www.didaskalia.pl

‘Didaskalia’ was initiated by young critics in 1993. It was supposed to be, and it still is, a periodical affiliated to the Jagellonian University . The new theatre periodical was aimed to cover new phenomena in the field of theatre but also to include the whole area of arts and culture. After Poland and Mid-Eastern Europe had gone through political changes there arose a need for a different perception of the role of theatre in social life. The initiators of ‘Didaskalia’ set themselves a goal to provide a forum for young artists and to reflect new phenomena and tendencies in theatre. It soon turned out that a need for this kind of periodical existed not only in Poland but in other countries as well. We established contacts with circles of ‘young theatre’ in Russia , Lithuania , Ukraine , Germany , Slovakia and Hungary . It was in Poland that the exchange of experiences between the ‘East’ and ‘West’ was taking place – and ‘Didaskalia’ played a significant role in this dialogue. To give an example, we presented the goings in German theatre which set itself political goals and inspired numerous important social discussions. This model of theatre aroused interest in Poland that gave rise to new, interesting arts phenomena here.


The exchange of experiences and inspirations is going now in various directions. ‘Didaskalia’ actively participates in international theatre movement – we co-operate with festivals, foreign periodicals, critics and artists. It is enough to say that Jerzy Grotowski, one of the most prominent figures of the twentieth century theatre, regarded ‘Didaskalia’ as one of the most significant theatre periodicals of the 1990s. ‘Didaskalia’ has made a name for itself as having an open formula (presenting the same phenomena from different points of view, including subjects other than arts alone, promoting new phenomena or extending the meaning of the word ‘theatre’ to include all kinds of artistic as well as social activities). Also, our periodical has played a major role in promoting, in Poland as well as in Eastern Europe , a new reflection on theatre, which puts so much emphasis on the presence of theatre in social life. We were the first in Poland to cover in such an extensive way the subjects so significant for contemporary culture as feminism, gender, AIDS and development of media. We have published translations of the texts by American researchers – our translation section has significantly influenced development of theatre concepts in Poland .

Young theatre, most recent tendencies in culture and new reflections on theatre are still in the center of our range of interests. Presently, we participate in a project aimed at enhancing the exchange of experiences between young theatre artists from various countries and cultures. We would like to present as complete a picture as possible of what is most significant and inspiring in contemporary Polish, European and world theatre. We co-operate with different authors from very distant places not only in Europe, but also on other continents (Africa, America and Asia).

In the last period our theatrical newspaper has even developed the range of broached problems. We publish texts concerning theatrical matters in very wide meaning, taking into consideration most various phenomena: from traditional presentations on repertoire stages (drama, opera, ballet), through different kinds of experimental theaters and off-scenes to the TV theatre. To show ‘theatre inside’ we regularly present interviews with stage directors, composers, actors, stage designers, producers and playwrights.

We devote a detached place for books concerning theatre and drama. Except for regularly short information of book novelties, we publish reviews of more interesting and valuable books, too. In ‘Didaskalia’ you can also find critical reports from festivals and theatrical reviews organized in Poland and in many other, not only European countries.

We look to become a forum, presenting very differentiate authors’ points of view and aesthetic visions. We neither search scandal nor look to provoke public opinion; however, we have ambition to create the magazine open to discussions concerning art problems, taking into consideration various ways of artistic expression. Only in such a way we understand the possibility of the development of contemporary critical thought.

Being a fully independent periodical, ‘Didaskalia’ is not subsidized by the state, since only by having the status of fully independent periodical we can enjoy the freedom to take up whatever subject we consider important. It was ‘Didaskalia’ that first made a break in the monopoly inherited after communism, when all periodicals, including theatrical ones, were officially published by the centralized state. It is still the case now that periodicals initiated in the days of communistic regime are published under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. As for us, unfortunately, we can only be granted one-time subsidies from time to time, and these are considerably smaller than the amounts granted to Warsaw periodicals – even though the intellectual quality of our texts is comparable, if not higher, and the volume is significantly larger. In the difficult times of the economic transformation in Poland , ‘Didaskalia’ successfully dealt with all kinds of obstacles – we not only survived on the market but considerably extended our formula as well. However, our editors’ work without being paid for it: it is only the accounts and administration employees that receive any payment at all.