The Unknown Theatre of Jerzy Grotowski
Forthcoming in June 2023
Readers outside India:* Click here to pre-order the book.
Examines the previously unresearched formative years of Polish director Jerzy Grotowski’s career.
Polish director Jerzy Grotowski (1933–1999) was an international leader in experimental theater who became famous in the late 1960s for his revolutionary approach to audience involvement. This volume is devoted to Grotowski’s early work—the performances he directed in the Theatre of 13 Rows (later Laboratory Theatre of 13 Rows) between 1959 and 1964 when the theater was working in the provincial town Opole in south-western Poland. Having decided to work in his own independent theater, Grotowski moved to Opole in September 1956 and developed his ideas with young, inexperienced actors, creating important performances that foreshadowed his renowned masterpieces of the late 1960s.
In The Unknown Theatre of Jerzy Grotowski, Dariusz Kosiński and Wanda Świątkowska reconstruct, analyze, and interpret each of the nine performances directed by Grotowski over this period: from Orpheus based onJean Cocteau (1959) to Hamlet Study based on Stanisław Wyspiański (1964). Previously mentioned mainly in the context of the development of Grotowski’s method, these performances dealt with important social, political, and philosophical problems of postwar and post-Holocaust Poland. Grotowski also used these performances to experiment with the forces and problems that he later tried to be discreet about, such as sexuality.
Revealing unnoticed and forgotten aspects of Grotowski’s theater, this landmark book presents new materials and perspectives that give fresh life to the study of a genius of twentieth-century theater.
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