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Polish Director/Actor to Visit, Teach at Emerson

Polish director/actor Waldemar Razniak will visit Emerson February 27 to March 2. Courtesy photo

Emerson students will have the opportunity to work with an “exciting” Polish theater director and actor later this month when he visits the College through a cultural arts exchange program.

Waldemar Razniak will visit a number of classes in the Performing Arts and Visual and Media Arts departments February 27 to March 2, including a graduate theater directing class, a film acting class, and film direction classes. He will also lead a workshop in physical movement.

School of the Arts Dean Rob Sabal “thought he would be an exciting person to bring over to our campus in Boston and thought he would bring a European perspective to some of our work, particularly in terms of directing, but also as an actor,” said VMA Associate Professor and School of the Arts Assistant Dean Tom Kingdon.

Razniak, currently vice-rector for international and student affairs at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Warsaw, has extensive acting and directing credits on both stage and screen.

Kingdon said Razniak’s work kind of “marries” the style of Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman with that of Russian theater director Maria Knebel. He is also influenced by the physicality of Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski, who was known to create theatrical performances out of marathon rehearsal periods of improvisation, Kingdon said.

Razniak’s visit is being sponsored by the Department of Performing Arts and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, an organization that promotes Polish art and culture through relationships with institutions abroad.

“It’s a relationship we’re just starting, and we hope it’ll bloom and there will be further exchanges,” Kingdon said.

Last April, VMA Senior Scholar-in-Residence Jim Lane brought a group of Emerson students to a student film festival in Warsaw through the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

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