"Modjeska! The Artist’s Dream”
We proudly bring you a unique look at the greatest Polish and American actress, Helena Modjeska, one of the most prominent figures in American history. Through Helena Modjeska’s story, we wish to inspire all, especially those who cannot see or believe in their own capabilities.
In this solo performance Ewa Boryczko displays the extraordinary journey of the famous Polish actress Helena Modjeska. Her beginnings in Anaheim, her breaking into the American theater scene in San Francisco and New York, her demanding lifestyle and her tremendous love for Art, Arden and Poland. Despite many obstacles in her life, Modjeska prevails and reigns as the most successful Shakespearian actress during the second half of the 19th century. She performed alongside such prominent figures of the American Theater as Edwin Booth.
This play is based on actual reviews, poetry, fragments of autobiography and letters written by Helena Modjeska.
One of the most important themes of the play, “ambition versus happiness”, is expressed in the poem “The Artist’s Dream”, written by Modjeska herself and translated by Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish writer whom she met while she performed in London (1880-1882).
Upon translating her poem, Oscar Wilde wrote: “…If there is any beauty in this poem, it is the work of subtle imagination and passionate artistic nature of Mme Modjeska. I myself am but a pipe through which her tones full of sweetness have flown.”
Her poem serves as a connecting thread to the entire play.
The performance directed by Jon Kellam, resident director of Actors’ Gang in Los Angeles, is dynamic and moving. The simple set design consisting only of a wooden chair and a metal mannequin makes it suitable for a variety of venues.
Costumes were designed by Malgorzata Grzywnowicz and Malgorzata Wegiel, graduates of the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. This designers’ duet created stunning gowns which reflect the romanticism and craftsmanship of Modjeska’s era. Pictured above is a replica of Helena Modjeska’s Rosalind costume from Shakespeare’s “As You Like it”.
" Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."
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