The Kosinski Project

ZOU Theatre Company Toronto
  • Created and directed by Viktor Lukawski
  • Developed in collaboration with the company

The Kosinksi Project is an international physical theatre production blending puppetry and cinematic storytelling to explore the enigma that is Jerzy Kosinski, the controversial Polish-American author of The Painted Bird and Being There. An exploration of ‘creative survival’ and an artist who was born out of trauma, the production repurposes events from Kosinski’s life and work and explores his lifelong re-imagining of reality - a survival response to the terrors he faced during World War II, but which ultimately led to his personal and professional downfall.

Using life-size puppets and hyper-realistic masks, four performer-puppeteers portray the story of an author confronting his demons through a hallucinatory flow of interwoven scenes, utilizing physical and visual storytelling elements to convey the fragmented and jarring images from the life of this forgotten mythmaker.

Company

Based in Toronto, ZOU is an international theatre company led by Artistic Director Viktor Lukawski. The company’s productions are best described as visual theatre, developed using a mixture of physical theatre and puppetry. Its creations focus on the grotesque, steering the audience towards a confrontation with difficult and uncomfortable topics, investigating ambiguous situations and individuals, with the ultimate goal being a form of understanding and enlightenment on the audience’s part. 

Creative team

  • Created and directed by Viktor Lukawski
  • Developed in collaboration with the company
  • Performed by Andreu Martinez Costa, Adam Paolozza, Sacha Plaige, Viktor Lukawski
  • Dramaturg Bobby Theodore
  • Puppet design Pascale Blaison
  • Set design Kristel Maamägi
  • Lighting design Priidu Adlas
  • Costume design Michelle Tracey
  • Sound design Kirill Havanski
  • Video design Taavi Varm
  • Producer Kendra Bator

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $160,000 will provide ZOU with additional workshop time, including an international residency, to fully develop the work through a rigorous process of collective creation.

Credits

Co-produced with Figurteatret i Nordland (Nordland Visual Theatre). Co-presented by NUKU and NuQ TREFF, in collaboration with Sakala 3. Produced in partnership with Why Not Theatre.

Developed with support from the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program, the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Supported by and developed at the Harbourfront Centre Performing Arts Residency Program. 

Performance dates

Premiering in Estonia in May 2020.


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