Jerzy Grotowski



  • (1933 - 99) Polish director, whose avant-garde ideas had a wideinfluence on European drama in the 1960s and 1970s. As director of the 13 RowsTheatre in Opole (1959 - 64) he gained a reputation for his experimentalwork, which often involved audience participation. In 1965 he establishedthe Institute for Research on actor's Method Laboratory Theatre inWrocław, which toured Europe and America with establishedworks, such as Wyspianski's Akropolis and Calderón'sEl Principe Constante, as well as experimental pieces such asApocalypsis cum figuris.

    In the late 1960s Grotowski became celebrated for his conceptof poor theater, which involved using the most basic settingsand lighting in an attempt to break down barriers between performersand audience. He won the admiration of many contemporary directors,notably Peter Brook, who wrote the preface to Grotowski'sbook Towards a Poor Theatre (1968).

    In 1976 Grotowski disbanded the Laboratory Theatre and embarkedon a new programme of practical research, in which he explored thetechniques of the theater with actors and students but no audience.He spent his last years in France.