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Wierszalin formed in 1990 by Piotr Tomaszuk is widely considered to be one of the finest theatre groups from Poland. Their work has been very well received in presentations and festivals across Europe, in Japan, Australia, and the US. The company's productions have won numerous awards in both puppet theater and general theater competitions, including two consecutive Best of the Fringe awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for their productions Roll-a-Pea and Merlin.

Wierszalin operates from Bialystok near the borders of Poland and Belarus, a point of convergence for Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Jewish cultures, as well as a significant center of traditional Polish folk culture and custom.

The troupe's work is heavily rooted to this cultural crossroads, and draws upon traditional imagery, music and customs to explore the many influences in life on the borderline between the East and West.

The group's approach takes on an eerie, powerful directness that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers. Their performances are a complex, intriguing interaction between puppets and actors, where people act both as the manipulators and the manipulated. By combining live actors with rough-hewn wooden figures, Wierszalin recreates the vivid, archetypal spectacle of the Polish szopka folk plays - with a added darkness and abstraction deeply rooted in the Polish avant garde.

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