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Janina Szarek and the Teatr Studio am Salzufer – Tadeusz Różewicz Bühne Berlin

Janina Szarek
Janina Szarek

Janina Szarek was born on 24 June 1946 in Ruda Różaniecka, in the former Lwów Voivodeship. Her parents were in the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa); at the time, the Solska Forest (Puszcza Solska), in which her home town was located, was also a getaway for the soldiers from the Home Army who were being persecuted by the Communists. Before the Second World War, the region was a melting pot of culture in which Poles, Ukrainians and Jews had lived for centuries, alongside Austrians and Russians.

Janina Szarek spent her early childhood years in the village of Basznia Dolna. In September 1949, the family moved to Bełżec, ironically to a place where there had been a National Socialist extermination camp during the war in which, according to various estimates, almost half a million people, mostly Polish Jews, had been killed.

In Janina Szarek’s recollections, her home truly seemed a place of refuge: “Our apartment in Bełżec was on the enormous site of a distillery and was next to, or more accurately, connected to the distillery which dated back to Austrian times. The building had a number of secret nooks; it was old and had an eerie, surreal feel to it. As well as our apartment, there was another half-destroyed, abandoned apartment and a quite wonderful attic. The bizarre, empty apartment and the attic, which were both full of old furniture, objects and toys from the pre-war period, things which simply did not exist in the era of the People’s Republic of Poland, inspired childhood fantasy, gave it wings, and provided space for never-ending games, dreams and bright ideas. It was an unusual place in which, even at the age of four or five, magic and metaphysics were there to be discovered. The sensuality of the lush, half overgrown nature that surrounded us contributed the rest.”[1]

Little Janina’s childhood home, and her grandfather’s house even more so, were also places in which music was played and where there was access to literature. The evenings were spent reading out novels by Sienkiewicz, Żeromski and Kraszewski. From an early age, the young girl made her first attempts to show her family her acting talent, and the world of the theatre would accompany her throughout her childhood and youth. The choir solos, the writing of poems, the taking part in recitation competitions and her involvement in the school theatre were important experiences for her and reinforced her belief in a possible stage career. So gradually, the idea of going on to do theatre studies began to take root. 

 

[1] Résumé for Janina Szarek’s dissertation: Recepcja sztuki Tadeusza Różewicza ‚Stara kobieta wysiaduje‘ w Niemczech. Kierunki interpretacji [Reception of the play “The Old Woman Broods” by Tadeusz Różewicz in Germany], Warsaw 2011. 

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  • Janina Szarek (left) in the role of Izabela Łęcka in the stage play “Pan Wokulski”

    Janina Szarek (left) in the role of Izabela Łęcka in the stage play “Pan Wokulski”, right Asja Łamtiugina. Teatr Współczesny in Wrocław.
  • Janina Szarek in the role of Lidia

    Janina Szarek in the role of Lidia in the film based on the stage play "Małżeństwie Kreczyńskiego"
  • Janina Szarek in the role of Lidia in "Małżeństwo Kreczyńskiego"

    Janina Szarek in the role of Lidia in "Małżeństwo Kreczyńskiego", Teatr Telewizji
  • Janina Szarek in the role of Lavinia in "Androcles and the Lion"

    Janina Szarek in the role of Lavinia in "Androcles and the Lion". Director: Henryk Tomaszewski, Theater Jeleniej Górze
  • Janina Szarek, 1973

    Janina Szarek during the discussion at the end of the one-hander "Czerwcami gorące" based on the literary original by Bolesława Leśmiana, 1973
  • Janina Szarek, 1970s

    Janina Szarek, 1970s
  • Janina Szarek in Wrocław, 1970s

    Janina Szarek in Wrocław, 1970s
  • Janina Szarek in the stage play " Androcles and the Lion"

    Janina Szarek in the stage play " Androcles and the Lion" in a scene with Bogdan Słomiński, Theater Cypriana K. Norwida in Jeleniej Górze, 1977
  • Janina Szarek in Greece, 1978

    Janina Szarek, private, during a stay in Greece, 1978
  • Janina Szarek in the stage play "Wariat i zakonnica", 1978

    Janina Szarek in the stage play "Wariat i zakonnica", Director: Krystiana Lupy, Teatr Telewizji, 1978
  • Janina Szarek in the early 1980s

    Janina Szarek in the early 1980s
  • Janina Szarek, 1983

    Janina Szarek, 1983
  • Janina Szarek, 1980s

    Janina Szarek, 1980s
  • Janina Szarek, 1990s

    Janina Szarek, 1990s
  • Janina Szarek, 1990s

    Janina Szarek, 1990s
  • Janina Szarek during the period at the Werkstatttheater

    Janina Szarek and Krystian Lupa during the period at the Werkstatttheater in Kraków, 1996
  • Janina Szarek and Tadeusz Różewicz

    Janina Szarek and Tadeusz Różewicz
  • Janina Szarek at the Academy PWST in Kraków

    Janina Szarek at the Academy PWST in Kraków, 1970s
  • Janina Szarek in Berlin, 1982

    Janina Szarek in Berlin, 1982
  • Janina Szarek in her apartment in Berlin-Neukölln

    Janina Szarek in her apartment in Berlin-Neukölln, 1980s
  • Janina Szarek during her involvement with "Studio – Gruppe 44"

    Janina Szarek during her involvement with "Studio – Gruppe 44"
  • Janina Szarek during her involvement with "Studio – Gruppe 44

    Janina Szarek during her involvement with "Studio – Gruppe 44, early 1980s
  • Janina Szarek with the poet Bolesław Taborski

    Janina Szarek with the poet Bolesław Taborski based on the premiere of the stage play “Dobranoc bezsensie”
  • Janina Szarek and Olav Münzberg

    Janina Szarek and Olav Münzberg
  • Janina Szarek and Olav Münzberg

    Janina Szarek and Olav Münzberg based on the première of "Białe małżenstwo", 2005
  • Janina Szarek

    Janina Szarek
  • Janina Szarek working with drama students

    Janina Szarek working with drama students at the TRANSform Drama School
  • Janina Szarek in the role of the old woman in the stage play "The Old Woman Broods”

    Janina Szarek in the role of the old woman in the stage play "The Old Woman Broods” by T. Różewicza
  • Janina Szarek, winter portrait

    Janina Szarek, winter portrait
  • Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek

    Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek
  • Jubileusz 16-lecia Szkoły Aktorskiej TRANSform oraz 14-lecia Teatru Studio

    Jubileusz 16-lecia Szkoły Aktorskiej TRANSform oraz 14-lecia Teatru Studio