„Theater in a Box” it is a project that has been operating since 2015. It is a series of theater workshops led by Iwona Miroslaw – Dolecka – an actress, graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Department of Puppet Theatre Arts in Białystok.
She works and creates in the Custody in Warsaw Służewiec – is one of the design elements of sociological and cultural Hibernate – Activation’s project. The creators of this initiative: Anna Sobol, Zbigniew Darda and Iwona Mirosław – Dolecka, received the second prize in the Competition of the Warsaw Cultural Education for ” creation of an open art space in a closed environment in a prison”, in the category of Animation Cultural Institutions (2015)
Theatre in a Box – closed theater – the theater behind the scenes. This is a departure from the magical space of the stage, as a window on the world. A gateway in a closed space, attempt to move the theater of discipline and restriction, in the world of isolated people. The challenge of building their own, separate , different scene of the “box” in the jail.
For two years of creative theatre working they have prepared two performances: #a project of liberation by Wyspiański, which premiere took place on 25th of April 2015 and a project “The Process” (The Trial) according to the text of Franz Kafka. The premiere of this performance took place on 4th of June 2016 year. “The Process” was shown at the XXV National and XIII International Festival of Prison Arts in Sztum (Sztumie), where it took the second place in the category of theater.
Due to the specificity of the project, Theater in a Box is not build by a constant group of people. It is also caused by the need of including the largest group of prisoners into socio cultural re-adaptation. The idea of theater activities is to develop the important competences of individuals, define as getting a new knowledge and skills, develop imagination and creative attitude. Motivation for action, social mobilization, training of memory. During the workshops prisoners work on voice projection, diction, animation techniques and improvisation. They learn the secrets of the theater of animated forms, shadows, objects, dolls. They use the methods of a drama. The project gives the real results for the participants. The evaluation showed a strong strengthen of the self-esteem of the participants. There was a real change in attitudes, beliefs and opinions: from passive to active and even creative attitude. Participation in the project led to the awakening of the sensitivity of participants and helped to strengthen family ties. For some of the participants it was the first contact with the theater: “I’ve never been in a theater, I wanted to participate in the workshops because of a monotony, I take part in every events just to escape from the prison of stagnation. The classes showed me another world, I can do something I have never even dreamed of – I was in the theater as an actor. It was an unusual feeling. “Says Damian- the participant of the project – “Theater in a Box”.