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Voices from Within: Grotowski’s Polish Collaborators


Laboratory Theatre Jerzy Grotowski Opole Wrocław Ludwik Flaszen acting directing Theatre of Sources training set design paratheatre rehearsals ensemble Ryszard Cieślak Zbigniew Cynkutis Rena Mirecka Zygmunt Molik Maja Komorowska Antoni Jahołkowski Andrzej Bielski Waldemar Krygier Stanisław Scierski Jerzy Gurawski Jacek Zmysłowski active culture Przemysław Wasilkowski Irena Rycyk Stefania Gardecka Teo Spychalski Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski & Thomas Richards Polish theatre



Voices from Within: Grotowski’s Polish Collaborators is available in paperback and online.

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Book description:

Voices from Within: Grotowski’s Polish Collaborators brings together, for the first time in English, the distinctive voices of renowned director Jerzy Grotowski’s Polish colleagues, providing a rare insight into different areas of their research and work. Through conversations, recollections, journal entries, images, working notes, and other testimonies, the collection opens up a range of perspectives on this changing practice – both within and beyond the theatre – from the actors, artists, designers, producers, administrators, and investigators who co-created it.

The book spans the full period of Grotowski’s career, from the ‘theatre of productions’ phase, through paratheatre and Theatre of Sources, to the final phase of ‘Art as vehicle’ following his emigration from Poland. What emerges from these narratives is a genuinely collaborative endeavour that, as Grotowski himself comments within – in a note distributed with the Laboratory Theatre’s touring productions – is often mistakenly associated with ‘his name and his name alone’. Voices from Within makes an important contribution to international understanding of this work, by offering a multi-vocal ‘insiders’ account’ of the collective and individual searches, uncertainties, discoveries, and experiences that accompanied many of Grotowski’s long-time creative partnerships.


Cover photograph by Maurizio Buscarino, courtesy of the Grotowski Institute.

About the editors:

Paul Allain is Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Kent. He is a Polish theatre expert who collaborated with Gardzienice Theatre Association from 1989 to 1993 and published the first English book on their work (Gardzienice: Polish Theatre in Transition, 1997), and has written extensively on actor training and Tadashi Suzuki. He co-edited with Grzegorz Ziółkowski a special issue of the journal Contemporary Theatre Review on Polish theatre after 1989 (2005). From 2006 to 2009, he led the three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded British Grotowski Project and he has collaborated extensively with the Moscow Art Theatre School. He edited the collected writings of Ludwik Flaszen (Grotowski & Company, 2010; 2013), and co-edited Peter Brook’s With Grotowski (2009) and Acting with Grotowski: Theatre as a Field for Experiencing Life, by Zbigniew Cynkutis (2015).

Grzegorz Ziółkowski is Professor of Drama, Theatre, and Performance at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He is author of the monographs Teatr Bezpośredni Petera Brooka (Peter Brook’s Immediate Theatre, 2000) and Guślarz i eremita (A Sorcerer and Hermit, 2007), on Jerzy Grotowski. He has co-edited several works: a special issue of the journal Contemporary Theatre Review with Paul Allain on Polish theatre after 1989 (2005), Peter Brook’s With Grotowski (2009), and ‘On Performatics’ (2008), a special issue of Performance Research. He was Programme Director of the Grotowski Centre and the Grotowski Institute from 2004 to 2009. In 2009, he directed an artisanal atelier for actors and directors, To the Light. Currently he leads ATIS (Acting Techniques Intensive Seminar) and Studio ROSA, where he directed its inaugural production TAZM Silence of Light, based on Tahar Ben Jelloun’s novel This Blinding Absence of Light.