a concept used by Grotowski in the early 1970s to describe the events and experiments of a dramatic nature prepared around that time and expressed what would be the objectives of the work in the post-theatrical period (paratheatre). In his famous manifesto Święto (1970; ‘Holiday: The Day That Is Holy’, English trans. 1973), in diagnosing the exhaustion of the significance and power of the theatre, Grotowski also indicated that the experience of the title is that which would be possible in post-theatre. The basic elements that were already present in the name itself were the non-everyday and the bond with the holy, as well as a temporal and spatial division. The fundamental idea was that the specific actions carried out within the framework of the holiday were to generate a new form of inter-human relations while gradually leading to a transformation of the whole of social life (this concept was, in principle, in agreement with what counterculture was proposing). In the most general terms, Holiday was to be an encounter prepared between people and with nature. The prerequisite for it to be brought into existence and for the possibility of participating in it was resignation from all play and imitation, including the means of self-representation most broadly accepted by the individual and those around him or her (namely that which is considered the ‘Self’). Abandoning this meant entering a liminal situation (in accordance with Victor Turner’s modification of Arnold van Gennep’s scheme for the process of initiation), which was to be embodied by a particular experience of a deeply-hidden, forgotten personal nature. In this respect, at the deepest level, the Holiday should lead not only to an encounter with an other and with the world, but also with the supra-individual dimension of human existence which provided the core of the total act. In practice, the idea of Holiday was realised through actions initially encompassing only a select group of collaborators, with people later invited from outside this group. The term Special Project was used during this second phase and gradually replaced the concept of Holiday.
Jerzy Grotowski: Święto, według stenogramu spotkania ze studentami i profesorami w auli New York University, 13 grudnia 1970, „Odra” 1972 nr 6, s. 47–51. Przedruk [w:] Teksty, Instytut Aktora – Teatr Laboratorium, Wrocław 1975, s. 39–57.
Jerzy Grotowski: To święto stanie się możliwe, na podstawie stenogramu polsko-francuskiego kolokwium na temat kultury w Royaumont we Francji, 11 października 1972, „Kultura” Warszawa 1972 nr 52, z 24 grudnia, s. 1 i 4.