Established in 1996 by Grzegorz Bral and Anna Zubrzycki, Song of the Goat Theatre (Teatr Pieśń Kozła) has developed an international reputation as one of Europe’s most innovative training-based theatre companies, committed to researching what makes theatre distinctive to other art-forms. From its base in Wroclaw, Poland, the Company constantly develops its approaches and performances with the aim of unlocking theatre’s power to offer audiences a profound experience that can reaffirm their own sensitivity and humanity. Song of the Goat Theatre’s ever-evolving training, rehearsal and performance process are treated as laboratories, enabling the Company to research the craft of the actor and director and to evolve new techniques, performance languages and work. A distinctive element of the Company’s practice is a search for connection, meeting and openness as the seeds of authentic experience. This commitment to connection informs the development of each new training approach, which always seeks to integrate movement, voice, song and text, creating performance that has an inherent musicality and connects with the audience on a sensory level.
Through this training-based theatre, the Company continues to enrich not only its own practice and performance, but also to invest in the artistic development of the actors and practitioners it collaborates with. Song of the Goat Theatre has developed a major profile for the quality and distinctiveness of its pedagogical work, which is an integrated part of the Company’s approach – a way to enrich as well as to disseminate its own practice.
In recognition of the Company’s unique pedagogical approach to developing performance, it was approached in 2004 by Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) to establish an MA Acting Programme (which from 2013 will be validated by Rose Bruford College). Since its foundation, the MA Acting has developed an international reputation as an excellent artistic development programme for actors and practitioners, which is completely unique to the European theatre training sector. This highly competitive programme offers theatre artists the opportunity to explore the distinctive training, rehearsal and performance processes of the Company, including an expedition that inspires the creation of a performance. Through intensive engagement in the practice-as-research approaches of the Company, students develop their own practice and come to better understand what theatre means for them and how they can apply the principles they have explored to make a difference to the theatre sector and to wider society. Graduates of the MA have gone on to join Song of the Goat Theatre, perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company, form their own companies, become directors and workshop leaders at universities and theatre training institutions internationally and set up pioneering projects that apply theatre in humanitarian contexts. The Company maintains a lasting relationship with students, stimulating the creation of new theatre initiatives in collaboration with graduates, such as the Odra Ensemble Project (involving artistic research) and Jubilo Project (in which former MA students have worked with disadvantaged and socially excluded communities from Wrocław, such as mentally disabled persons and Roma youth).
Song of the Goat Theatre also delivers a thriving Summer Workshop Village programme to international actors and practitioners, which provide a practical insight into the Company’s training-based theatre approach. The Summer Workshop Village has had many editions since 1996. It attracts actors from around the world and in some cases functions as a gateway to the MA programme.
Through the creation of ever-evolving performance works that offer audience experiences connecting them to a deeper sensitivity, Song of the Goat Theatre continues to bring a unique contribution to the development of theatre internationally. The artistic value of the Company has been widely recognised, including several prestigious awards. Through its pedagogical work, Song of the Goat Theatre continues to play an active role in the development of emerging actors and practitioners, helping to ensure that theatre remains a vibrant and meaningful art form now and in the future by investing in the next generation of performers and performance makers.
• International Theatre Institute (ITI) Award for promoting Polish culture abroad, 27 March 2010
• CITY WROCLAW AWARD for the achievements of the ensemble in Poland and abroad, Wroclaw, Poland, June 2007
• Wroclaw Theatre Award 2006 for Brave Festival – Against Cultural Exile, 2nd edition entitled „Asian Voices”
• Piesn Kozla ensemble nominated to XII European Prize / New Theatrical Realities, May 2009
• Nomination to Nagroda Marszałka Wojewodztwa Dolnoslaskiego (The Prize of Head of Voivodeship of Lower Silesia) in the category „The Most Interesting Theatre Event of 2009”: Brave Festival, 5th edition entitled „Prayers of the World”, March 2010
Awards for ‘Songs of Lear’:
• FRINGE FIRST 2012
• HERALD ARCHANGEL 2012
• SPECIAL AWARD / MUSICAL THEATRE MATTERS AWARDS 2012
• 1ST place on the ranking of critics in “The List”
• Nomination to Total Theatre Award
Awards for ‘Macbeth’:
• THE PRIZE OF HEAD OF VOIVODESHIP OF LOWER SILESIA – “Nagroda Marszalka Wojewodztwa Dolnoslaskiego” for Anna Zubrzycki – „The Best Female Role in 2008” (Lady Macbeth in Macbeth)
• Grzegorz Bral nominated to Wroclaw’s Theatre Award 2009 for directing Macbeth
Awards for ‘Lacrimosa’:
• 2nd place in the audience poll in Teatr im. C.K. Norwida in Jelenia Góra during XXXIX Theatre Meetings of Jelenia Góra in 2009
• Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, August 2007: Nominated for the Best Ensemble: Stage Award for Acting Excellence 2007 Nominated for the Best Physical Performance: Total Theatre Award
• AWARD of Szczecin’s Friends Association
XLII Overview of Short Performances ‘Counterpoint’, Szczecin, Poland, April 2007
• ENSEMBLE AWARD
Forty sixth edition of Kalisz Theatre Meetings Festival of Acting, Kalisz, Poland, May 2006
Awards for ‘Chronicles – a lamentation’:
• Best International Show Edinburgh 2004, The Guardian, Edinburgh 2004
• SCOTSMAN FRINGE FIRST 2004, Edinburgh 2004
• HERALD ANGEL 2004, Edinburgh 2004
• GRAND PRIX for “serious and beautiful ensemble work…extraordinarily strong in its vitality and precision”. Forty third edition of the Kalisz Theatre Meetings Festival of Acting, Poland, April 2003.
• FESTIVAL DIRECTOR’S SPECIAL AWARD : “For the most mature acting skills”. Forty third edition of the Kalisz Theatre Meetings Festival of Acting, Poland, April 2003.
Awards for the founders of Song of the Goat Theatre:
• The Prize of Head of Voivodeship of Lower Silesia for Grzegorz Bral – for the creative work of Song of the Goat Theatre in the season 2002/2003
• Grzegorz Bral nominated in the category Creative Personality of the Year 2003
• Honorary Award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage “Honored for the development of Polish culture” for Grzegorz Bral and Anna Zubrzycki, 2005
• Crystal Mirrors for Grzegorz Bral – the award of Zwierciadlo, a monthly magazine, for creative and educational work, and an creative idea for Song of the Goat Theatre and Brave Festival, 2011