The performance of the Theatre 21 (Teatr 21) which was inspired by the Tisza be-Aw festival took place in G9 room at Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The memory of the victims of the Nazi T4 action, which main motto was to “eliminate a life not worth living”, is recalled in the light of personal experience of actors. Both the personal stories of actors, the XXth century history and the Tisza be-Aw festival meet all in one place. Tisza be-Aw festival is a mourning festival dedicated to commemorate the anniversary of the Jerusalem Temple demolition. Strict fasting and mortification is a must on that day. At the time of Tisza be-Aw festival one does not use neither chairs nor armchair but one sits only on the ground or an uncomfortable seat. Tisza be-Aw festival is a memorial day. During their work the creators were looking for an answer to the following question: “What is it for us personally the Jerusalem Temple demolition?”/ what does it mean for us personally the Jerusalem Temple demolition? They didn’t want to answer the question directly by means of dates, diagrams or an exhibition. They recalled their personal and so far unspoken stories instead. The stories were confronted with live presence of the actors on the stage.
A group of players wearing summer training clothes, which remind us of P.E. classes at school, play popular outdoors games on a marked field. The games originate from folk traditions and are still played on public and school playgrounds. All rules are treated seriously and all equipment such as balls, jumping ropes and eye bands are used as required. The violent load of actions and the language of innocent kids games is actually striking. The names of the games include pejorative expressions such as “Stupid John”, “Rat”, “Whoredog” and “Black People”. Analogously activities in the games such as beating, hitting, tapping and pointing the finger at somebody demonstrate elements of violence. The weakest players are disgraced, punished and eliminated. The performance is accompanied by a specially created audio component: those are intimate stories of the 21 Theatre actors’ mothers.