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1994 © copyright Maurizio Buscarino

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In February of 2022, several ex-colleagues of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards founded the new Cultural Association, Theatre No Theatre, which has inherited its artistic existence directly from the Workcenter, since it is dedicated to supporting the new theatre research of Thomas Richards. In January of 2022, Thomas Richards, apprentice of Jerzy Grotowski, closed the doors of the Workcenter, of which he was Artistic Director for 23 years. Throughout its existence, the Workcenter was hailed as an outstanding and unique performing arts research centre, a place of constant experimentation and innovation.

The founder of the Workcenter, Jerzy Grotowski, is known for having revolutionised contemporary theatre, and is considered to be one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the 20th century. In his theatre work, Grotowski changed the way theatre practitioners conceive of the audience-actor relationship, staging and the craft of acting. Perhaps best known for his notion of «poor theatre», Grotowski’s practice extended beyond the confines of conventional theatre, assuming a long-term and systematic exploration of the possibilities of the human being in a performance context. The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski was founded in 1986 in Pontedera, Italy. There, Grotowski developed a line of performance research known as «Art as vehicle» until his death in 1999. Within this investigation, he worked closely with Mr. Richards whom he called his «essential collaborator», eventually changing the name of the Workcenter to include that of Richards. During those years, Grotowski transmitted to Richards the fruit of his lifetime research, what he called «the inner aspect of the work». Theatre No Theatre, founded in February 2022 by Jessica Losilla-Hébrail, Hyun Ju Baek and Cécile Richards, long-term Workcenter members, is registered as a non-profit Cultural Association according to Italian law. 

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Photos by Piotr Nykowski

Download Richards' communiqué, 'Closing of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards'    


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