Teatr Łaźnia Nowa
The relatively young Łaźnia Nowa Theatre has already become legendary due to the setting and the context of their activity. The company is based in the former training building of the Lenin Steelworks (now the Sendzimir Steelworks) in Nowa Huta, the demonised district of Kraków. The district, distant from the city centre, is considered to be damned. Built by the Communist authorities to counterbalance the intelligent Kraków, Nowa Huta is now mostly inhabited by the unemployed steel workers.
Since 2004 Bartosz Szydłowski, director and graduate of the Kraków PWST (the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków), has tried to prove that the Nowa Huta space can get infected with theatre [however, one cannot forget that since 1955 the Ludowy Theatre has been operating there]. Originally the theatre was located in Kazimierz (the former Jewish district in Kraków), where in the derelict building of the public bath Bartosz Szydłowski created a meeting point intended to hold theatre, music and discussion activities. A few years later he decided to move the theatre to Nowa Huta.
The first project, a bright open-air show made in Nowa Huta was called "Aleja Nadziei: Odrodzenie" [Hope Avenue: Rebirth]. The great multimedia show managed to brighten up the grey district space. The next performance, "Mieszkam tu" [I Live Here], was based on the stories of the Nowa Huta inhabitants. Łaźnia Nowa Theatre is now one of the most significant centres of culture in Kraków: in the course of a year, they usually put on a few premieres, welcome guest theatres from Poland, publish a free magazine "Lodołamacz" [Icebreaker], hold concerts, meetings and discussions. To the scope of their activities, Łaźnia Nowa Theatre has also added organisation of the famous Genius Loci festival, initiated in 2000 by Szydłowski in Kazimierz district.