Towards a Poor Theatre – Jerzy Grotowski (1968)

1960s: Days of Rage

“As theatre directors go, Jerzy Grotowski is up there alongside such greats as Stanislavski, Artaud and Appia. A key figure in avant-garde theatre, during the 1960s and 70s he became known for his intense investigations into the nature of the relationship between actor and audience and for his experiments with the physical and spiritual aspects of theatre. Rather than confining himself to the traditional stage, Grotowski preferred non-traditional spaces such as buildings or rooms. Usually, the audience was seated within the action, becoming, in a way, a part of the performance. He called this ‘poor theatre’ – a performance which focuses more on the skill of the actor without the usual excess of traditional theatre such as costumes and detailed sets. Born in Rzeszów, southern Poland, on August 11, 1933, after finishing his acting studies at the State Higher School of Theatre in Kraków, Grotowski went to Moscow’s Lunacharsky Institute…

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