Online reading of Jolanta Janiczak’s play Detroit. The History of a Hand
Presented by The Vaclav Havel Library Foundation, Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz.
Playwright: Jolanta Janiczak. Director: Vernice Miller. Actors: Erin Lockett, Joann Yarrow, Brian Jennings, Anna Podolak, Kelvin Tejada, Raymond Kraft. Translated by: Beata Marczynska-Fedorowicz. Running time: 90 min.
Detroit. The History of a Hand centers on the fulfillment and downfall of the American Dream. The play is based on Diego Rivera’s mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Jolanta Janiczak wrote the script after she visited Detroit and witnessed the ruins of the once powerful city. Rivera painted an epic series of 27 intricate panels embedded into walls of the DIA courtyard. Entering this space offers visitors a chance to glimpse into the robust industrial era that Rivera transposed in 1933, when Detroit still stood as an icon of a modern city.
This reading is followed by Q&A. It is free and open to the public. Suggested donation $10.
Detroit. The History of a Hand, directed by Wiktor Rubin, premiered at the Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz in 2014.
In honor of Vaclav Havel, The Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival, presents Spring Weekend: a showcase of emerging Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak playwrights whose work grapples with the social and political issues of today. The plays have been translated into English and will be brought to life in online readings by local New York performers and directors.
JOLANTA JANICZAK is graduate of psychology at the Jagiellonian University and Lart Studio acting, playwright. She is an author of several plays. Since 2008, he has been working as a playwright with Wiktor Rubin, co-creating the original theater language. Their joint shows are present at all important festivals in Poland and abroad. At the 4th International Divine Comedy Festival in Krakow (2011), she received a distinction for the drama Joanna Szalona: Krolowa, which was also in the finals of the Gdynia Drama Award 2012. In 2013, her text Caryca Katarzyna was included in the finals of the Gdynia Drama Award. Winner of the Paszport Polityki 2013 and the scholarship program of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage “Young Poland” 2014, winner of the Gdynia Drama Award in 2016 for the drama Gorgonowa Case, and many awards and distinctions at national and international theater festivals. Her plays have been published many times in Poland and abroad, translated into Russian, German, Georgian, Portuguese, and Ukrainian, among others.
Vernice Miller is a performer, director, producer, activist. Her stage work includes directing Three Women (Break the Silence) by anthropologist Dr. Omotayo Jolaosho at the Market Theater Laboratory in Johannesburg before touring South Africa. In Slovenia and Poland, she performed and co-directed Nomansland for Seth Baumrin’s Subpoetics International. Miller directed the inaugural production of Bee Trapped Inside the Window by Saviana Stanescu, commissioned by Civic Ensemble in Ithaca, NY. For network television, she shadowed director Felix Alcala on the CBS series Madam Secretary throughout filming of season 6 episode 9 “Carpe Diem.” Miller has collaborated with jazz musician Wynton Marsalis on Eatonville, a Zora Neal Hurston project, and spent ten years working internationally with HBO comedienne Hazelle Goodman. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NYC. In 1995 with Joann Maria Yarrow, they co-founded A Laboratory for Actor Training Experimental Theatre Company, to evolve work they began with Roberta Carreri at Eugenio Barba’s Odin Teatre in Denmark. Miller is the recipient of the London New Play Festival’s Best Actress Award for her solo performance of Medea: Now. Among others, she has trained with Ryszard Cieslak, Jacques Chwat, and Jerzy Grotowski of the Polish Laboratory Theater. Ms. Miller has been most influenced by her work with Roberta Carreri of the Odin Teatre, Denmark, and with Maggie Flannigan in New York City.