GRZEGORZ ZIÓŁKOWSKI is a Full Professor of Theatre and Performance in the Institute of Film, Media and Audiovisual Arts at the Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. He is a scholar, theatre director, publisher, translator, editor and co-editor of books and journal special issues.


Photo Adam Wykrota

In the framework of a grant from the National Science Centre (NSC/NCN) under its OPUS 22 programme, he is currently carrying out the research project: The Performative Realm of ‘Colonia Dignidad’, the German Enclave in Chile, in Historical and Political Contexts (2021/43/B/HS2/00360).

In 2018, he authored a monograph on protest self-burnings Okrutny teatr samospaleń. Protesty samobójcze w ogniu i ich echa w kulturze współczesnej (Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM) which summarised his research project financed by a grant from the National Science Centre (NSC/NCN) under its OPUS 6 programme (2013/11/B/HS2/02873).

In 2019, the book was granted The Prof. Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s Award by The Łódź University, a prestigious Polish award in the humanities. The book was also nominated for the Polish Theatre Research Society’s award for the best book publication on drama, theatre and performance published in 2018.

An updated edition of this volume was published by Routledge in 2020.

Prof. Ziółkowski co-edited special issues of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training (Martial Arts Revisited, vol. 13, no. 3, 2022; with Prof. Paul Allain, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK); Polish Theatre Perspectives (Voices from Within: Grotowski’s Polish Collaborators, 2015; with Prof. Allain); Performance Research (On Performatics, vol. 13, no. 2, 2008; with Prof. Richard Gough from the Aberystwyth University, UK) and Contemporary Theatre Review (Polish Theatre after 1989: Beyond Borders, vol. 15, no. 1, 2005; with Prof. Allain).

He authored Polish 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). He also translated Peter Brook’s Shifting Point [Ruchomy punkt] and Jerzy Grotowski’s Towards a Poor Theatre [Ku teatrowi ubogiemu] into Polish.

For his monograph on Brook’s theatre he received an award from the Polish section of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) for the best Polish book on theatre published in 2000.

With Prof. Allain and Prof. Georges Banu (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris II, France) he co-edited Brook’s anthology With Grotowski: Theatre is Just a Form (Wrocław: The Grotowski Institute, 2009), published also in Farsi, French, and Polish.

Prof. Ziółkowski 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, 2019).

From 2004 to 2009, 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.

He also directed and led acting work sessions internationally (in Armenia, Austria, Catalonia, Chile, China, England, Iran, Malta, Romania, and South Korea).

From 2012 to 2017, he directed the Studio (later Study) ROSA and the Acting Techniques Intensive Seminar ATIS in Poznań. In the Study ROSA, he directed two theatre performances: TAZM Silence of Light (2012–16) and HEART Silence of Polygon (2015–16). The first referred to Tahar Ben Jelloun’s fact-based novel This Blinding Absence of Light about a cruel Moroccan prison of Tazmamart. The second was based on the motifs from the play Scorched by Wajdi Mouwad about the destructive impact of war on individual human lives.

In 2015–16, he initiated and directed the Study ROSA’s theatre exploration Feeling THE PULSE. 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; updated editions in 2021).

He co-created and consulted theatre works by artists from Catalonia, Chile, Iran, and Romania.