a concept appearing in Jerzy Grotowski’s early texts (including Śmierć i reinkarnacja teatru [The death and reincarnation of the theatre]) which signified his proposed new form of theatrical arts. It should be born in the face of the death of the ‘factual theatre’ proclaimed by the director. This death concentrated on the representation of individuals’ actions and events involving their participation (cinema and television had effectively and ultimately replaced the theatre in the fulfilment of this function). The principle values of the ‘neo-theatre’ were to be, firstly, the presence of a live actor who responded directly to spectators’ reactions and, secondly, a modern staging technique aiming at evoking and strengthening the confrontation of and dialogue between stage and audience. This would be, then, not a theatre of imitative plays, but a theatre involving a direct encounter while also serving as a secular ritual. In creating such a theatre, Grotowski suggested employing the dialectic bond between seriousness and mockery, which was to make actors and spectators aware of both the illusory nature of the world as well as dynamic contradictions that are its essence. The first performances by the Theatre of 13 Rows can be considered an attempt at realising this idea,


Jerzy Grotowski: Śmierć i reinkarnacja teatru: „Współczesność” 1959 nr 13 (44), z 1–15 lipca, s. 7.