Heart of Glass. A Zen Musical

inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and Maria Peszek’s “Naku*wiam zen”

Warsaw premiere: 19 April 2024

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Heart of Glass. A Zen Musical

“Heart of Glass. A Zen Musical” inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” and Maria Peszek’s “Naku*wiam zen” is a musical production in which Andersen’s fairytale-like reality collides with with the nitty-gritty of real biographies of two accomplished artists, father and daughter – Jan Peszek and Maria Peszek.  Am I at all capable of love? – this question asked by Jan several months after his heart attack becomes the trigger to perform a musical autopsy of the heart, the act of loving and love itself. “Heart of Glass. A Zen Musical” is an unpredictable, promiscuous and affectionate meditation on emptiness, body, love, Poland past and present, saints, farting, hopelessness and death, with musical arrangements by Andrzej Smolik.  It is a journey of the Studio and Słowacki Theatre teams, as well as Jan and Maria Peszek, across frosty nights of “the winter of the century”, remote marshes, emty churches, extasies, life and creative crises, the darkness of the Zbójniczki castle and Teofilów housing estate, and across other vile places.

Usual reading of “The Snow Queen” by H. Ch. Andersen relies on reproducing the ethical system deeply rooted in Christian morality. In the musical staged by STUDIO and Teatr Słowackiego, the criticism of intellect present in the fairytale, demonizing carnality and sexuality, or censoring desire falls apart in confrontation with life stories of Maria and Jan who draw their strength from the chronic need to understand through the process of continuous quastioning and challenging. In “Heart of Glass”, alongside the ensembles of both theatres, they ask questions to which we already have answers; they delve into the vilest areas, confronting us with what is uncomfortable, unwanted and disgusting; they search anew of the relationship with one another and ith others, beyond the established patterns of “a good family”; and, above all, hey remain in the state of constant ignorance and affirmation of life “despite everything”.

LISTEN! LET’S BEGIN!
WHEN WE REACH THE END OF THIS FAIRYTALE
WE WILL KNOW MORE THAN WE KNOW NOW,
BECAUSE THIS STORY IS EXTREMELY VILE.

Jan and Maria Peszek have been creatively collaborating with STUDIO for years. Warsaw audiences could discover Maria Peszek at the beginning of her theatrical career in the late 90s and early 00s when she created recognizable and critically acclaimed roles on the STUDIO stage, including in productions directed by Grzegorzewski, Cieplak and Brzoza. Jan Peszek has been working with STUDIO for over 40 years, most recently he appeared in “Tamara’s return” directed by Cezary Tomaszewski.


The play is co-produced by STUDIO and Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Krakow.

Warsaw premiere: 19 April 2024 on the Józef Szajna Big Stage in STUDIO
Krakow premiere:  21 September 2024 on the Big Stage of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre

CREATIVE TEAM

Libretto

Klaudia Hartung-Wójciak i Maria Peszek

DIRECTOR, STAGE MOVEMENT

Cezary Tomaszewski

MUSIC

Andrzej Smolik, Maria Peszek

CHOREOGRAPHY

Barbara Olech

MUSICAL DIRECTION OF THE INSTRUMENTAL BAND

Jacek Kita

SET DESIGN AND COSTUMES

Aleksandra Wasilkowska

VOCAL COACH

Anna Serafińska, Adam Rymarz (współpraca)

LIGHTING DIRECTOR

Jędrzej Jęcikowski

SOUND DIRECTOR

Krzysztof Polesiński

DANCERS

Darek Kowalewski, Marcel Zawadzki

MUSICAL BAND FEATURING

Jacek Kita, Piotr Wróbel, Jakub Szydło

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Monika Balińska

ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER

Julia Tyjewska

assistant director

Wiktoria Krążek

STAGE MANAGER

Patrycja Węglarz

 
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