Modernisation of the Dramatic Theatre soon to be implemented

News date: July 8, 2021
Modernisation of the Dramatic Theatre soon to be implemented

Aleksander Węgierko Dramatic Theatre in Białystok and Budimex SA concluded a contract for the modernisation of a historic building of the theatre. The project is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2023.


The theatre issued an invitation to tender for a major renovation of its premises in February this year. In May, the institution chose the very best offer – Budimex SA company. The project will be funded through the Government Fund for Local Investments (RFIL). The modernisation funds were also planned and included in the Multiannual Financial Forecast of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.


“Białystok and the entire locality have been waiting for the renovation of the Dramatic Theatre for over 70 years. Now, due to the PLN 26 million from the Government Fund for Local Investments (RFIL) and the budget of the voivodeship, the investment is becoming a reality. It proves that the polish government acknowledges the needs of the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship and supports investments which aim to benefit the local community. I am glad that our promise made during the municipal election in 2018 is becoming a reality. I hope that in two years, we can meet in a modern, comfortable and, above all, disability-friendly Theatre”, says Artur Kosicki, Marshal of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.


On Wednesday, 7 July, Martyna Faustyna Zaniewska, PhD, Deputy Theatre Manager and Andrzej Sowa, Regional Director in Budimex SA, signed a contract for the Theatre’s modernisation.


“This day will certainly remain an important part of the Theatre’s history. The long-awaited renovation is soon to become our reality. For now, we will rehearse and give guest performances on stages of other theatres. I believe that we are strong and capable of successfully overcoming these difficult times. A big thank you to all of our employees, who willingly engaged in all works necessary to prepare for the renovation. I hope that, in two years time, we will invite our audience to the new interior of Dramatic Theatre and enjoy this incredibly significant investment”, says Martyna Faustyna Zaniewska, PhD, Deputy Theatre Manager.


Budimex SA offered PLN 31,777,284.93 for the construction work. The modernisation is expected to be completed within 18 months.


“Budimex has successfully executed many theatre investments, including some “turnkey” projects. At this time, we are also extending Polish Theatre in Szczecin and modernising Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdansk. We always do our best to deliver and execute our projects on time”, says Andrzej Sowa, Regional Director in Budimex SA. “In this investment, fortifying the existing structure: foundations and the ceiling above the stage in the historic part of the building, in order to adapt them to bear the weight of the new stage technology, and renovation of the historic structures of the theatre, will be the biggest challenge”, adds Andrzej Sowa.


The construction works will begin in July this year. The general contractor guarantees a 7-year warranty for the works.


The Theatre’s modernisation project was drawn up by architects from the “KOZIEŃ Architekci” firm in Krakow. The investment will include construction works involving reconstruction, extension, renovation and insulation of the historical Theatre building at 12 Elektryczna Street. The project also includes replacing the old internal installations: plumbing and heating installations, wiring, telecommunications installations, forced ventilation, air-conditioning as well as woodwork and ironwork replacement and the development of the area around the building. As part of the modernisation, we also plan to replace the audience seats and adapt the building to the needs of people with disabilities and to the fire safety requirements.


In the 3rd quarter of this year, Dramatic Theatre intends to issue an invitation to tender for a stagecraft supply. New, modern solutions relating to stage technology, lighting and electroacoustics are planned as part of the modernisation. Total cost of the investment is estimated at PLN 58,000,000.




The Aleksander Węgierko Dramatical Theatre’s building is situated in the centre of Białystok’s urban design. The institution was built in 1938 under the name of the Józef Piłsudski Municipal Theatre. Its opening ceremony took place on 27 December 1938. The “Wojewódzki Teatr Objazdowy” travelling theatre, Eugeniusz Bodo, Mira Zimińska, and Hanka Ordonówna performed on the newly opened stage. In 1940, a great director and actor, Aleksander Węgierko, joined the Theatre and created a group of 140 people. In 1941, when the war between the Germany and the Soviet Union broke out, Węgierko’s group was in Minsk. When they reached Brest, they disbanded and Aleksander Węgierko died in unclear circumstances. During the bombing of Białystok, in 1941, all of the scenery and costumes were completely destroyed in a fire.


In 1944, the Theatre group resumed its activity and performed on the stage of the pre-war “Świat” Cinema (now under the name “Ton” Cinema). At the time, a theatre group was formed. The group was composed of exceptional actors from Warsaw and Krakow residing in Białystok, including Jan Świderski, Czesław Wołejko, Halina Kossobudzka, and Lidia Zamkowa, who were joined by actors from the city of Białystok. Marian Meller was the first Theatre Manager. The first premiere, “My Quail Has Fled” (Polish: Uciekła mi przepióreczka) by Stefan Żeromski, was staged on 22 September 1994. In the same year, retreating German troops set buildings on fire and blew up establishments. The Theatre building was damaged during a fire and could not continue its activity.


The first performance in the renovated Theatre on Elektryczna Street, “Tartuffe”, directed by Stanisław Daczyński and with stage design by Otto Axer, was staged on 23 September 1848. It was an extremely important performance in the history of the Theatre, for it inaugurated a season in the renovated building, in which performances continue to be staged to this day.