Poor knowledge of the law and the firmly established hierarchy in the Polish theatre allow broad scope for abuse, in particular sexual abuse, but also the other way round – for groundless allegations of sexual abuse.
To address this problem, we conducted eleven workshops (eighty hours) and a discussion panel intended for almost 2000 people working in the theatre industry: students, lecturers, and professional theatre performers and theoreticians, on the process of change now under way and constructive solutions to the crisis in the Polish theatre community. The workshops concerned human rights, standards of equality in Polish drama training and theatre, the boundaries within the artistic process, and applying the law in practice. The workshops proved useful in devising new standards and good practices. Under the project, we published a summary in electronic form of the project achievements, as well as an Artistic Process Boundary and Rights Charter. The charter was enacted in drama schools and theatres due to involvement of the project partners: the Wrocław branch of the Kraków Stanisław Wyspiański Drama School, the Theatre Directors’ Association, and the Stage Directors’ Guild of Poland. Also under the project, a film was made entitled Theatre Myths, and a series of four workshops was held entitled Within the Boundaries of the Law.
The project provided 344 people with the tools to devise new standards and good practices in the theatre. The main participants were women, as women report abuse and violence more frequently than men. Through the workshops, they were able to define the mental and physical boundaries in the artistic process.
Due to the project there is an increasing awareness that the theatre does not need violence to function, and that the artistic process is possible without violence. The long-term effect of the measures is a process now under way of improving knowledge of the law among theatre performers and reducing the number of cases of abuse and violence.