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"Towards a Poor Theatre"
by Jersey Grotowski

In 1968, Jerzy Grotowski published his groundbreaking Towards a Poor Theatre, a record of the theatrical investigations conducted at his experimental theater in Poland. This classic work on acting and performance is now available once again. In his preface to the original edition, Peter Brook wrote: "Grotowski is unique. Why? Because no one else in the world, to my knowledge no one since Stanislavski, has investigated the nature of acting, its phenomenon, its meaning, the nature and science of its mental-physical-emotional processes as deeply as Grotowski." More recently, Richard Schechner has called Grotowski "one of the four great directors of Western theater." Jerzy Grotowski was born in Poland in 1933. In 1982 he moved to the United States and worked at the University of California. He later moved to Italy, where he continued his unique and intense theatrical investigation. He died in 1999.

Grotowski, Jersey. Towards a Poor Theatre. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1985. (Though technically out of print, used copies are available at

Damon Navas-Howard
Santa Rosa, CA USA
November 21, 2001

It is a crime this book is out of print. "Towards A Poor Theatre" by Jerzy Grotowski is probably the most important book written on acting since Stainslavsky's three famous character books. There is so little known about Grotowski and many people have tried to fake his work and people need to read the man's original words. Grotowski's vision of theatre has had the greatest effect on me more than any other person in theatre. He saw acting as a Holy experience where both the actor and spectator were transformed after the performance. Grotowski expanded from where Stainslavsky left off and drew his ideas everywhere from modern art to religious rituals to primitive theatre. Any one interested in theatre must read this book somehow and be changed forever like I have.

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