Sobczyk, Justyna International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

go to content

Theatre director and educator, founder of Warsaw’s Theatre 21 (2005), whose actors are persons with Down syndrome and ASD, cofounder of the Association of Theatre Educators (2010) and member of the Theatre 21 / Centre for Inclusive Arts team, Warsaw’s first non-governmental institution dedicated to the artistic productions of artists with disabilities. She is also a board member of the Theatre 21 Foundation and initiator of projects in the field of theatre education in Poland, associated since 2005 with the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute. She teaches at Warsaw’s Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy, Cracow’s AST National Academy of Theatre Arts, and the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw. 

She graduated from Universität der Künste Berlin (two-year postgraduate studies in theatre pedagogy, on a DAAD scholarship), Warsaw’s Theatre Academy (as an external student at the Theatre Studies Department), Toruń’s Nicolaus Copernicus University (special-needs education), as well as completing the “Two Sectors – One Vision” and “Leadership Innovation Laboratory” programmes of the School for Leaders Foundation. 

She has directed spectacles for children and teenagers: Jan Dorman’s Theatrical Playground (Theatre Institute, 2012), The Enemy – Instruction for Use (Zagłębie Theatre, Sosnowiec 2018), Fatherland (Polski Theatre in Poznań 2016), The Wall (Polski Theatre in Bydgoszcz, 2019), and Kingdoms, based on pandemic-time illustrations by Theatre 21 actress Marta Stańczyk (coproduction of Theatre 21 and Warsaw’s Guliwer, 2022). Her spectacles for adult audiences included The Shoemakers (National Stary Theatre in Cracow, 2017), Hamer (sit-up, a coproduction of Theatre 21 and Warsaw’s Studio Theatre, 2021), Family (a coproduction of Theatre 21 and TR Warsaw), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin, dir. Justyna Sobczyk and Jakub Skrzywanek, 2023). The casts of each of her productions include actors with disabilities, providing a platform for their presence as autonomous artistic subjects. 

Sobczyk’s individual accolades include Konstanty Puzyna’s Stone from the Dialog monthly and Instytut Książki (2016) for her theatrical and educational work, combining art with social involvement, “Wdecha” Person of the Year title from magazine, and (with Theatre 21) the Passport Award of the Polityka monthly. Since 2023, Sobczyk has been a member of the Community Advisory Council of Culture to the Mayor of Warsaw.