Szymon Szurmiej Contemporary Jewish Drama International Competition

Estera Rachel and Ida Kamińskie Jewish Theater has proved that its goal is to start a social dialog, it is not afraid to take up painful, contemporary topics, and has become a living place that fosters exploration of history, trauma, because the Jewish topic means the Holocaust, but also an identity, migration, the search for one’s place in the world, the quest for the meaning, the bickering with religion and customs, enslavement and freedom, the orphaned, the travelers and the rejected.

Together with the ZAIKS Authors Association, the Jewish Theater is proud to announce Szymon Szurmiej Contemporary Jewish Drama International Competition to inspire and encourage playwrights of various nationalities, culture, and traditions to undertake probably one of the biggest subjects of the 21st century, the subject of memory, knowing well that the tenderly cultivated memory determines the kind of society we are, how we understand our citizenship and how we build the present and the future. The organizers want to find new, valuable dramas inspired by broadly defined Jewish themes and to promote contemporary theatre literature that fosters dialog and understanding regardless of the differences between the people due to race, gender, religion, or social status.

The Competition is open to the public. The requirement is to send work in Polish, Yiddish, English, Russian, or Hebrew. The work submitted to the Competition may not be an adaptation, it must be an original work written by the author, not published or staged before. One author may submit many works to the Competition.

The idea of the Competition – the contemporary Jewish drama – is part of the artistic quest conducted by the Jewish Theater. A theatre “that remembers” and at the same time is not cut off from the present time: it is not a museum but it takes on the subject of historic trauma as well as social and cultural topics and speaks about them using a rich, modern language of the contemporary stage.

The Jewish Theater (the place and the ensemble) is a symbol of a contemporary fate of the Jewish community, it is inseparably tied to Poland’s history and its activity could be acknowledged as a kaddish, the prayer for those who are no longer with us.

the Jury will award the Grand Prize (30,000 Polish zloty) and three distinctions (each 5,000 Polish zloty).

The awarded work, i.e. the winner of the Grand Prize, will be staged and as such will go through the full cycle of rehearsals, whereas, the distinguished works may be presented in the Jewish Theater under the series of staged rehearsals READING IN THE JEWISH THEATRE. The results of the Competition will be announced on the last day of Hanukkah, which is on December 6th, 2021.

JURY COMPOSITION: Tomasz Miłkowski (chairman, theatre critic), Gołda Tencer (director of the Jewish Theatre, actress, directior), Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk (playwright), Jacek Cieślak (theatre critic), Remigiusz Grzela (literary manager of the Jewish Theater, playwright), Marzena Dobosz (secretary of the chapter, theatre critic). On behalf of the Jewish Theater, the coordinator is Roksana Szmigiero.

ORGANIZER: Estera Rachel and Idy Kamińske Jewish Theater.

PARTNER: Stowarzyszenie Autorów ZAiKS.

DATE: 12 April 2021 – 15 September 2021. The prizes will be announced on December 6th, 2021. The Regulations and the complete information have been published on the Jewish Theater’s website.

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