Jan Kochanowski

The World Reads Jan Kochanowski

On June 30th, over the course of the entire day, celebrations will be held for Jan Kochanowski, the greatest Polish Renaissance poet, organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw and HowlRound, in collaboration with Shakespeare's GLOBE Theatre in London, the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, REDCAT (the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in Los Angeles, the Athens & Epidaurus Festival in Greece, RéplikaTeatro Madrid, and the Akademia Teatralna, Teatr STUDIO and Theatre Institute in Warsaw. 

Kochanowski, highly educated and a major European man of letters, was versed in Greek, Latin and French but chose to write the majority of his work in Polish, in accordance with Renaissance trends for writing in the vernacular. His sole drama – the first play ever published and printed in Polish, The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys (1578), explores the moment before the Trojan War when the aims of the state either clash with or conform to particular views on politics, morals, rationality and recklessness. 
 
The play's dialogue, spoken by the characters of Cassandra, Ulysses and the Chorus, warns the king that those "to whom the human flock’s consigned" are responsible and accountable for their misdeeds and corruption, since their primary function is to work pro publico bono to "ensure [the public] is safe and sound." These words resound universally and relevantly today, both on levels of local politics as well as the global climactic catastrophe, to give one obvious example.
 
Excerpts from the play will be staged on June 30th in six cities across five time zones, read by actors and activists in their respective languagesin excellent translations into English (Bill Johnston: NY and LA; Charles Kraszewski: London;), Greek ( Andreas Thomopoulos, Antoni Dabrowski and Anka Arintividi-Athens) and Spanish (Elzbieta Bortkiewicz y Nieves Martin in Madrid). HowlRound will provide livestreaming of all six presentations. 
 
This is a live streamed event only filmed at REDCAT to be viewed via Howlround.
 
 

Associated Images: 

    

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff