GRZEGORZ ZIÓŁKOWSKI works as Professor at the Polish and Classical Philology Faculty of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland (until academic year 2019-20 he was part of the Institute of Theatre and Media Art, and presently he works at the Institute of Film, Media and Audiovisual Arts). He is a searcher, teacher, theatre director, publisher, translator, editor and co-editor of books and journal special issues.
In 2018 he published a monograph on protest self-burnings Okrutny teatr samospaleń. Protesty samobójcze w ogniu i ich echa w kulturze współczesnej / A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations: Suicide Protests by Fire and Their Resonances in Contemporary Culture (Poznań, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM) which summarised his research project supported by the OPUS grant from the Polish National Centre for Science. A reworked and updated edition of this volume, titled A Cruel Theatre of Self-Immolations: Contemporary Suicide Protests by Fire and Their Resonances in Culture, will be published by Routledge.
As regards publications in English, he co-edited, among others, special issues of Contemporary Theatre Review (Polish Theatre after 1989: Beyond Borders, vol. 15, 2005, no. 1; with Paul Allain), Performance Research (On Performatics, vol. 13, 2008, no. 2; with Richard Gough), and Polish Theatre Perspectives (Voices from Within: Grotowski’s Polish Collaborators, 2015; with Paul Allain).
He wrote monographs on Peter Brook (Teatr Bezpośredni Petera Brooka / The Immediate Theatre of Peter Brook, Gdańsk, słowo/obraz terytoria, 2000) and Jerzy Grotowski (Guślarz i eremita. Jerzy Grotowski: od wykładów rzymskich (1982) do paryskich (1997–1998) / Sorcerer and Hermit: Jerzy Grotowski from Rome (1982) to Paris (1997–98) lectures, Wrocław, the Grotowski Institute, 2007) and translated Peter Brook’s Shifting Point and Jerzy Grotowski’s Towards a Poor Theatre into Polish. He co-edited (with Paul Allain and Georges Banu) Peter Brook’s anthology With Grotowski: Theatre is Just a Form (Wrocław, the Grotowski Institute, 2009).
He has received awards and scholarships from the British Council (1994–95), the City of Poznań (1996), the Foundation for Polish Science (1998), the Fulbright Foundation (2002–03), and the president of Adam Mickiewicz University (2009, 2013).
From 2004–09 he worked as Programme Director of the Grotowski Centre and later the Grotowski Institute in Wrocław where he developed, among others, its publication activities, co-created the artisanal course for actors Atelier (2007–09), and co-programmed the Grotowski UNESCO Year 2009.
He carried out theatre explorations in the framework of Bureau for Theatre Research (1991–2001) and Theatre Rosa (2009–11) in Poznań and led acting work sessions internationally (in Armenia, Austria, Catalonia, Chile, China, England, Iran, Malta, Romania, and South Korea). From 2011–17 he directed the Studio (later Study) Rosa and from 2012–17 the Acting Techniques Intensive Seminar ATIS in Poznań. In 2015–16 he directed the Study Rosa’s theatre exploration Feeling the Pulse and in its frame he published his artistic travelogue Dwugłos o ciszy (Duet on Silence, Wrocław, 2016) and reflections Texts from the Heart (in Polish and in English, Wrocław, 2016). In Study Rosa he directed Duet on Silence which included two theatre performances: TAZM Silence of Light (2012–16) and HEART Silence of Polygon (2015–16). He co-created and consulted works by artists from Catalonia, Chile, Iran, and Romania, such as a solo performance Small House for the Dead by Csongor Köllő from Shoshin Theatre Association (Romania) and theatre explorations by the Performer Persona Project directed by Claudio Santana Bórquez (Chile).
He works on a new theatre exploration called Colony.