Teatr Brama was founded in 1996 by Daniel Jacewicz. The name of the theatre comes from its first headquarters – Brama Wolińska (Goleniow’s old city gate). It was there that the theatre began first as an informal club and shortly after became a community theatre group under the umbrella of Goleniów’s Culture House. Today, Teatr Brama is well known in Poland and in the world of independent theatre. Brama creates a living cultural environment in Goleniow which can be experienced during their annual festivals – BRAMAT and ŁAKNIENIA. Brama’s motivation, from both an artistic and culture shaping point comes from the desire to revolutionize the relationship between artist and the audience. Performance is an occasion for meeting and creates the space for dialogue. As a Socio-Cultural Education Association, Teatr Brama Theatre utilizes informal education to create possibilities for improving the quality of life in the local community, while creating rich cultural life in Goleniów.
In 1996, 17 year old Daniel Jacewicz was asked to lead theatrical workshops for children in Goleniów’s Culture House. But on posters advertising the workshops, the fact that they were meant for youth was accidentally left out. So on Saturday, September 14, 1996, instead of children the workshop room was full of people of different ages – mostly youth. Meetings were held weekly on Saturdays in one of the buildings of Goleniów’s Culture House – Brama Wolińska. It’s this very place that gave the theatre its name, which became over time symbolic for its later history and function. The events, which are considered the symbolic beginning of Brama’s adventure, were Zaduszki Gotyckie, and the first real performance prepared by the participants of the workshops and Daniel Jacewicz: Rondo, written by Bogusław Schaeffer. The performance took first place in the Regional Amateur Artistic Movement Competition in Nowogard and since that day the team started going to festivals and competitions. In 1999 Teatr Brama hosted the first BRAMAT Theatrical Festival, which to this day is held in high regard by the theatrical community. The Festival wasn’t created only by the actors of the theatre, but also by citizens of Goleniów, and to this day this formula is cultivated by it’s organizers. The important event in the history of Brama Theatre was the premiere of Zabawa, written by Sławomir Mrożek (14th April 2000). Zabawa was well received on numerous festivals and although the cast changes slightly over the years – it is played to this day, making it the longest played performance of Teatr Brama.
Teatr Brama is also the organizer of the Łaknienia Theatrical Festival, which has taken place (in different forms) since 2006. The Festival is well known to many of the young theater makers and ensembles and is one of the few occasions created for them to meet and present their works. “Theatre made by young people is lost, split between professional theatre and infantile or school-made. […] In theatre the most important value is the truth, and of course will. One of the professors once said: “Everyone can make theatre, but not everyone wants to”. This does not mean we should tolerate bad theatre. Still, the most important thing is to create some kind of conscience among theatre people. It’s the key point. It leads to development. I really hope this Łaknienie (festival will be this kind of guidepost.” [Łaknąć, Gazeta Sprawozdawcza I Przeglądu Twórczości Teatralnej Łaknienia, no. 1] In 2006 the theatre celebrated its 10th anniversary, which took part in Piwnica Kany in Szczecin (PL). It was in Teatr Kana that Daniel Jacewicz temporarily continued his work with Brama. In 2007, Teatr Brama moved to Srebrna Góra in Lower Silesia, where they worked on a new performance – My. The premiere of the performance took place in Goleniów, on 8th of September 2007 in a musical club called Rampa. It was a symbolic return of Brama to Goleniów, as the theatre moved its headquarters back to town in 2011. In 2011, Rampa was a temporary office of Brama. This is significant considering it again became the theater’s headquarters in 2020. The performance My charmed the critics at the festivals Pestka, Windowisko, Poszukiwanie Alternatywy and Łódzkie Spotkania Teatralne. “The Performance My is an effect of cooperation between Daniel Jacewicz and young people from Brama Theatre. This honest story was created as a result of many hours of rehearsals, which were primarily composed of conversations, games and afterthoughts by the actors themselves. During work we moved around personal experiences and the emotions of states of conscience we found ourselves in. Meetings released individual emotional states, fears and cognitions. Everyone who took part in the performance brought into it their own story, which created an interesting collage of singular tales shaping the common perspective of the world seen through the eyes of young people.” [archival promotional materials of the Brama Theatre]. In November of 2007 Teatr Brama was invited to the United States of America, where it’s members spent a four month artistic residency. Upon returning the first bus was bought, which allowed Brama to present their works around Poland and beyond. It was the time, when Theatre functioned “on the road”.