- Poland, Lodz, Warsaw
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The Arlekin Puppet Theatre invited the primary schools located in the area of the former ghetto in Lodz to cooperate and to go into partnership with the Rutka project. Each school prepared a classroom for staging the performance and running the workshop. The theatre was responsible for preparing the professional performance accompanied by an innovative educational and theatre workshop on the theme of the performance. The pupils were working in a class group as a micro-society, which activated all participants, with an individual approach to the subject and the opportunity to express their own point of view, forming social skills, expressing their own feelings, observations, different perspectives of looking, seeing and experiencing the world.
The performance is based on the book „Rutka” by J. Fabicka – a Lodz inhabitant. The novel – awarded in 2016 with a literature prize by Polish section of IBBY – gives a glimpse of life in the ghetto in Lodz in a poetic, surrealistic and humorous way. It was played in schools located in the area of the ghetto.
The main character is 10-year-old Zosia, living in the district of Bałuty in Lodz. The kid spends her holidays at home with her eccentric auntie Róża and begins to learn about the city thanks to a weird friendship with a new acquaintance – Rutka.
The objectives of Rutka:
– creation of a safe artistic workshop area allowing the youth to explore what has already been explored, what is difficult and unknown in Lodz, in the area where they live and in themselves (the correlation of myself, a group and the city)
– creation of a dialogue developing the theme of art and sensitizing to people’s experience
- building relationships with a future spectator (who comes to the theatre and associates it with the Rutka project and it is a valuable experience for them)
– creation of an interactive theatre form with engaging activities and exceeding the traditional workshop form
- working in a class group as a micro-society, which activated all participants, with an individual approach to the subject and the opportunity to express their own point of view, forming social skills, expressing their own feelings, observations, different perspectives of looking, seeing and experiencing the world.
The Arlekin Puppet Theatre invited the primary schools located in the area of the former ghetto in Lodz to cooperate and to go into partnership with the Rutka project. Each school prepared a classroom for staging the performance and running the workshop. The theatre was responsible for preparing the professional performance accompanied by an innovative educational and theatre workshop on the theme of the performance.
Rutka projest is the winner of the 4th Jan Dorman Contest which is funded by Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego w Warszawie from funds of the MInistry of Culture and National Heritage and of the City of Lodz Office and so the project is free for educational institutions.
The results are:
– creation and development of a unique artistic and educational event
– direct reaching to the educational institutions with a cultural offer
– combing cultural education with artistic animation
– building the identity of places and people through fostering the society, releasing potential of a place and local society, building a relationship based on common experiences, strengthening their feeling of belonging and safety
– supporting the child’s development potential through methods adapted to their development needs with the cooperation of experienced animators – teachers and therapists.
The intention of the project was to create a performance to be played in educational institutions located in the area of the former ghetto. It gave an urban context for the theatre event. The topography of the city was recognized by the viewers and it made it easier for them to identify with the main character. The performance was accompanied by an interactive workshop making use of audio technology and was run in the district described in the book. It was in the form of a scavenger hunt, a walk, a city-game which let the youth look at the well-known places from a different perspective. The final workshop was organized at school where the children made their own memory maps.
The essence of the project is to invite young spectators to a new perspective of the city where they live, to encourage them to explore in their immediate surroundings the uneasy history of Lodz, its multiculturalism and the end of that world. Thanks to the performance and the accompanying educational activities the youth could feel that both the history of the city and their own history is a continuum.
The assumption of the Jan Dorman Contest is to increase the artistic quality of performances played in educational institutions. The idea of the contest is from one side to support schools with a wide and valuable range of performances suited to the age and needs of their students, and from the other side to support the mobility of the theatre and their direct contact with the spectator, outside the walls of the theatre.
Yes. These are engaging interactive methods like drama, an applicable drama, an interactive walk, audio techniques. These methods are engaging both individually and socially. These are also methods related to positive prevention.
The project extends activities around the performance in an innovative way implementing educational and theatrical activities in the urban space, based on the direct experience of a spectator-student.
The project is both of a regional and global character: an open exchange with the surroundings and local society. It increases the diversity and integration as a key to education.
The project is based on interactive activities and experiencing yourself in a group, yourself in an area of the city, yourself and a group in the area of socials issues as well as in the historical continuum of the city. The student becomes aware of the art and being an inhabitant of Lodz. Thanks to the interactive walk engaging the student in a cognitive and sensual way, it fosters learning in practice. They sense (watch the performance), learn it and experience it (in the reality of the city), they verbalize, name, create (integrate their knowledge by experiencing deeply, controlling and acquiring).
Everybody is an expert in a certain field, this should be valuated and everybody can learn from everybody and should be open to learn.
It is definitely crucial in the cooperation of the two sectors: culture and education. Another important aspect of common learning is preparing a student for art perception. The innovative educational activities of the performance create the space for open questions and the exchange of knowledge.
The performance and educational activities touch the spheres of cultural differences, the gender issue, migration background, physical or social disadvantages, underrepresented groups, exclusion. They touch these spheres at the turn of the century and today. The innovative didactical methods help to form a better human understanding of the issues.
They are taken into consideration, e.g. crossing the borders of someone’s freedom, human rights to independence, individuality, respect for cultural differences.
The theatre project includes many disciplines. Apart from the substantive aspects such as literature, dramaturgy, direction, acting and composing, the project is worked out by technical, logistic and production staff members dealing with multimedia, lights, woodwork etc.). Another interdisciplinary aspect is the fact that the project involves the cooperation of culture and education, art and education.
Every partner is valued; the project members work on eye-level with every partner.
The principle of the project is to be full-fledged and interdisciplinary and so it needed substantive partners in the field of education, history and topography of the city as well as teacher training.
The project refers to the region and local thinking (the schools participating in the project are located at the area of the former ghetto, which makes an urban context for the theatre event). The recognizable topography of the city let the young spectator identify more with the main character of the novel. It gave them a new perspective of the city where they live. It also encouraged them to explore in their immediate surroundings the uneasy history of Lodz, its multiculturalism and the end of that world. The project touches widely the topics of exclusion, the uneasy history and it has a universal effect on those problems. It gives a wide context of the theatre event – the people watching the performance in Warsaw or people from other towns or cities want to come to Lodz to be able to participate in the project. They want to experience something which is local and important and translates into global thinking. Thus, you can observe the building of social identity.
Although not directly, they can be found in the way of the implementation of the educational activities. These are the equal rights to speak, not to be judged, make collaborative solutions, etc.
Supervision and coaching made by Instytut Teatralny is included in the project. There was a need to increase the artistic quality of performances shown in educational institutions. The idea is from one side to create a wide range of performances matching the age and the needs of students, to bring the school closer to the theatre pedagogy, and from the other side to encourage theatres to be mobile and to open them up to the challenge of the direct contact with audience beyond the walls of their institution.
Promoting widespread use of information technology.
Audio techniques and multimedia were used during the walk. Also, the music of the performance presented in front of the audience.
Each of the partners felt that they are part of an important project leading to the increase of quality of culture and education in Lodz. The cooperation was smooth. We have established long-term relationships with all the partners and expressed a desire to continue the multidimensional cooperation.
Each of the partners could contribute to the project in organization, premises, methodology, human resources.
Instytut Teatralny im. Z. Raszewskiego w Warszawie – the organizer of the Jan Dorman Contest, funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
Łódzkie Centrum Doskonalenia Nauczycieli i Kształcenia Praktycznego – content support within educational activities
Łódzka Akademia Dramy – content support to workshop scripts
Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi – availability of archival photographs used in the performance scenography Centrum Dialogu im. Marka Edelmana – assistance in the field of historical knowledge, essential for the outdoor workshops, for the localization of existing or non-existing objects associated with the ghetto in Lodz Urząd Miasta Łodzi – coverage of the own contribution to the project
Radio Łódź – media patronage
All involved parties could experience growth through the project. The project enabled the participants to improve their institutional level.
The project showed the theatre as an institution that is important to be open and flexible when making such projects. The theatre had to cooperate with educational institutions and had to start thinking through the prism of audience organization in such institutions. For both of the institutions, the theatre and the school it was a project going beyond the framework of schematic work and it encouraged institutional learning.
The defined project team or change team is responsible for the processing of the project and the evaluation and implementation of change.
The team consist of people creating and implementing the project (artists and teachers). There are also educational institutions as the partners of the theatre in the project.
Throughout the whole cycle of creation of the project (including the working group at the pre-premiere spectacle), it was supported by two pedagogues, teachers responsible for the educational aspect of the project. While the project was being presented in schools, the educators kept the project updated in the educational aspect (by observing the students and participating in the project with them). Written inner observation of behaviour and perception of the performance were made. They were analyzed continuously to adjust the project before the following presentation. The project was highly praised by the teachers for its effectiveness.