worst case scenario

WORST CASE SCENARIO is a theatre project by Aleksandra Jakubczak. The working title, as good as it was (but way too long), sounded: How theatre helped me with my anxiety (and them made it a lot worse). It says a lot about what is at stake here: we’re trying to see theatre as a place, that we can all benefit from. The time we share in theatre is unique in our contemporaneity. We can listen to each other, share our emotions, thoughts and explore our common fragility, without any mediation. It’s a great opportunity for social and personal development. We can take care of each other and create internal and external bonds, nowhere else to be found. And yet, theatre is very often use as a tool for oppression. Once in a while we get an outbreak of yet another story filled with direct and subliminal violence. Structural, (in)human, aimed at creativity and the well-being of the Other. No matter, if it’s a rage of dying patriarchy, oppressive institutional structure or someone’s inability to deal with their own emotions, we can clearly see a misuse of theatre’s possibility and how its full potential is being thrown away. It leads to the mistrust, not only in the theatre community, but most of all within the audience. How come those, who should care about art, are doing such violent things?

WORST CASE SCENARIO is an attempt to regain theatre and create safe and inclusive space, where we can all thrive against today’s odds.

„The project deals with the topic of mental health issues among theatre artists and how the system does (not) support people experiencing mental health illnesses or conditions. Let’s use theatre to imagine what it would mean to really hold space for someone else with all their backgrounds, conditionings and limits. How can we practice that? What could happen if we start to use the limits and ”shortages from norms” as powers, opportunities, directions for change?

As a person who is perceived as a woman and a person with anxiety disorder I have developed a very complicated relationship with the theatre world. Only lately did I realize that my love-hate relationship is not about me being not good enough of an artist or too weak of a person, but that the system itself, the structures and power dynamics may not in fact be designed for people like me. I belive that thanks to my anxiety disorder I was able to see some of the oppresive systemic problems more clearly.

I am interested in how a „disorder”, a „weakness” can become a superpower, a tool for change. I would like to research an auto-etnographic project about mental health issues within the theatre, by starting from my own personal story of liberating from the shame, but also about how I am now trying to build a way of doing things that would not reproduce the toxic production and theatre-making systems. I believe that sharing personal stories, using them as a starting point, creates relatable art. We need stories about fragility and we need to keep changing the system.”


Project is currently under the development /// if you’re interested in participating in it as a producer, co-producer, presenter /// let us know!