Arts & Culture Music Theater Visual Arts

Harmonious Crescendo: Dominika Zawada’s Trailblazing Journey in Music and Musical Theater

Dominika Zawada, a prodigiously gifted artist with a fervor for music and musical theater, has been making a significant impact in the industry with her extraordinary performances and contributions. Her journey from a memorable stint in the final rounds of the Polish contest, Twoja szansa, twój sukces, to her collaboration with Happily Ever After Productions in Amsterdam, epitomizes her passion and dedication. 

Dominika’s artistic odyssey began with an impressive performance in the final rounds of the eminent Polish contest, Twoja szansa, twój sukces. Her riveting act, broadcast on TVP Katowice, a regional offshoot of TVP, propelled her into the limelight. The widespread appreciation for her performance led to a coveted opportunity to have a music video recorded and showcased on TVP, Poland’s oldest and largest television network.

In 2008, Zawada’s gifts were acknowledged when she bagged the antagonist role of Samantha in the first Polish musical film, “Spisek,” produced by Switch Entertainment. The film received rave reviews, and its theatrical premiere in Raciborz, Poland, witnessed a complete sell-out of tickets. However, her collaboration with Happily Ever After Productions in Amsterdam truly bolstered Dominika Zawada’s standing as an expert and influencer in the musical theater scene.

With her company, HEA Productions, Zawada has helmed four successful Musical Theatre Bootcamps, offering aspiring artists an intensive crash course in musical theatre. Her zeal for teaching and imparting her knowledge led her to conduct musical theatre courses and masterclasses at esteemed institutions such as Act Attack, Zang En Co, and Tosca.

As the music director, vocal coach, and performer with Happily Ever After Productions, Zawada has scored remarkable successes. The 2022 production of “Avenue” at the Amsterdam Theatre House enjoyed twelve sold-out performances, necessitating the addition of a 13th show due to popular demand. The production earned widespread recognition and featured prominently on the official Broadway World site and other prestigious publications. 

Zawada’s significant contributions also played a pivotal role in the success of the 2021 production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” which enjoyed a sold-out run of 10 performances. Her talent and dedication were again in the spotlight in the 2020 production of “Into The Woods,” where she not only served as the music director but also portrayed the lead role of Cinderella. The show captivated audiences with six entirely sold-out performances, leaving an indelible impact on both Zawada’s career and the production’s triumph.

In this article, we delve into her illustrious biography, exploring her journey and achievements and gaining insights through an exclusive interview with Ms. Zawada herself.

Musical Ordinary Days, October 9th 2021, HEA Productions. Photos made by Chee-Wai Chan

Artvoice: As a star in the industry, could you share with us your early experiences and how they shaped your passion for music and musical theater?

Dominika Zawada: Absolutely! My ardor for music and theater has always been a core part of my life. From an early age, I engaged in singing and performing, partaking in local talent shows and school productions. 

It was during my stint in the Twoja szansa, twój sukces contest that I genuinely grasped the transformative power of music and its capacity to connect with people on a profound emotional level. The positive response to my performance cemented my resolve to forge a career in music and musical theater.

AV: “Spisek” was a significant milestone in your career, being the first Polish musical film. How did it feel to play the antagonist role of Samantha

D: Being part of “Spisek” was an incredible opportunity and a genuine honor. Embodying the antagonist role of Samantha allowed me to explore my adaptability as an actress and dive into a complex character. The film’s success and the sold-out theatrical premiere were unforgettable experiences that propelled me to persist in pursuing my fervor for music and acting.

AV: Your work with Happily Ever After Productions has been highly acclaimed, with sold-out productions and recognition from Broadway World. What do you attribute to your success with HEA Productions? 

D: I believe the success of Happily Ever After Productions can be attributed to a confluence of factors. Firstly, our dedicated and gifted team consistently strives for excellence in every facet of our productions. From the creative conception to the final execution, we endeavor to deliver top-tier performances that resonate deeply with our audiences. 

Secondly, our commitment to fostering a nurturing and educative environment, as evidenced by initiatives such as our Musical Theatre Bootcamps, enables us to nurture budding talent and challenge the boundaries of what is possible in musical theatre. 

Lastly, the exceptional support and enthusiasm from our audiences have been genuinely heartening. Their positive feedback and steadfast support have been fundamental in driving the success of our productions.

AV: You’ve had the opportunity to teach and give master classes at various schools. How does sharing your knowledge and expertise contribute to your own growth as an artist? 

D: Teaching and sharing my knowledge with aspiring artists have proven to be immensely rewarding experiences. It’s a reciprocal process, as I not only get to witness the growth and development of the students, but I also refine and deepen my own understanding of the craft. 

The challenge of articulating and breaking down intricate musical and theatrical concepts refines my skills and artistry. Moreover, the exchange of ideas and perspectives with students keeps me inspired and perpetually learning, which is crucial for both personal and artistic growth.

AV: Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future? 

D: I harbor numerous aspirations and goals for the future. Primarily, I aim to continue creating and performing in innovative and thought-provoking musical theater productions that resonate with audiences across the globe. I also anticipate expanding Happily Ever After Productions, introducing our distinctive style of English musical theater to fresh audiences and collaborating with talented artists from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

In addition, I aspire to contribute to the industry by mentoring and supporting emerging artists, nurturing their talent, and aiding them in realizing their dreams. Ultimately, my objective is to make a lasting impression on the musical theater scene and to inspire others through the potent mediums of music and storytelling.