Grotowski's Empty Room

Edited by Paul Allain


6 x 9 inches, 254pp, 17 halftones. November 2009

ISBN : 9781906497231

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Jerzy Grotowski (1933–99) was a Polish stage director, theatrical theorist, and founder and director of the small but influential Polish Laboratory Theatre. Most of Grotowski’s theatre-making took place in this and similar small theatres and studio spaces, and as a result one of his central fascinations was the actor’s work within the context of an empty room. The essays in Grotowski’s Empty Room analyze how Grotowski’s explorations in the theater continue to challenge dramatists and directors.


The contributors to this volume reflect with special insight on how theater scholars and practitioners can further Grotowski’s work and how his legacy will be developed in the theatre. Among the contributors are Leszek Kolankiewicz and Zbigniew Osinski, his close collaborators; Marco de Marinis, Franco Ruffini, and Fernando Taviani, scholars who have followed Grotowski’s works from the fourteen years he spent in Italy; and Swedish filmmaker and writer Marianne Ahrne and director Eugenio Barba, who reveal the strong impression Grotowski left on all those who met him and express the challenge of those who must now work in the empty rooms he has left behind.


‘For Grotowski, theatre itself was a kind of religion. He described himself not as an artist, but as a craftsman, a spiritual instructor.’—Wojciech Krukowski


Paul Allain is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Kent, Canterbury. A Polish theatre expert, he collaborated extensively with Gardzienice Theatre Association (1989–93), and has published extensively in this area and on actor training. He has been leading the three-year Arts and humanities Research Council-funded British Grotowski Project since 2006 as well as developing research collaborations with the Moscow Art Theatre School.


Theatre And Performance Studies
Culture Studies