr Jeleniogorski, Legnica Theatre and Polish Theatre in Poznan.

Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk’s plays have been published in several anthologies of Polish contemporary dramaturgy (in French, German, Swiss, English, Romanian) and in magazines Theatre Notebook and Dialog monthly. Born in 1964 in Warsaw, she graduated from the Departments of Journalism & Political Science and Gender Studies at Warsaw University, and Screenwriting Studies at The National Film, Television & Theatre School in Lodz.

About the play:

Though The Death of the Squirrel Man depicts the real members of the terrorist group Red Army Faction (also known as the “Baader Meinhof Group”) and the bloody events that shook up Germany in the 1970s, it is by no means a realistic, historical play. Instead, it shows revolution in a playful and grotesque manner, depicting the revolutionaries as pop culture icons.

In a series of cartoon-like surrealistic scenes, U (Ulrike Meinhof), a previously uninvolved member of the middle-class, teams up with Baader, the Anti-Man (who pops out of a “jar of poetry”) and his vulgar girlfriend Ensslin – a couple who go from door to door, telling a fairy tale about the Color Red. Together, they outwit a Melancholy Cop and see the kind-hearted Squirrel-Man – a symbol of bourgeois society – die once a day over and over again, whilst unsuccessfully attempting to express his affection to U.

Click here to view event details.

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