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Loose Screws

Nine New Plays from Poland

An unprecedented anthology of contemporary Polish drama, Loose Screws brings together nine previously un-translated plays by prominent playwrights who have emerged in rapidly changing postcommunist landscapes. The plays expose ways in which individual and social violence impinge upon one another, disrupt notions of a monolithic Polish identity, and try to find meaning within the post-9/11 global context.

This comprehensive collection offers an account of Polish history and politics though plays that range in subject from communism to mental illness, criminal and social violence, and working-class life and globalization. Serving as the cornerstone for the collection, Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk’s Loose Screws examines the ways in which various psychopathologies play themselves out in the private and public spheres in postcommunist Poland. The anthology includes a substantive introduction that situates each play within its historical, political, and theatrical context.

466 pages | 7 halftones | 6 x 7 1/2 | © 2014

In Performance

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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Loose Screws is unprecedented and will be vital reading for those interested in both contemporary theatre and Polish post-communist culture, providing a rich and diverse spectrum of dramatic voices. One reservation that often arises when faced with such culturally specific publications is that of their accessibility to those not familiar with the region and its situation. In this superb selection, however, each play seems to complement and illuminate another. The dramatic voices captured here resonate most powerfully together.”

Times Literary Supplement

“In her introduction to this collection of contemporary Polish plays, Dominika Laster delves into the history of Polish theater and its import for cultural and political commentary and formation of identity. These plays not only concern personal and universal subjects of relationships and interpersonal problems but also provide commentary on the modern world (particularly Polish society after communism) in inventive ways, with plays with sparse stage directions, unidentified characters, and neglect of linear plots.”

World Literature Today

“Six different translators deliver nine recent Polish plays to English-language readers, along with a few production photos and an excellent introduction by editor Laster. For readers, the value of cultural awareness transmitted by these plays is incalculable. . . . Loose Screws: Nine New Plays from Poland is a beautifully produced book on good quality paper, with wide margins for note taking. . . . Whether or not these plays win stage productions, their availability on the page is a major contribution to our understanding of contemporary Polish theater and life.”

Sarmatian Review

Table of Contents

Introduction ~ Dominika Laster
Past Revisited and Revised
The Files ~ Teatr Ósmego Dnia
Eat the Heart of Your Enemy ~ Michal Bajer
Helver’s Night ~ Ingmar Villqist
Rehearsing Domesticity
Daily Soup ~ Amanita Muskaria
The First Time ~ Michal Walczak
Let’s Talk about Life and Death ~ Krzysztof Bizio
Unmaking Poland
Made in Poland ~ Przemslaw Wojcieszek
A Couple of Poor, Polish-Speaking Romanians ~ Dorota Maslowska
Loose Screws ~ Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

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