Jerzy Grotowski

Jerzy Grotowski (yĕ´zhĬ grôtôf´skē), 1933–99, Polish stage director and theatrical theorist. Grotowski was founder and director of the small but influential Polish Laboratory Theatre (1959). He propounded a "poor theatre," which eliminates all nonessentials, i.e., costumes, sound effects, makeup, sets, lighting, and strictly defined playing area, in an effort to redefine the relation between actors and the audience. Late in his career (1986) he opened the Workcenter in the village of Pontedera, Italy, where his ideas about theater are still explored, actors are trained in his methods, and an abstract song and movement composition called Action is frequently performed.

See his Towards a Poor Theatre (tr. 1968); studies by T. Burzynski and Z. Osinski (tr. 1979), T. Richards (1995), and L. Wolford (1996); L. Wolford and R. Schechner, ed., The Grotowski Sourcebook (1997).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Jerzy Grotowski: Selected full-text books and articles

The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski By Edward Braun Holmes & Meier, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 13 "Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre"
Avant Garde Theatre, 1892-1992 By Christopher Innes Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Secular Religions and Physical Spirituality: Jerzy Grotowski"
Acting (Re)considered: A Theoretical and Practical Guide By Phillip B. Zarrilli Routledge, 2002 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Bali and Grotowski: Some Parallels in the Training Process"
From Acting to Performance: Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism By Philip Auslander Routledge, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Therapeutic Theatre: Artaud and Grotowski" begins on p. 20
The Future of Ritual: Writings on Culture and Performance By Richard Schechner Routledge, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Jerzy Grotowski begins on p. 245
As When One Gives Oneself in Love: Jerzy Grotowski: 1934-1999 By Aaron, Joyce; Akalaitis, Joanne; Brook, Peter; Chaikin, Joseph; Coco, Bill; Coigney, Martha; Croyden, Margaret; Gregory, Andre; Lichtenstein, Harvey; Lipton, James; Malina, Judith; Sacharow, Lawrence; Schechner, Richard; Serban, Andrei; Winger, Debra American Theatre, Vol. 16, No. 4, May-June 1999
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