Monthly Archives: October 2015

Production Ensemble 2015: A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY (11/13-11/15)

Poster Bright Room Called DayAbout the Play
“We live in Berlin. It’s 1932. I feel relatively safe, ” says Agnes Eggling as she and her friends watch Adolf Hitler’s rise to power from the relative safety of her Berlin apartment. Meanwhile, Zillah, who lives in 2015, can’t help but notice some terrifying parallels with current day politics and Weimar Germany. Tony Kushner’s A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY is “unabashedly political, thought-provoking, a little scary, and frequently a good deal of theatrical fun.”

About the Playwright
Tony Kushner was born in New York City in 1956. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, best known for his 1993 two-part epic Angel in America, as well as the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln. President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts in 2013.

LPAC Pearson-Hall Theatre

8PM Friday 11/13
2PM & 8PM Saturday 11/14
2PM Sunday 11/15

Directed by K. Elizabeth Stevens, Set & Media Design by Jorge Cousineau, Costume Design by Laila Swanson.

Lost Pianos?

What’s up with those pianos on campus?

CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO, is a radically original theater production that comes to the US from Poland in October for its North American debut. Replacing the piano parts of Fryderyk Chopin’s two piano concertos with penetrating dramatic monologues, the work is staged by Michał Zadara, the most distinguished Polish director-playwright of his generation, and the consummate actress Barbara Wysocka, the founders of the acclaimed Polish theater company CENTRALA. Wysocka is expertly accompanied by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, who will be led by conductor Bassem Akiki from the Warsaw National Opera. In this transformative work, Wysocka hijacks the piano with her physical, virtuoso performance and proceeds to explore cultural, political, and philosophical tensions of the composer’s time that feel strikingly contemporary. Performed in Polish with English supertitles, this new form of concert theater captures the composer as a dynamic living presence within the full force of his music. During CENTRALA’s 2-week residency at Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia, CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO will premiere on Saturday, October 24, 2015 in Lang Concert Hall on the Swarthmore campus. The production then moves to FringeArts in Philadelphia for four performances, October 28 through 31.

Go to: to find out more and follow the show on social media:

The Facebook Event Page is CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO

We look forward to seeing your pics, video, comments and questions all about this exciting production and the Lost Pianos appearing around Philly and the Swarthmore College campus.

Twitter hashtag #chopinwithoutpiano.


Have you found a Lost Piano? Take your selfies with any or all of them, or any pianos you can find. Just send your photos through Instagram by tagging them #chopinwithoutpiano. Your photo will show up directly under the header #chopinwithoutpiano. New pics are updated every 30 minutes.

Video: We’re eager to see your Lost Pianos videos. Upload your own Lost Pianos video to Vimeo by taking these 2 special steps: Under “Privacy” make sure “Anyone” can watch “Anywhere”, then click “Share”. Send us the embed link to your video to to be uploaded to


Postcard Chopin without PianoUp next from the Cooper Series:
Created by CENTRALA (Warsaw)
Directed by Michał Zadara ‘99
Text by Barbara Wysocka and Michał Zadara
Performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Conducted by Bassem Akiki
Performances in Polish with English supertitles

On-Campus Performance: CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO
Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 pm
Lang Concert Hall
Free and open to the public without advance reservation
For information: 610-690-3489 or

Philadelphia Performances: CHOPIN WITHOUT PIANO
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Oct. 28-30, 8 pm nightly
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2 pm (with roundtable discussion afterwards)
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
$25 general admission/$15 Student and 25-and-under
For tickets:

Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka are among the pre-eminent Polish theater artists of their generation, and are active internationally in both theater and opera. Zadara, who first studied theater and directing at Swarthmore, has emerged as Poland’s most significant and innovative director of the Polish classical and contemporary repertory. Wysocka’s accomplished acting and directing career was preceded by eight years of classical violin training in Germany. Together they founded CENTRALA to create works that cross traditional lines of performance and artistic practice.

Chopin Without Piano is a large-scale performance piece in which the piano parts for Fryderyk Chopin’s two piano concertos (Opus 11 in E minor and Opus 21 in F minor) are replaced by Wysocka performing a virtuosic monologue in Polish with English supertitles. Wysocka captures Chopin as a dynamic living presence, using fragments of the composer’s letters, biographies, and commentaries on his work. The orchestral scores will be performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by Bassem Akiki, a leading Polish conductor affiliated with Warsaw’s National Opera, who is making his American debut. Chopin Without Piano presents new possibilities for theater and music to intersect in performance, and reveals how classical composers and music remain alive and relevant for us today.

Considered a contemporary classic in Poland, Chopin Without Piano has been successfully performed in both concert venues and theaters. The performances of Chopin Without Piano in Swarthmore and Philadelphia mark the first international tour of the work, and will be followed by an engagement at Arts Emerson in Boston.

“Chopin’s Voice: Chopin’s Music in Performance”
Sunday, Oct. 25, 3 pm
Lang Concert Hall
Participants: Michał Zadara, Barbara Wysocka, Bassem Akiki, Jeffrey Kallberg (University of Pennsylvania), David Kasusic (Occidental College)
Moderator: Barbara Milewski (Swarthmore College)

“Chopin’s Body: Chopin as Theater”
Saturday, Oct. 31, 4:15 pm
FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Participants: Michał Zadara, Barbara Wysocka, Bassem Akiki, Tamara Trojanowska (University of Toronto), Tom Sellar (Yale School of Drama)
Moderator: Allen Kuharski (Swarthmore College)

Week of Oct. 19-23
Michał Zadara and Barbara Wysocka will lead a series of workshops with interested theater students on a schedule to be announced in October.

Bassem Akiki, together with Zadara and Wysocka, will lead a master class and discussion with the Swarthmore College Orchestra on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Major support for Chopin Without Piano has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the William J. Cooper Foundation, and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw). Chopin Without Piano at Swarthmore is presented by the Departments of Theater and Music & Dance, and is co-sponsored by the Dance Program and the Departments of English Literature, Political Science, and Modern Languages & Literatures.