Warsaw’s Jewish Theatre finds temporary spaces to perform

Katarzyna Markusz

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Jewish Theatre in Warsaw has found new temporary venues with the help of two government ministries.

The historic company has faced eviction since the beginning of June when its landlord, looking to build a new high-rise on the site, blocked access to the theater.

At a news conference this week, the theater unveiled plans to launch a new season on Thursday at two temporary sites, the Club of the Warsaw Garrison Command and the home of the Warsaw Chamber Opera.

“It is for us a new stage and a challenge,” said Golda Tencer, director of the Jewish theater, at the news conference. “Theater dies when it is not playing. We are coming back. And some day we will return it to the city center because this is our place.”

The ministries of culture and defense assisted the theater find the venues.

Wojciech Falkowski, secretary of state in the Ministry of Defense, which runs the Garrison Command headquarters near the central Piłsudski Square, said the decision to help the theater was a natural.

“This is an important artistic institution which has its permanent place in Polish culture,” he said.

Next year the theater is seeking to move to the Prague district in Warsaw, on the east bank of the Vistula River. Ghelamco, which owns its current building on Grzybowski Square, has pledged space for the Jewish theater in its new high-rise, but those plans have been vague.

Formed in 1950, the troupe is a link to the rich pre-Holocaust culture of Poland’s Yiddish-speaking Jewish community. Earlier this year, Poland’s president honored the actors for their contributions to Polish and Polish-Jewish culture.

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