1st Edition

Włodzimierz Staniewski and the Phenomenon of “Gardzienice”

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 26, 2021
ISBN 9780367406325
November 26, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
456 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book offers a broad overview of the contemporary state of the Gardzienice theatrical company and its evolution.

Their most recent production, The Wedding, is taken as a focal point for a retrospective discussion on the company’s development. Premiered at the festival celebrating the 40th anniversary of the company, The Wedding echoes most of the major achievements of Staniewski’s stage language and his capacity of exploring and developing the performative potential of liveness. This study consists of essays by prominent practitioners and theoreticians of theatre, director’s notes, conversations with Staniewski and other company members, selected archival materials and substantial visual coverage.

It promises to be of great interest to students and scholars across the fields of theatre and performance studies.

Table of Contents



S. E. Gontarski, "Performing in Everyday Life: A Prolegomenon"

• Part I: The Fuzzy Edges of Contemporary, Alternative Theatre

• Part II: ‘You must go to Poland’: Alternative Theatre and/in Poland

• Part III: Włodzimierz Staniewski, sui generis: "Music Is the Beginning and Essence of Everything We Create"


Staniewski Speaks: In Dialogue

• Chapter 1 Tomasz Wiśniewski, Dominik Gac , "Day One: The Folly"

• Chapter 2 Tomasz Wiśniewski, Dominik Gac , "Day Two: The Land of Fertility"

• Chapter 3 Tomasz Wiśniewski, "Day Three: The Robbers’ Alliance"


Staniewski Speaks: In Monologue, Lectures and Programme Notes

• Introduction S.E. Gontarski, "Introducing The Voice of Włodzimierz Staniewski"

Director’s Notes

o Chapter 1 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Sorcery (1981): long

o Chapter 2 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Sorcery (1981): short

o Chapter 3 Włodzimierz Staniewski, The Life of the Archpriest Avvakum (1983)

o Chapter 4 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Carmina Burana (1990)

o Chapter 5 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Metamorphoses (1997)

o Chapter 6 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Elektra (2004)

o Chapter 7 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Iphigenia at A. … (2007)

o Chapter 8 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Iphigenia in T. … (2010)

o Chapter 9 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Pythian Oratorio (2013)

o Chapter 10 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Tagore (2014)

o Chapter 11 Włodzimierz Staniewski, The Wedding (2017)

o Chapter 12 Włodzimierz Staniewski, Liberation (2019)


o Chapter 13 Włodzimierz Staniewski, "For a New Natural Environment of Theatre"

o Chapter 14 Włodzimierz Staniewski, "Practising the Humanities: Theatrical Essay"

o Chapter 15 Włodzimierz Staniewski, "The Primatology of the Theatre"

o Chapter 16 Włodzimierz Staniewski, "Speech Given at the Opening of the Festival of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Centre of Theatre Practices Gardzienice"

o Chapter 17 Włodzimierz Staniewski, "Desiderata at the End of a Third Decade"


Gardzienice: Associates Speak

• Introduction Tomasz Wiśniewski, "Cultivating Humanities with Gardzienice"

• Chapter 1 Mariusz Gołaj, "A History of the Academy for Theatre Practices, and Stories and Revelations concerning the Academy’s Premieres"

• Chapter 2 Joanna Holcgreber, "Cheironomy, or the body that speaks"

• Chapter 3 Marcin Mrowca, "Song, musicality and the choir"

• Chapter 4 Tetiana Oreshko-Muca, "Against the stereotypes of professional education"

• Chapter 5 Jan Żurawski, "One step backwards to return"

• Chapter 6 Anna Maria Dąbrowska, "Group Collaboration"

• Chapter 7 Dorota Kołodziej, "An Actor in Trouble"

• Chapter 8 Agnieszka Mendel, "My Road to Gardzienice"

• Chapter 9 Magdalena Pamuła, "Perseverance"

• Chapter 10 Kacper Lech, "Reciprocity"

• Chapter 11 Beata Szymańska, "Dynamics"





Gardzienice: Critics Speak

• Chapter 1 Katarzyna Kręglewska, "Pilgrimage, expedition, wander, road – Gardzienice, experiencing the place"

• Chapter 2 Tadeusz Kornaś, "The Expeditions of Constantin Stanislavsky and Włodzimierz Staniewski"

• Chapter 3 Dominik Gac, "The Magician of Gardzienice"

• Chapter 4 Leszek Kolankiewicz, "Carmina Burana: The Musical Structure of Myths"

• Chapter 5 Leszek Kolankiewicz, "Carmina Burana: An Attempt to Record"

• Chapter 6 Edith Hall, "‘Only what is lost can be possessed forever’: The Transcendent Theatre of Gardzienice"

• Chapter 7 Ian Watson, "Gardzienice, the Greeks and Artes Liberales"

• Chapter 8 Tomasz Wiśniewski and Katarzyna Kręglewska, "The Wedding: Towards an Alliance between the Performers and the Audience"

• Chapter 9 Dariusz Kosiński, "From, In-between and Towards. Mysteries and Initiations Festival, Kraków 2000"

• Chapter 10 Tomasz Wiśniewski, "Masters of Performative Liveness. Forty Years of Gardzienice"



From the Archive: Documents and Photographs

• Introduction Katarzyna Kręglewska, "Memory, Archives and Archivism: The Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices"

APPENDIX: A List of Performances by Gardzienice

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S. E. Gontarski is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University, USA. He is a theatre researcher, dramaturg, director and filmmaker who specializes in twentieth-century Irish Studies, in British, U.S., and European Modernism, and in performance theory.

Tomasz Wiśniewski is Head of Department of Performing Arts in the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Gdańsk. He is the founder of the Between Pomiędzy Festival and the Beckett Research Group in Gdańsk.

Katarzyna Kręglewska is a theatre researcher, literary scholar, and translator. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performances at the University of Gdańsk, her academic interests focus on contemporary theatre and autobiographical traces in literature and art.