In addition to Cricot 2 productions, Tadeusz Kantor was a stage designer in Polish ‘official theatres’. This aspect of his creative activity is hardly ever mentioned, although he was a painter and stage designer by profession (in 1939 Kadeusz Kantor completed Professor Karol Frycz’s course in decorative and theatrical painting in the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow).
He prepared approximately 350 scenery and costume designs for more than 60 theatrical performances. Those designs can be found in Polish public collections.
Tadeusz Kantor began his work in the area of stage design for the professional theatre in 1945, and was still following the idea of the theatre conceived in the Autonomous Underground Theatre in the years 1943 – 44. Starting from 1955, Kantor worked in Cricot 2 Theatre in addition to his work as a stage designer for the professional theatre.
Although the convention of the majority of those designs differs from the character of Tadeusz Kantor’s individual creative activity in the field of painting, they often reflect the tendencies visible in other modes of artistic expression.
Despite the fact that Tadeusz Kantor was allowed considerable freedom in the professional theatre (he directed several plays himself), after 1964 he confined his activity as a stage designer almost exclusively to Cricot 2.
The following section contains a comprehensive list of Tadeusz Kantor’s works for repertoire theatres, together with selected examples of particular artistic designs and photographs taken during the performances.
Section prepared by: Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska