On Józef Ratajczak’s puppet dramaturgy
Poznań poet Józef Ratajczak (1932–1999) is better known as an author of ambitious poetry for children than an author of stage works for puppet theatre. Yet, as early as in the 1960s, urged by Leokadia Serafinowicz – director at the “Marcinek” Theatre in Poznań – he began to write works for this stage, at the same time publishing programmatic articles (including From puppets to objects, Puppets and people). In these articles, he distanced himself from mimetic theatre, granting ordinary objects the right to create a performance on their own. In his literary practice he looked for various forms of expression, both drawing on traditional motifs from Andersen (The Nightingale) or Polynesian myths (Sun Boat), and developing his original motifs that corresponded to his own poetic idiolect (Night of Miracles), understanding of patriotism (Hello, Hi and Hush!) and idea of theatre of objects as a symbolic reflection of human nature (Everything’s OK, Puppet theatre).