Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Viewers,
Documentation Studio of the Theater of the Theater Institute Zbigniew Raszewski collected data from all over the country on the number of open theaters, plays and premieres as well as audience participation (supported by a wide survey by the Association of Theater Directors) in events organized by Polish theaters after their resumption of activities from February 12 to 21, 2021.
The collected information and the current epidemic situation prompted the Expert Team on the situation of theaters in the IT pandemic to formulate a letter / appeal addressed to the Prime Minister on maintaining the possibility of functioning of theaters (we enclose its content). A LETTER TO THE VIEWERS has also been prepared, which we publish below:
After many months of waiting and uncertainty, from February 12, 2021, theaters in Poland can again invite audiences to their seats, respecting the safety rules and taking into account the limited number of seats in the audience. We’ve been waiting for regular live meetings with you for almost a year now. We used the lockdown time to prepare for us to feel safe in the theater space, but also to work and prepare premieres. In the first 10 days of making it possible for us to organize artistic events in theaters all over Poland, 32 premiere evenings were held, and we played 584 performances in 114 theaters in 39 cities. We estimate that around 55,000 people spent the evening at the theater at that time.
In 2015 – under the slogan We will survive in the theater! – we celebrated the 250th anniversary of public theater in Poland. It turns out that these were prophetic words. Today, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater is a safe place and one of the last enclaves of collective life.
Despite the wide scale of activity, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, no scientifically confirmed evidence or any published study linking theatrical activity with the development of the epidemic situation has appeared (in Poland and in the world). This is also not confirmed by the examples of countries which, while fighting the pandemic, left the doors to theaters open. We strictly follow sanitary regulations in the audience, on stage and backstage. We have learned to function in the new reality.
For over 255 years, theater in Poland has played a key role in stabilizing the social and economic situation. It serves the integration of all of us, builds a community, and strengthens relationships. We have irrefutable evidence for this – also today, thanks to you, our Dear Audience. We are proud that the theatrical community in our country is so numerous. Your presence and commitment confirm that we are needed.
We are waiting for you in almost a thousand theaters – local government, national, foundation, association and independent – all over Poland. See you soon!
Announcement of the Expert Team on the functioning of theaters – February 22, 2021