Archive of the Studio Theatre
Warszawa plac Defilad 1, Poland 00-901
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Name of collection
- Artistic Archive of the Studio Theater and Jerzy Grzegorzewski Section
Provenance and cultural activities
The Artistic Archive of the Studio Theatre and its Jerzy Grzegorzewski Section, with the dataset of all the available documents related to the theatrical productions and activities of the Studio Gallery, provide an insight to the history of the Polish theatre to the researchers, critics, experts, and other interested parties.
The Archive contains the works of the Theatre and Studio Gallery since 1972, as well as the artistic legacy of Jerzy Grzegorzewski, who was acting as a director of the Theatre in 1980s and the early 1990s. Unfortunately, since there was no separate unit assigned to archiving and publishing collected documents until 2009, some of the materials are missing or not available. Mateusz Żurawski, an expert on the artistic production of Grzeorzewski and a curator of the Archive and the Gallery, is currently working on restoring the missing parts of the collection. The documents from the period prior to 1972 were deposited at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, while the rest is kept in the Archive of the Studio Theatre.
The archives are a source of information on the Polish theatre of 1970s and 1980s and are mainly used by the young generation of theatrologists who study the topic. However, they also serve the elder generation of actors, creators, and scenographers who are eager to bring back the memories of that times. During the communist era, the Studio Theatre was one of the most progressive and creative artistic hubs in Warsaw. Under the leadership of Jerzy Grzegorzewski, the Theatre refused to get politically involved and create plays conveying a clear, social message. The creation of experimental art – isolated from the everyday reality – served as a strategy of resistance against the socialist government. As Mateusz Żurawski explained in the interview, unlike many institutions under the martial law, Grzegorzewski and his group did not consider the theatre as a simple platform for political content. He opted to comment on the reality in his works, while presenting different ways of understanding the role of the individual in a society by frequent undermining of such terms as “community”. However, since his plays had many levels of meanings and were very rich in its artistic forms, they were too obscure for the censors who thus did not consider them a direct threat to the dominant vision of the history, culture and society. Therefore, the avant-garde theatre further developed into a space of artistic liberty, where resistance could find its voice and be articulated by different means of expression.
The archives collected by the Studio Theatre and Studio Gallery (which is no longer operating) were not available to the broad public until 2009. Even though some critics and directors who closely collaborated with these institutions were free to borrow some of the materials, large part of the collection was lost due to lack of proper oversight and clear structure of the items. The formal establishment of the Artistic Archive and Jerzy Grzegorzewski Section allowed to introduce a more systematic management of the collection.
Description of content
The Archive currently holds approximately 300 files. Each of them is composed of a set of documents related to a given play. Usually, a single file contains different versions of the plays' scripts: a prompter’s script, a prompt book and occasionally, a director’s script. By comparing play scripts dedicated and used by different group members the researchers can investigate the process of production of the play and observe how the artistic visions of its creators had evolved. Most of the files contain photographs from the rehearsals, premieres, and the regular shows. There are also the video recording of some of the plays.
- film: 10-99
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 100-499
- photos: 100-499
Date of founding
Place of founding
Warszawa plac Defilad 1, Poland
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- visits by appointments
Grzegorzewski, J., In Bułhak, E., In Żurawski, M., Grzegorzewski, J., & Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego. (2012). Scenariusze. Warszawa: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego.
Grzegorzewski, J., Bułhak, E., Żurawski, M., Grzegorzewski, J., Grzegorzewski, J., & Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego. (2014). Cztery komedie równoległe: 1994. Warszawa: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego.
Part of network
Author(s) of this page
- Gospodarczyk, Hanna
Grzegorzewski, Jerzy, Ewa Bułhak, and Mateusz Żurawski. Powolne ciemnienie malowideł: 1985. Warszawa: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego, 2012.
Grzegorzewski, Jerzy, Ewa Bułhak, and Mateusz Żurawski. Tak zwana ludzkość w obłędzie: 1987. Warszawa: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego, 2012.
Grzegorzewski, Jerzy, Ewa Bułhak, and Mateusz Żurawski. Usta milczą, dusza śpiewa: 1988. Warszawa: Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego, 2012.
Płoski, Paweł, Mateusz Żurawski, and Janusz Majcherek. Kubły, kubły, miliony kubłów w zupie!: materiały ze studencko-doktoranckiej konferencji naukowej poświęconej teatrowi Jerzego Grzegorzewskiego. Warszawa: Akademia Teatralna im. Aleksandra Zelwerowicza, 2008.
Taranienko, Zbigniew. Trzask pękających parawanów. Warszawa: Centrum Sztuki Studio im. S. I. Witkiewicza, 2006.
Mateusz, Żurawski , interview by Kruczkowska, Patrycja , May 26, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection