Timeline of Jerzy Grotowski’s life and creative work


23 February 1959

Venue: Kraków

At Klub Literacki (the Literary Club) at 22 Krupnicza Street, Grotowski gives a lecture, ‘O współczesnym teatrze francuskim’ (On contemporary French theatre).

14 March 1959

Venue: Kraków

Premiere of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at Teatr Kameralny, directed and adapted by Grotowski.

24 May 1959

Venue: Warsaw

Grotowski’s manifesto ‘Wokół teatru przyszłości’ (On the theatre of the future) is published in the journal Ekran (no. 21, 24 May 1959, p. 11).

Late May and early June 1959

Venue: Opole

Grotowski and Ludwik Flaszen hold talks with the Opole cultural authorities on the subject of taking over as artistic directors of the Theatre of 13 Rows.

June 1959

Venue: Kraków

Grotowski and Flaszen hold a series of interviews with potential members of their theatre company in Opole.

1 July 1959

Venue: Warsaw

Grotowski’s article ‘Śmierć i reinkarnacja teatru’ (The death and reincarnation of the theatre) is published in Współczesność (1–15 August 1959, no. 13/44, p. 7).

August 1959

Grotowski travels around southern Europe and the Middle East visiting Romania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

23 August 1959

Venue: Kraków

The Kraków daily Dziennik Polski publishes Grotowski’s text, ‘Co to jest teatr?’ (What is theatre?; 23–24 August 1959, no. 200, p. 6).

15 September 1959

Venue: Opole

The first rehearsals take place for Orpheus, based on Jean Cocteau’s text and directed by Jerzy Grotowski.

8 October 1959

Venue: Opole

Premiere of Orpheus based on Jean Cocteau’s text and directed by Jerzy Grotowski; this marks the official inauguration of the activities of the Theatre of 13 Rows under its new artistic directors and in its new incarnation.

13 October 1959

Venue: Kraków

Premiere of the radio play Kredowe koło (The Chalk Circle) based on an ancient Chinese legend adapted by Klabund. Literary and radio adaptation by Jerzy Grotowski; directed by Jerzy and Józef Grotowski.

3–15 November 1959

Venue: Poznań

Guest performances of the Theatre of 13 Rows’ Orpheus at Teatr Satyry.

15 November 1959

Venue: Kraków

Premiere of the radio play Nocna wyprawa (Night expedition) based on Maxim Gorky’s story Czekasz directed by Jerzy Grotowski.