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StaniSŁAW – BoleSŁAW [M&D]

Lipiec 13 @ 22:30

StaniSŁAW – BoleSŁAW

Outdoors performance StaniSŁAW – BoleSŁAW by Teatr A is a theatrical view on universal conflict between polish king Boleslaw II Szczodry (Latin: largus) called also Smialy (lat. audax) with Krakow’s bishop Stanislaw from Szczepanow. A conflict that leads to the murder of the bishop and exile (of notable) king Polish king. The bishop eventually becomes a Saint and one of the most prominent polish patrons. 

Stanislaus of Szczepanów, or  Stanisław Szczepanowski, born July 26, 1030, died April 11, 1079, was a  Bishop of Kraków known chiefly for having been martyred by the  Polish king  Bolesław II the Bold. Stanislaus is venerated in the  Roman Catholic Church as Saint Stanislaus the Martyr. Stanisław is a very old given name of Slavic origin, meaning someone who achieves glory or fame.

Bolesław II the Bold was Duke of  Poland from 1058 to 1076 and the third  King of Poland from 1058 to 1079.  

The circumstances that led to the King’s banishment hinge on the person of Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków, who had excommunicated the king for his infidelity. Due to those events, Poland experienced further feudal fragmentation, losing its position in the international area. The name Bolesław means „one who expands his glory”, or „makes his glory greater”

This history is full of uncertainties, it rises from the religious and political background of medieval Europe (analogy to Thomas Becket’s murder of Archbishop of Canterbury). Creators decided to perform the story „on the streets” – rising a question of pressure that is put on a human who takes on the social role of a king, a bishop, etc. The pressure that forces a completely new way of life, sacrificing own needs and dreams for superior goal. Here we confront those two extraordinary historical characters – witnesses of their own time, that grew from the same ground – here and now (sic et nunc). 

The Bishop, and The King knew, valued and protected themselves – that we know for certain. In order to become either a bishop or a king in XI’th century Poland they HAD TO care and „lobby” for each other. 

A lot is still unclear: because of murder (or maybe a sentence carried out?) during Holy Mass (or maybe on the public square?) on 11th April 1079, the King himself (or maybe royal executioner?) murders Stanisław. A forensic examination of St. Stanisław skull (that is still held as a relic in Krakow) 

confirms that the cause of death was strike with the sharp object into the back of the head. The conflict between bishop and king apparently sparked from king’s immoral and cruel behavior, that lead to Stanisław cursing the Reign with anathema (or maybe he only threatened to do it?). It’s worth noting In the XI century to excommunicate someone (even theKing) from Church also meant to expel them from Christian society.

Presupposed state treason by Stanislaw is based on the meaning of Latin words: traditio, traditor („treason/traitor” but also – „to rebel”) that Gall Anonim in his „Chronicle” used to describe St. Stanislaw. But those terms could also have been used in regard to bishops stance towards King’s immoral life.

How did the fates of Both of them unveiled – was it tragic for all sides? The murder of bishop, the exile of King, Polish feudal fragmentation… even thou its elementary knowledge of each Polish, there are untold mysteries in this story, mysteries that unravel with each „point of view”… we believe that blood of the martyr is the seed of Christians… (sanguis martyrum semen christianorum – Tertulian). 

Creators of the performance do not try to settle the dispute in favor or any of the Sides (while placing the blame on the other) – in this tragic story there is something universal, that intrigues artists even more… two sensitive, enlightened People become Bishop and King… they carry out their roles in society. Their noble thrones soon become places of torture, not only physical but also spiritual, moral – when the King had to be reprimanded… could there be any way back? Or maybe passion took over the decisions? Grace and curse… in the end, there is blessed blood of martyr… a mystery.

The horizon of this tragic feud seems to be ancient, archetypical… creation of the World which was good, and then, the two Brothers and further down the „brotherly murder” – Kain and Abel.

The tale of Stanisław and Bolesław will be carried through puppetry theatre – with both living actors and animated puppets. In this coexistence, we find a way to empathize with the characters… unusual, fragile, wooden, mysterious… prepared for their grand role while still being easy to harm.


Lipiec 13
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