Workshops with Andrzej Kowalczyk

Conversations at… the search for past totalities.
Lost ideas of objects – Cricot 2 Theatre
29.06. – 05.07.2015, 10 a.m-6 p.m.


Facilitator: Andrzej Kowalczyk (with the participation of Andrzej and Teresa Wełmiński and Tomasz Dobrowolski)
Capacity limit: 12 participants
Public performance: 5 July, 6 p.m.


Public performance


The intention of Andrzej Kowalczyk, creator of the workshops, is to reconstruct three previously developed and produced objects of the Cricot 2 Theatre which for important reasons were ‘abandoned’ or their use ‘suspended’ by Tadeusz Kantor. This project is based on the author’s participation in the objects’ original creation, his involvement in their realisation years ago, and the feeling of loss of chronologically important objects in the archival collection. Therefore, it fulfills the basic need for artistic expression and defines a reason for action. It introduces an element of reality. And necessary manual actions break the theatrical convention.




The main task is fulfilled by a group of participants in an autonomous action based on a development or a selection of their own objects. The team have the right to take the initiative. The author’s own motif is supposed to serve as an inspiration. Participants can have a dialogue or formulate critical opinions on taken actions. In a gesture of absolute negation they can also ‘push out’ the burdensome initiator together with his precious objects outside their desired space and reduce him to the role of an exhibit deprived of the right to speak. The power of actors’ expression and the importance of current issues raised will decide on the success of the team’s work. On the other hand, knowledge of an object in the Cricot 2 Theatre will make it possible for participants to prepare an étude involving cooperation and connection of elementary initiatives into a poly-object – a comon object which works only thanks to full determination and involvement of all participants. Any motivation is acceptable – be it looking for direction, rescue, escape or constructing a ‘tool of triumph’ (even violence). Conflicting objectives will make the text layer more attractive and leave the final result unknown. We will know the final result, naturally, only after we work together.


Spaces to be used 

  1. Physical – under, on, behind, over, inside, outside…
  2. Imaginary – the past, memory, the temporary present, prophecy, the future…
  3. Emotional – expectation, endeavour, action, repetition; action, final decision, expectation. Result: present, past, memory…


Reconstructed objects

  1. Initial version of the design of the door for the production Let the Artists Die by Tadeusz Kantor – partly prepared, realised, not used in the production. Brutality of the material: galvanised sheet, wrought iron lock cylinder and a heavy door-handle. This version appeared in production materials published later by Kantor, even though a ‘proper’ door for the ‘common room’ was described and produced. A stern surface of cold steel sheet returned in the Machine of Love and Death. Doubled, without the detail, as sliding doors.
  2. Wooden board from The Return of Odysseus – a replica of the historic object from the production The Return of Odysseus, in the scale from the scene I Shall Never Return (5 m) used in the premiere and during the production’s European tour, and ‘abandoned’ during preparations for the journey to Argentina.
  3. Cannon chassis carrying the cross (Wielopole, Wielopole – Polish version). Maintenance, assembly and preperation for exhibition.


All actions – as an independent stage of work – are planned to be continued in their important aspects in a future programme individually defined by Teresa and Andrzej Wełmiński. The adopted convention allows for participation in two workshops. Participants will be able to get to know the method of the authors’ work with Tadeusz Kantor, as well as the work of the artist himself. Sounds prepared by Tomasz Dobrowolski who for many years collaborated with Tadeusz Kantor will become another result of the group’s initiatives. We would like to welcome participants with musical background, playing instruments. Working on both stages of the workshops will naturally allow to complete the theatrical form of the final production. The initial literary material will be provided. The text, however, based on the tradition of the Cricot 2 Theatre, is supposed to be the result of actors’ individual inspirations.

Theoretical part

  1. Spacial compositions of the stage of the Cricot 2 Theatre – Andrzej Kowalczyk
  2. Ideological concepts of Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre – Andrzej and Teresa Wełmiński
  3. Sound engeneering in the theatre of Tadeusz Kantor – Tomasz Dobrowolski




Graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Krakow University of Technology in 1982. From 1984 to 1998 an employee of Cricoteka – co-author of many exhibitions in Poland and abroad, a technical manager of the Cricot 2 Theatre; an actor of the Cricot 2 Theatre from 1985 to 1992; participated in Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre performances: Let the Artists Die , Wielopole, WielopoleI Shall Never ReturnToday Is My Birthday. He took part in the happening The Anatomy Lesson by Tadeusz Kantor – a debate organized with part of the Cricot 2 Theatre group as a tribute to Tadeusz Kantor, 1991.
He frequently cooperates (set design, direction, participation in performances) with the Cricot 2 Theatre actors – Manjacy of Their Master’s voice, 1993; America or don’t look back, 1995, Gone, Passed and So Will All the Stories (Minęło, minęło i tak przeminą wszystkie historie), 2007. He participated in Andrzej Wełmiński’s projects Da liegt der Hund begraben – Germanias Halluzinationen in Theater Rampe, Stuttgart, 1997; De Dolende Ney, Amsterdam, 1999.
In 2004 he received the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Award at Krakow University of Technology during the Tenth International Architecture Biennial in the Museum of Tadeusz Kantor competition (team: Jacek Czech, Andrzej Kowalczyk, Jakub Kowalczyk).



Born in Krakow in 1949. He first collaborated with Tadeusz Kantor in 1978 as sound technician during the production of the Cricotage ‘Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear’. In 1979 Dobrowolski performed the part of Pedel in ‘The Dead Class’. Later, since1986, he worked as sound technician at the Cricot 2 Theatre, and until 1999 at Cricoteka, where he contributed to the creation of exhibitions by equipping them with sound. Together with actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre he participated in various theatre events.



Actress, director. Graduate of Nursing School in Krakow. From 1976 to 1990 she worked with Tadeusz Kantor and performed in the following productions of the Cricot 2 Theatre: The Dead Class, Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, Wielopole, Wielopole, Let the Artists Die, I Shall Never Return and Today Is My Birthday. Since 1992 she has been working on theatre productions and running theatre workshops along with Andrzej Wełmiński.



Graduated from the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (diploma under Professor Włodzimierz Kunz, 1977). Involved in drawing, painting, photography, creating objects and installations. Associated with the Foksal Gallery and the Krzysztofory Gallery. Actor and director. Worked with Tadeusz Kantor, from 1973 to 1990 he participated in all the productions and tours of the Cricot 2 Theatre.

Co-author – with his wife Teresa – of performances: Manjacy of Their Master’s voice with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 1993; America or don’t look back with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 1995; Devil of the motion in Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, 1996; Slaughterhouse by Sławomir Mrożek in Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, 1997; Da liegt der Hund begraben – Germanias Halluzinationen – Theater Rampe, Stuttgart, 1997; set design for a musical De Dolende Ney – Amsterdam, 1999; Hydromaschinen Prozession – an outdoor happening as part of stadt im flussevent, commissioned by Esslingen municipal authorities, 2005; Gone, Passed and So Will All the Stories… (Minęło, minęło i tak przeminą wszystkie historie) with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 2007; Traumatikon – Rose Bruford College, London, 2011; Flammarion – La MaMa Spoleto, 2011; Pages from the Book of… – Rose Bruford College, London, 2012, performance presented at the International Festival Istropolitana Project in Bratislava (which received two main awards in the following categories: Outstanding Achievement and Best Production), at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Moscow at the Moscow International University Theatre Festival.

Teresa and Andrzej Wełmiński give lectures and workshops on the history, theory (philosophy) and stage practices of the Cricot 2 Theatre. They have run workshops in Stuttgart, Romainmotier, in Rote Fabryk in Zurich, Scuola Teatro Dimitri Verscio, Loughborough University, UK, University of Washington, USA, Rose Bruford College in London, University of Tehran and other places.

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