Grotowski is recognised as one of the great directors of modern theatre and a significant innovator of the experimental theatre movement. His techniques are easily grasped by school students because Poor Theatre can be performed in any bare space, so school drama departments with few resources often find this style of theatre attractive.
Grotowski coined the term ‘poor theatre’, defining a performance style that rid itself of the excesses of theatre, such as lavish costumes and detailed sets (hence ‘poor’). Poor Theatre pieces centre on the actor’s skill and are often performed with only a handful of props.
As a director, Grotowski preferred to perform works in non-traditional spaces such as buildings and rooms, instead of mainstream theatre houses with traditional stages.
Typically, the audience was placed on many sides of the action or in and amongst the action, itself.
Acting in the style of Poor Theatre emphasises the performer’s physical skill and uses props for transformation into other objects, sometimes of great significance.
The correct pronunciation of ‘Jerzy Grotowski’ is “yerr-shjer grrotoffskee“.