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Jerzy Grotowski 1973 Interview

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Jerzy Grotowski 1973 Interview


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Interview with Jerzy Grotowski, director of the Polish Laboratory Theater.  In 1969 Grotowski came to America. He then advocated "poor theater… devoid of artifice… theater as holy ritual…a performance is an 'offering' to an audience." Grotowski lectured in America and rejected "poor" and "holy" theater. “Life Has changed, not me. Life, my life, comes first. Our visit to America was a very important part of my existence. Then I vagabonded across Asia, India mostly, and not for the first time. I lost my European clothes and lost a lot of weight. I dressed like an Indian. It's a quest, a search to find the essence. In theater two things are important: not to hide ourselves and not to play games or “perform. We perform in life because we are afraid of others. How to renounce this fear?” The man of 1969, neatly dressed in jacket and tie and with a conventional haircut, resembled, at the time of this interview in 1973, something of a “hippie.” Yet he speaks here with the same intensity, true to his personal search. Grotowski died in 1999.

Illustrated with photographs by Max Waldman. Interviewer Margaret Croyden is well known as a theater critic and commentator. Her published books include “In the Shadow of the Flame”, “Conversations with Peter Brook”, and “Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Contemporary Experimental Theater.”

Please note: the master tape of this interview contains two short areas with video disturbance, at 15 mins, and at 20-22 mins. The sound track is not affected.


Jerzy Marian Grotowski was an innovative Polish theatre director and theorist whose approaches to acting, training and theatrical production have significantly influenced theatre today.

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