Grotowski, Jerzy (yĕˈzhĭ grôtôfˈskē) [key], 1933–99, Polish stage director and theatrical theorist. Grotowski was founder and director of the small but influential Polish Laboratory Theatre (1959). He propounded a "poor theatre," which eliminates all nonessentials, i.e., costumes, sound effects, makeup, sets, lighting, and strictly defined playing area, in an effort to redefine the relation between actors and the audience. Late in his career (1986) he opened the Workcenter in the village of Pontedera, Italy, where his ideas about theater are still explored, actors are trained in his methods, and an abstract song and movement composition called Action is frequently performed.
See his Towards a Poor Theatre (tr. 1968); studies by T. Burzynski and Z. Osinski (tr. 1979), T. Richards (1995), and L. Wolford (1996); L. Wolford and R. Schechner, ed., The Grotowski Sourcebook (1997).
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