I ask myself a question - what makes a painter deal with theatre? Why does he reject a picture, where nothing can be changed, into a sequence of stage situations which are to some extend out of control? Why does he change
a vision painted for good into action, at each time different and unpredictable?
The first answer that comes to my head is - curiosity.
What will the next moment bring, will it intensify or cancel the previous one? Will the drama change into a farce, under our eyes, or the farce will become
a drama? Is chaos a primary, immanent state? Or vice versa - it is the order we are not able to comprehend.
A connoisseur of Szumski's theatre may notice that I treat him as a magus who puts the actors and events on the stage into motion and observes what follows.
To what extend do the frame of the stage ( with all the objects collected there ) and the role ( with the costume and the requisites ) determine the actors' behaviors? How far will the actors remain free and open to tell their own dramas? Even if they are marionettes moved by an invisible hand they seem to fight for their credibility on the stage. They want to remain themselves despite the sequences of repeated movements and stage choreography which they accepted ( or had to accept ). And they manage.
At least for the viewer they are unique people of flesh and blood.
Teatr Cinema seems to be well functioning mechanism. Considered, minimal stage design, well integrated sound and movement on the one hand ... and on the other hand incongruent bustle, some awkward endeavors, absurd approaches, clowning, showing off, charging the conventions ( well known from avant-garde theatre ). The theatre of contradictions. I would say: the intentional contradictions. It seems to me that people on the stage want to create a language under my eyes, they try to codify the signs, they want, at all costs, to come to an understanding - but they are not able to or they fail. It means that they play for high stakes. The theatre becomes a mirror reflecting reality but on higher level, where the truth is not expressed with words. It is possible to write about
"extinct feelings ", inability to understand one another and permanent alienation but the words are fading in relation to sensations and emotions entirely connected with the spectacle.
The power of the theatre is to work "here and now "and this cannot be replaced, I daresay.
A legitimate reason for comparing Teatr Cinema to a mirror is that it is the painter's theatre. Why does the painter take to making theatre? So, again the question from the introduction arises. I will risk a suggestion that he does it because he knows the tool. The painter who used to face the white rectangle of a canvas had to know his limits; he was to transfer the three-dimensional reality, set in time and space, into two dimensions. It could have been unbearable limit.
So he exchanged the canvas into a box of stage, separated from the viewer with the foot-lights. The border is the tile of the mirror but the reflection does not show the objective reality. It presents individual experiences of the viewers, their biographies, anxiety, moments of satisfaction, their heroism and mockery. They can see in the mirror of the stage everything they have known about themselves and the things they haven't been conscious of.
The picture is vivid and vibrating. The mirror of the foot-lights makes it possible to perceive a whole range of phenomena and people.
So, if a painter takes to making theatre, he is also tempted to see the things in their different aspects for all the people see the same but every particular person can see things differently.