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Thursday, July 17, 2014

When Invitations Matter: Polish theater finds from the Harvey Lichtenstein Collection

by Anika Paris

The BAM Hamm Archives' recent work processing the files of BAM President Emeritus Harvey Lichtenstein yielded these beautiful items from two luminaries of Polish theater: Jerzy Grotowski's Polish Laboratory Theatre and Józef Szajna's Teatr Studio Warsaw.

In the fall of 1969, the Polish Laboratory Theatre produced three shows with BAM: The Constant Prince, Acropolis, and Apocalypse. Several years later, in the spring of 1976, Teatr Studio Warsaw produced Dante and Replika. Speaking of Replika, Szajna told The New York Times, “It is a protest against war; it says, ‘Look at what we make of ourselves.’”

Grotowski was no stranger to conflict either, though he made his protests a little closer to home—when Lichtenstein and the director of the Chelsea Theater came to the premiere of The Constant Prince, Grotowski told them to leave in these choice words. If only they had these invites in hand!

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