Helena Modrzejewska

Nina Polan

Actress, singer and stage director. Thought born in Poland, she was raised in London, where she graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She started working in the English theater and performed under Peter Brook's directionin DARK OF THE MOON, on London West End, as well as in many roles, in London and various regional British theatres and Polish productions, as well as in filmes and movies. She also toured in Europe (Paris, Madrit) and appeared in Spain, in Edgar Neville's film, QUENTO DE HADAS.

After a stint in Radio Free Europe, in Munich, she came to the USA and performed in the American theater in New York City, at LaMaMa and various other venues, on tour and on stock, in regional theatres in the US at the Seattle Rep, the New Orleans Playhouse, American Players Theater, NJ Shakespeare Festival, and many other companies, playing a great number of Shakespearean and contemporary roles, as well as on TV (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE), in films (SOPHIE'S CHOICES, FEVER) and in radio (WQXR, RFE, VOA) among others.

She concertized extensively in various languages. Since she is be-lingual she toured with the Polish Theatre Institute as an actress and singer in the US and as far as Vilnus, Lithuania, Poland and Paris,France.Miss Polan directs many of the shows produced by the PTI, most notably HALKA by St.Moniuszko that was perfomed many times with chorus, orchestra and Pablo Zinger as a conductor in Kennedy Center in Washington and Royal Lazienki in Warsaw and many others that are in the recent repertuar like VERBUM NOBILE also opera by St. Moniuszko, KRAKOWIACY I GORALE, KRAM Z PIOSENKAMI, MICKIEWICZ I LITWA, CZUWANIE, TU BLYSKAWICA, LECHON, SLONECZKINIKI by Tedozja Lisiewicz, HELENA, KROLOWA EMIGRANTOW by K.Braun ( in Polish and English), POWTORKA Z CZERWONEGO KAPTURKA by A.Stalony-Dobrzanski and more.

Nina Polan is an executive and artistic Director of the Polish Theater Institute in America from 1984. There are 24 plays in in the theater's repertuar. Recently they took a part in the street festival Make Music New York with KALEIDOSCOPE OF POLISH SONGS that was performed at the same day in three different neighborhoods Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. This play was repeated on Summer Street Festival after the invitation from the city of New York.

Janina Katelbach was decoreted with Krzyz Kalawerski Orderu Zaslugi RP, Srebrny Medal Stowarzyszenia Wspolnota Polska and Zloty Medal "Zasluzony Kulturze Gloria Artis" for an activity in aid of Polish Culture.

Among the numerous roles she performed is Helena Modrzejewska, who was an extraordinary actress and theatre personality, Polish/American star of the later part of the 19th century. The play HELENA, THE QUEEN OF EMIGRANTS written by Kazimierz Braun was performed for the first time in Warsaw in Royal Lazienki in 2008. Nina Polan was also performing for the US tour with HELENA in English, in the anniversary of Helena Modrzejewska's death.  

Nina Polan passed away in February 2014.