Warszawa: Jerzy Grzegorzewski nie żyje artykuł

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  • PAP
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  • 2005/04/10

Warszawa: Jerzy Grzegorzewski nie żyje

The acclaimed theater director, who worked with theaters in Łódź, Krakow, Wrocław and Warsaw, died yesterday morning (April 9th), in Warsaw at the age of 66.

The last performance direced by Grzegowski was “He. The Second Return of Odysseus,” based on his own script which in turn was based on the third act of “The Return of Odysseus,” by Stanisław Wyspiański, in conjunction with a monologue authored by the directors daughter.

Born in 1939, Jerzy Grzegorzewski was both a director and stage designer. He graduated the State Higher School of Arts and the Department of Theater directing in the Warsaw Higher School of Performing Arts. Upon completing his studies, he became involved with the “Stefan Jaracz” theater in Łódź. In 1976, Jerzy Grzegorzewski began working in the “Stary Teatr” in Krakow. Two years later, concurrent with his work in Łódź and Krakow, he became Artistic Director for the “Teatr Polski” in Wrocław. In 1982, he moved to Warsaw and took on the post of Artistic Director in “Teatr Studio,” following in the heels Józef Szajna. It was there that “Umbrages,’ by Jean Genet, “Trap,” by Tadeusz Różewicz and “Opera for threepence,” amongst others, were made.

During the following years, the Director returned to authors and plays which had been presented earlier in the “Stefan Jaracz” Theater — works by Witkacy, Juliusz Słowacki, Adam Mickiewicz, and Zygmunt Krasiński, Stanisław Wyspiański, Antoni Czechow, Jean Genet and Tadeusz Różewicz were all reinterpreted and performed in new forms. The majority of plays created on the basis of his own scripts were composed of elements from Lowry, Shakespeare, Wyspianski, Witkiewicz, and Mickiewicz.

“For quite some time, albeit perhaps not effectively, I’ve pursued my own vision of art as an independent discipline, and if ever there were any allusions to reality, they resulted from the content of the literature and tensions of the times,” Grzegorzewski said in 1990.

In 1997, he became the Artistic Director of the Teatr Narodowy in Warsaw. His nomination to the post was the cause of controversy amongst critics, who accused Grzegorzewski’s performances of excess mannerism and hermenutics; they were averse to the idea that a position which was principally academic should go to an avante-guarde artist. Grzegorzewski resigned the position in 2003, remaining a director in the theater.

Jerzy Grzegorzewski was a recipient of the Command Cross in honor of the Rebirth of Poland and a P hD Honoris Causa of the Łódź ASP. He was also the recipient of many other awards, amongst other the Tadeusz Boy Żeleński Critics Award. He was awarded twice for Best Presentation of the Works of William Shakespeare. Last year he recieved a special award from the “Kapituły Feliksów of Warsaw.” He was also awarded for directing Gombrowicz’s “The Wedding,” in the “Teatr Polski” in Wrocław, during the 17th Festival of Polish Modern Performing Arts and also the Ministry of Culture and Arts award for the Totality of Artistic Achievement in the area of Directing. The Ministry of Culture and Arts also awarded him for his extraordinary artistic achievements in the area of directing and script-writing. In addition, during the 24th Festival of Modern Polish Arts, he was awarded for directing “Trap,” by Różewicz, in the “Teatr Studio,” in Warsaw. In 1991, he was awarded the Konrad Swinarski Prize for his presentation of “The Death of Ivan Ilicz,” based on Tolstoy’s work, and performed in the “Teatr Studio” in Warsaw and the “Stary Teatr” in Krakow.