What can you find out about the world with a help of the language of deaf? One Gesture will show you

28.08.2017 07:08

The world, which differs from the world of French, English and German. World, in which words are not enough. The unique production of the main festival’s programme ONE GESTURE from Polish Teatr Nowy will show such world to the spectators of Divadelná Nitra.

The International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra 2017, which will be held during September 22 - 26, will enter its 26th edition with the theme #FUNDAMENTALS. The main attention will be paid to the core values of human life and society. 

ONE GESTURE belongs to the ten most important Polish theatre productions from 2016 .

When our language seems to be ineffective

„As for me, it is a production about ‘signing’, the world of sign language, which differs from the world of French, German, or Polish. It functions differently, is based on different senses. The more I dived into it, the more it was becoming clear to me that it is a perfect dramatic medium: ‘signing,’ but also the life of deaf persons in the world of signing, world which goes beyond the language itself.” – says the director, who invited four actors with various levels of hearing impairment, who disclosed to spectators the fascinating world of the interpersonal human communication with a help of their stories.  


„I wonder, how does communication work, how are emotions, knowledge and culture transmitted, generated and elaborated. If the borders of my language are the borders of my world, as a philosopher Wittgenstein had said, what can we find out about the world from the language of deaf? It is fascinating, that our language seems to be ineffective in comparison to explanation of either sign languages or the world of deaf”, states Wojtek Ziemilski and adds a story from the backstage.  

Sign language as a pantomime, as a dance

„One scene happened accidentally. I asked Adam to try to sign something. And he started talking about his favourite anime movie. It was something I've never seen before. This part of the performance is a tribute to unprecedented opportunities of sign language, that are unachievable for the hearing person. Because speaking about a visual poetry in sign language with a help of hands is a specific kind of pantomime that can only be understood by the deaf. Finally, I cannot create the whole story by using only one hand, one letter”, mentions the director. 

Sign language acquires the aesthetic value within the frame of his artistic work, it looks like a dance. „One can “sign” in many different ways. Every person does it differently. This is immediately noticeable. These differences are fascinating”, adds Wojtek Ziemilski.

His production presents everyday matters and struggles of the hard of hearing, for instance during a doctor’s visit or at public administration offices. Sign language

„We tell our private stories on the stage. For example, I say how, as a completely deaf person, who until now wore an ear implant, I am able to speak now. I tell how my mother worked with me; thanks to her now I am able to speak comfortably and move between the worlds of the deaf and of the hearing”, says Marta Abramczyk, who plays in the performance.

However, the production is not focused on integration. "It's not about telling astounding or sentimental stories. Everyone knows that it is difficult to live as a deaf, but it is also beautiful, amazing and completely different from the world of hearing", mentioned the director.

ONE GESTURE has successfully hosted at festivals in Lithuania, Germany and Norway, currently it is played at Zürcher Theater Spektakel in Switzerland, where it was nominated for the prestigious ZKB PATRONAGE PRIZE.

In order to develop the thematic and social overlaps of the theatrical works, presented in the festival programme, the Divadelná Nitra Association cooperates with the Association for hearing impaired EFFETA – Centre of St. Francis of Sales in Nitra and organizers of the Slovak Deaf Day, which will be held in Trnava on the occasion of the International Day of Deaf concurrently with the beginning of Divadelná Nitra (21-23 September 2017).

The main goal, which the director always strives for, is communication, creating a meaningful dialogue with the audience. This dialogue can be based on an understanding or it can start with a provocation that changes the routine way of thinking.

Nowy Teatr seeks to expand the area of dialogue with the audience not confining itself to theater performances alone. It aims to be a place for a whole new artistic situation. An area free for artists and curators to create, a space defined by people full of ideas.

One of Nowy Teatr’s aims is to get involved in the lives of the capital’s inhabitants and change the way they perceive the city. To show it’s hidden structures of memory, denial and oblivion. To open new artistic possibilities, build a place for imagination – interdisciplinary, free from division and bias.

Theater reamins Krzysztof Warlikowski’s main area of interest. Individuals invited to collaborate are faced with the task of cocreating a new concept of this place. Constructing the theater’s new building at the corner of Madalińskiego and Sandomierska Streets is one of the challenges Nowy Teatr faces. 

Each event is to be a starting point for discussions, meetings, converations, an exchange of thoughts and words. The Nowy Teatr is not simply about giving performances but rather creating a space for dialogue and initiating exchanges even on the most inconvenient of topics. Thanks to the fact that we have managed to group together so many creative personalities within our Nowy Teatr team, we intend to propose an original and artistic key to understanding the place in which we live and work.

The main festival programme during the 5-day theatre event will offer 10 productions, 14 performances of intriguing artists from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, the United States of America, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Tickets are already on sale. You may purchase tickets online at http://www.predpredaj.sk in the section Theatre.  Divadelná Nitra Box Office is opened from August 21, 2017 in the Andrej Bagar Theatre in Nitra, main entrance hall (access from the Svätoplukovo Square). Working hours: Mon - Fri 14:00 – 17:00.

The main festival programme is available at:

All info about tickets at:

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