(b. 1937), actress. After completing her studies at the puppetry department of the Kraków State Theatre School (PWST) in 1960, she spent one season working at the Groteska Theatre of Puppetry and Acting in Kraków (making her stage debut in Byczek Fernando [Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand] directed by Władysław Jarema; 30 September 1960).
From 1 October 1961 she was employed in the Theatre of 13 Rows in Opole. She played Aglaia in The Idiot and Witch II and Wioletta in Kordian (sharing the roles with Ewa Lubowiecka). She also appeared in the first version of Akropolis, as well as in Oratorium robotnicze (Workers’ oratory). Having become pregnant, she took a break from working with the group from 1 November 1962, although she remained in close contact with it. She returned to work at the start of the 1964/65 season and would soon give an exquisite performance in the role of Tarudante in The Constant Prince. In later years she participated in the group’s performances abroad as well as working on Ewangelie (The Gospels) in which she played the double role of Mary Magdalene together with Rena Mirecka. She ended her collaboration with Grotowski in 1968 when she joined Wrocław’s Teatr Współczesny.
After two years, she moved across the city to Teatr Polski before joining Warsaw’s Teatr Współczesny in 1972. Thanks to her performances in Wrocław (at the Teatr Współczesny in the title role of Tadeusz Różewicz’s Stara kobieta wysiaduje [The Old Woman Broods] directed by Jerzy Jarocki, 1969; as Krasawica in Stanisław Wyspiański’s Bolesław Śmiały [Bolesław the Brave] directed by Helmut Kajzar, 1969; Gwiazda in Kajzar’s Paternoster direted by Jarocki, 1970; at Teatr Polski as Antigone, directed by Kajzar, 1971; Hamm in Beckett’s Endgame directed by Jerzy Krakowski, 1972) and at Warsaw’s Teatr Współczesny (roles including Kordelia in Edward Bond’s Lear, 1974; Francine in Max Frisch’s Triptych, both directed by Erwin Axer; Olga in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, 1985; Lettice Douffet in Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage 1989 – both directed by Maciej Englert; Claire Zachanassian in Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, 1993; Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days, 1995) she is recognised as one of Poland’s leading female actors. In the late 1990s and early 2000s she enjoyed great artistic success in her work with Krystian Lupa (as Maria in Thomas Bernhard’s Extinction, 2001; Irina Arkadina and Pilar in Niedokończony utwór na aktora (An unfinished work for an actor) based on Chekhov’s Seagull and Yasmina Reza’s Spanish Play, 2004; and as Anna Meister in Bernhard’s Over All the Mountain Tops, 2006).
Her popularity is, though, mostly due to her film roles, particularly in the works of Krzysztof Zanussi (including Życie rodzinne [Family Life], 1970; Bilans kwartalny [A Woman’s Decision], 1974; Spirala [Spiral], 1978; Kontrakt [The Contract], 1980; Cwał [At Full Gallop], 1996) and Andrzej Wajda (Wesele [The Wedding], 1972; Panny z Wilka [The Maids of Wilko], 1979). She has a great reputation as a teacher, working as a professor at The Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy in Warsaw. She also earned great respect as a result of her ethical attitude throughout Polish Martial Law. She often stressed the great significance of her collaboration with Jerzy Grotowski for her approach to acting.
Dopuszczono nas do tej tajemnicy, z Mają Komorowską rozmawia Teresa Błajet-Wilniewczyc, „Notatnik Teatralny” 1995 nr 10 (wiosna–lato), s. 84–86.
Komorowska Maja: 31 dni maja, Tenten, Warszawa 1993; 2. wyd.: Prószyński i Spółka, Warszawa 1999.
W teatrze Jerzego Grotowskiego, z Mają Komorowską rozmawia Barbara Osterloff, „Teatr” 2004 nr 7–8, s. 19–27. Przedruk [w:] Pejzaż – rozmowy z Mają Komorowską, rozmawia Barbara Osterloff, Oficyna Wydawnicza Errata, Warszawa 2004, s. 19–33.
Zawodu aktorskiego nie można się nauczyć, z Mają Komorowską rozmawia Janina Kapuścińska, „Głos Wielkopolski” 1975 nr 165, z 28 lipca.
Żurawski Kazimierz: Maja Komorowska, Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, Warszawa 1977.
Maja Komorowska, documentary, written and directed by Krystyna Bogusławska, produced by Studio Filmowe Tor, Telewizja Polska – Dział Form Dokumentalnych, 1994, 119'.