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Stefan Jaracz Theatre

Storia del teatroSupplementodati tecniciHistoric equipment

Eventi importanti

(dettaglio)1909 | opening

(dettaglio)1911 | fire of the building

Persone

Dawid Lande |architetto
Edward Banasz |architetto

Storia

The history of the Stefan Jaracz Theatre goes back to 1870s. In 1877, the Victoria Theatre, which was built at the initiative of Józef Teksel, was opened at 67 Piotrkowska Street. The building burnt down in 1909, after which the Polish Theatre Association rented Dawid Tempel’s estate and opened the Polski Theatre in the warehouses of the Transport Association, adapted by Dawid Lande and Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger. After a second fire in 1911, the theatre was reconstructed (basically in its former shape) according to the design of engineers Stabelski, Miller and Banasz.

After the First World War, the land and the theatre building were purchased by the owners of the neighbouring property, and the misfortunes of the theatre commenced: continuous negotiations with the local authorities, the building department and the owners of the property, who were not eager to renovate the building. Lighting equipment, fire protection and sanitation failed to meet rudimentary requirements. Although some renovation works were conducted in 1934 (the ceilings were changed for fireproof ones, two staircases and a control booth were rebuilt and an iron curtain was erected). Already in 1938, two outstanding managing directors, Hugo Moryciński and Kazimierz Wroczyński wrote a despairing letter to the Building Department of the National Council of Śródmieście: The management undertakes to stage plays that do not require special lighting effects. We also undertake to conduct any adaptation works that come within our duties as occupants of the theatre. At the same time, we request the owners of the building to be ordered to carry out adaptation works (as to the building and the equipment) that are necessary for us to work. Finally, we ask for the performances not to be interrupted during these adaptation works, since such an interruption would expose us to irretrievable losses, including the collapse of the enterprise.

The situation did not change until the outbreak of the Second World War, during which the edifice was used by German actors. After the liberation, the building was nationalised and granted to the Wojska Polskiego Theatre, along with all its faults, the cramped stage and backroom. The edifice was the headquarters of the theatre from 1945 to 1949. In spite of the difficult conditions, Schiller staged here plays such as The Tempest by Shakespeare, Krakovians and Highlanders by Bogusławski and  Playing with the Devil by Drda.

In 1949, the theatre, as well as the street where it was located, was named after Stefan Jaracz.

Only in 1954 the theatre underwent extensive repairs. The storeroom by the stage was extended, and a rehearsal room was erected between the estates at 27 Jaracza Street and 45 Kilińskiego Street. The building remained in this condition until 1966, when it was completely rebuilt according to the design of Witold Millo. The works were completed in 1970, with the Little Stage opening a year later and the Chamber Stage in 1995, following the modernisation of the building housing storerooms and archive. In 2007, the façade and the foyer were rebuilt according to the design of Jakub Wujek, whereas the Large Stage and the Little Stage were modernised. Although the Large Stage was rebuilt many times, it preserved the shape from 1912.

In January 2009, the theatre started work on a large four-stage project in the region, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union as a part of the Integrated Operational Programme of  Regional Development. The main purpose of the project is to bring the theatre closer to those circles with more limited access, for example because of the distance between the smaller peripheral towns and the centre in Łódź.  The project consisted in the modernisation of the infrastructure and of the theatrical technology in five cultural centers in the Łodź voivodeship, i.e. in the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź, in the Local Cultural Centre in Piotrków Trybunalski, in the Local Community Centre in Skierniewice, in the Local Community Centre in Sieradz and in the Local Community Centre in Radomsko.

As a result of completing the project, professional European-standard theatre stages came into being in the four regional cultural centres, whereas the modernisation of the Łódź theatre enabled regional stages to be efficiently serviced and allowed them to complete not only all-Polish, but also international cultural projects. In all the towns, the rebuilt stages were equipped with modern light control rooms and modern acoustic equipment.  

Text from the Stefan Jaracz Theatre

 

Literature:

  1. Półwiecze teatru im. Stefana Jaracza w Łodzi., [Łódź : s.n.], Państwowy Teatr im. Stefana Jaracza w Łodzi, Łódź 1962.
  2. Teatr przy ulicy Jaracza : 110 lat stałej sceny w Łodzi (1888-1998), red. Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska; Teatr im. Stefana Jaracza, Łódź 1999.
  3. Teatr przy ulicy Cegielnianej, szkice z dziejów sceny łódzkiej 1844-1978, red. Stanisław Kaszyński, Wydawnictwo Łódzkie, Łódź 1980.

 

 

 

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