Jerzy Grotowski, considered one of the most influential theatre practitioners of the 20th century, passed through several phases in his lifetime research. As a young director he immersed himself in Constantin Stanislavski’s pioneering investigations, and often said that his own theatre work began where Stanislavski’s left off. In the first stages of his work, starting in 1959 in Opole and continuing with his Laboratory Theatre in Wroclaw, Grotowski revolutionized and changed conceptions of the audience/actor relationship, theatre staging, and the craft of acting in contemporary Western theatre. Later Grotowski left the “theatre of productions,” pushing the boundaries of theatre, first with his paratheatrical work, and later with his Theatre of Sources research, which took him to India, Mexico, Haiti, and elsewhere, in search of traditional practices of various cultures (1976-82). Following this research, Grotowski began a work of identifying particular abiding elements of ritual traditions (Objective Drama, 1983-86). Finally, at the Workcenter, he carried out the last phase of his life’s research, which has come to be known as Art as vehicle, in which, as in certain old traditions, the attention for art goes together with the approach of the interiority of the human being.
This text is originally from “A Brief History of the Workcenter” http://www.theworkcenter.org/brief-history.html