February 20-March 3, 2013

Yale University, New Haven, CT

New York, February 1, 2013 – In February and March of 2013, the Interdisciplinary Performance Studies Yale (IPSY), with support from Polish Cultural Institute New York, will host Open Program of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. The Workcenter Open Program residency will feature performances, public meetings and symposia. Grotowski + Performance Research is a year long program initiated by IPSY, which oscillates around the work of Jerzy Grotowski, one of the most influential theater directors of the Twentieth Century. The project encompasses multiple departments and offers students a unique opportunity to gain historical, theoretical and practical insight into the work of Grotowski. IPSY is partnering with the Eli Whitney Museum, InterCambio, Sound Hall, People’s Arts Collective of New Haven, as well as local artists and activists, to create dialogue and exchange among diverse New Haven communities.

Workcenter Open Program was established in 2007 under the guidance of actor and director Mario Biagini, the Associate Director of the Workcenter and longtime Grotowski collaborator. In daily practice and through their performance, the members of the Open Program—10 actors from around the world—investigate the moment of meaningful connection between the individual and the poetic word as a tool for human contact and action. Currently, their performances take as their source material the complexity and richness of Allen Ginsberg’s poetry as well as traditional African American songs and shouts from the Southern United States to highlight the unique relation between singing and the poetic word.  The program will explore several facets of Grotowski’s work and consider the implication of his research for performance studies and related fields. The symposium, organized in tandem with the English Department, will examine the work of Ginsberg—particularly his notion of poetry as a practice of awareness—in relation to Grotowski’s work.


The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does. By poetry I mean the imagining of what has been lost and what can be foundthe imagining of who we are and the slow realization of it. – Allen Ginsberg

Jerzy Grotowski, born in 1933 in the city of Rzeszów in southeastern Poland, came to be considered one of the greatest reformers of twentieth-century theater. He is best known for the radical experiments undertaken in his Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium), initially in Opole and then in Wrocław, in the 1960s and 70s. Grotowski divorced its productions from traditional word-based drama, developing an entirely new kind of acting based on intensive body and voice training, and turning the audience into participants in ritual-like events that took place in the very small space around them. The Laboratory Theatre's last formal production,Apocalipsis cum Figuris, which was shown throughout the world, has often been described as reaching the limits of theater. It was followed by a series of cultural-anthropological projects in the late 1970s, which were meant to open up its participants to broader issues of human existence, creativity, inter-cultural communication, and sensitivity towards the natural environment. 
After the declaration of martial law in Poland in 1982, Grotowski emigrated to the United States, teaching at Columbia University and the University of California, and finally settled in Pontedera, Italy, where he worked at the Centro di Lavoro di Jerzy Grotowski with a group of international interns in a program called "Ritual Plays." His students worked in isolation and the results of their studies were initially shown to only a handful of people, and only later made available to a broader public. Grotowski died in Pontedera in 1999. His work remains a major influence in both Polish and world theater.

Grotowski + Performance Research is presented by Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale (IPSY) and the Theatre Studies program at Yale University. The events are part of the Poland-U.S. Campus Arts Project, a program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, Poland, with support from the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

WHAT: Grotowski + Performance Research: Yale Residency

WHEN: February 20-March 3, 2013

WHERE: Yale University, New Haven, CT. See below for details.

ADMISSION: Events are free and open to the public.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP here: http://ipsy.commons.yale.edu/performances-rsvp/








February 22 & 23, 2013, 8:00 pm


(Cabaret-style performance)

Calhoun Cabaret, 189 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06511


Electric Party Songs, created by the Workcenter’s Open Program under the direction of Mario Biagini, is a flow of songs and actions based on work of American poet Allen Ginsberg. Members of this international group elaborated and composed all of the songs, approaching the meanings, rhythms and sounds of the spoken texts as the seeds of musical and dramatic creation. Their varied backgrounds generate a stylistically diverse body of music, drawing inspiration from blues, rock, pop, opera, punk, and traditional sources. The team weaves into Electric Party Songs its investigation of traditional songs from the Southern United States and the possibility of catalyzing contacts and interactions.

February 28 & March 1, 2013, 8:00 pm



Whitney Theater, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511

 I Am America brings the poetry of Allen Ginsberg to life in a visceral performance with language culled from Ginsberg’s poetry as well as calls, shouts and traditional songs from the Southern United Stat
es. Original compositions by members of the Workcenter, developed in intensive collaboration over a period of three years, complement and build upon these sources

March 3, 2013, 4:00 pm


(An experiment in the potentialities of a party as a form of art)

BAR, 254 Crown Street, New Haven, CT 06511

Special guest DJ: Dave Coon




March 2, 2013, 11:00 am-4:00 pm

Whitney Theater, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511


 Grotowski & Ginsberg

Panel discussion exploring the intersection of Grotowski’s research and the work of Allen Ginsberg.

Workcenter Open Program

Artists and scholars, as well as local artists and activists, will join Open Program director Mario Biagini, Polish film director Borys Lankosz, and Grotowski Institute Program Director Dariusz Kosiński in a roundtable discussion about the performance research of the Workcenter Open Program.

PRESS CONTACT: Polish Cultural Institute, Marzena Dawidziuk, marzena.dawidziuk@instytutpolski.org, 212-239-7300 x 3009

The POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE NEW YORK, established in 2000, is a diplomatic mission to the United States serving under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The Institute’s mission is to build, nurture and promote cultural ties between the United States and Poland by presenting Polish culture to American audiences and by connecting Polish artists and scholars to American institutions, introducing them to their professional counterparts in the United States, and facilitating their participation in contemporary American culture.

The Institute has been producing and promoting a broad range of cultural events in theater, music, film, literature, the humanities, and visual arts. Among its American partners are such distinguished organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Brooklyn Academy of Music; The Museum of Modern Art; The Jewish Museum; The PEN American Center; The Poetry Society of America; National Gallery of Art; Yale University; Columbia University; Princeton University; Harvard Film Archive; CUNY Graduate Center; Julliard School of Music; The New Museum; La MaMa E.T.C.; and many more. Our programs have included American presentations of works by such luminaries as filmmakers Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Skolimowski; writers Czesław Miłosz , Adam Zagajewski and Wisława Szymborska; composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and Mikołaj Górecki; theatre directors Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor and Grzegorz Jarzyna; visual artists Alina Szapocznikow, Katarzyna Kozyra, Krzysztof Wodiczko; and many other important artists, writers, historians, scholars, musicians, and performers.



INTERDISCIPLINARY PERFORMANCE STUDIES AT YALE (IPSY), funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and initiated by Sterling Professor Joseph Roach, is conceived as a laboratory for the humanities, which works to re-imagine interdisciplinary research and develop new methodologies within performance studies and related fields. Building on the intellectual strength of the Performance Studies Working Group – comprised of Yale scholars from the humanities, social sciences and professional schools – IPSY strives to nurture the next generation of scholars in the field by integrating performance studies research more fully into both graduate and undergraduate education at Yale. IPSY initiatives include : postdoctoral fellowships, diverse performance events, work demonstrations, artist talks, lectures, various publications, as well as the Performance Studies Working Group.