Teatr Trans-Atlantyk presented the premiere of CALIFORNIA at Instytut Teatralny in Warsaw on May 20, 2018. The project is supported by the City of Warsaw’s Department of Culture (Projekt współfinansuje Miasto Stołeczne Warszawa http://www.um.warszawa.pl ), the Sopot Non-Fiction Festival, our corporate sponsor the Randazza Legal Group, and the friends of Fundacja Teatru Trans-Atlantyk, Photos by Honorata Karapuda.
Part documentary theatre, part psychedelic rock opera, the project explores the extraordinary cultural, social, intellectual, political and technological earthquake that struck California in 1968. It was a year that nationwide civil and racial unrest, the emergence of the hippie counterculture and LSD, political assassination, the height of the war in Vietnam, the flowering of rock and roll, women’s liberation, the birth of the high tech revolution in Silicon Valley. The piece is directed by Paul Bargetto and written by Malgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk, with costume design by Chi Chi Ude, multimedia design by Honorata Karapuda & VJ Majonez, musical composition by Lukasz Szalankiewicz & Patryk Gęgniewicz, and Antoni Gustkowski, choreography by Kasia Ustowska with performances by Agnieszka Rozkowska, Marta Krol, Julia Trembecka, Grzegorz Sierzputowski, Krzystof Polkowski, Boguslaw Kudlek, Kasia Ustowska, and Wojtek Zoladkowicz.
Director Paul Bargetto was born in 1969 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the foothills above what would become Silicon Valley. His memories and childhood are one of the project’s primary subjects of documentary research. In addition, the project focuses on the campus of UC Berkeley in 1968 and the coincidental presence of three important historical figures with Polish backgrounds: Czeslaw Milosz, the Nobel Prize winning poet, Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple computer and Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber anti-technology terrorist. The piece also explores several other significant historical figures including the governor of California and future president Ronald Reagan, the libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand, Angelyne, the Hollywood billboard queen, Queen Califia, the mythical founder of California, Jan Lechon, the Polish poet who committed suicide in 1956 in New York City, the comic book character Wonder Woman, and the serial killer David Joseph Carpenter.