„Wojtyła-Grotowski &” | International academic conference, 2021, Warsaw

„Wojtyła-Grotowski &” | International academic conference, 2021, Warsaw

In the slogan „Wojtyła-Grotowski &” we can find the question of further fate of the source content of Polish theater in contemporary stage productions and new dramas.
published October 26 2021
The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute invites you to an international scholarly conference on November 18-20 entitled „Wojtyła-Grotowski &. The religious horizon of modern theater and drama in Poland and around the world”. Free invitations to the conference and tickets for the CHOREA Theater performance are available on IT website and GoOut.net.


The year 2020 marks the centenary of the birth of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II – saint and, theologian and philosopher, politician and patriot, and finally, at the dawn of his spiritual development – artist. Taking advantage of the jubilee occasion, Z. Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw is organizing an international scientific conference, combined with a lively debate and practical workshops. Scheduled for the anniversary year, it could not take place live due to the pandemic. We are now returning to this project. The conference will take place November 18-20, 2021, at the Theater Institute.

We decided to take advantage of this special anniversary to see in the person of the artist-priest a symptom and symbol of a phenomenon important for Polish culture – the broadly understood relations of modern Polish theater with religion: with Christianity and Catholicism, with other religions, but also with post-secularism and post-religionism, as well as various spiritual practices. In this context it is impossible not to think of another person, equally symbolic and symptomatic, standing at the same time next to and opposite Wojtyla, as playwright, performer and theoretician, namely Jerzy Grotowski, an eminent reformer of the world theater, whose creative imagination derives, after all, predominantly from the same – Polish, Romantic and Christian – inspirations.

However, the spiritual space that stretches between Wojtyla and Grotowski is not closed within the boundaries defined by these two names… The title of our conference, therefore, expresses our will to broaden the field of interest and our hope to cross aesthetic, linguistic and cultural boundaries. In the slogan „Wojtyła-Grotowski &” we can find the question of further fate of the source content of Polish theater in contemporary stage productions and new dramas, and in confrontation with the achievements of artists from other countries.


The conference’s originator and curator is Artur Grabowski, Jagiellonian University professor, playwright and drama theoretician. Nearly 40 participants from Poland, Europe and the United States will take part in deliberations and debates, which will be held simultaneously in stationary and remote mode. In addition to eminent experts in the works of both patrons of the conference, scholars of theater and drama created in the context of religious or parareligious themes will also participate. We will talk about the art of acting and forms of staging, about performatics and the symbolism of the stage text, and about the philosophical and theological contexts of theater.

The conference will be accompanied by workshops referring to the „theater of essence”, to „poor” stage forms inspired by the methods of work with words and movement. Their aim is to uncover and practically examine the creative continuation of this trend in contemporary theater, and the result of reflection and concrete work of contemporary performers on the texts of both conference patrons will be presented during evening shows.


See also

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