Practice and Implications of the Cricot 2 Theatre

Date: 2 – 14 September 2013
Venue: Cricoteka Archives ul. Kanonicza 5, Krakow
Facilitators: Andrzej Wełmiński with the participation of Teresa Wełmińska and Andrzej Kowalczyk
Capacity limit: 13 participants
Public performance: 14 September (Saturday), 6 p.m.

 See the photos

The aim of the workshop is to become acquainted with the distinctive modes of action and methods developed in the Cricot 2 Theatre and their implications in the creative process.

The workshops include theory and practice components.
The theory will be taught during meetings and conversations with the participants.
In the theoretical part we will try to explain the basic concepts of the Cricot 2 Theatre activity. The participants will learn about Tadeusz Kantor’s biography and the history of the Cricot 2 Theatre, which was deeply ingrained in European artistic trends. They will examine which elements of European thought were present in the Cricot 2 and how Kantor’s theatre influenced the development of contemporary artistic thought.

During the workshop, the following concepts will be explored:
autonomous and independent theatre,
reality of the lowest rank,
the idea of travel,
the idea of the impossible.

In the practical part, together with the participants we will explore selected artistic methods, characteristic means of expression and the performance formation processes.

During the classes we will try to create short theatre pieces and scenes, adapting the methods developed by the Cricot 2 Theatre, referring in particular to the collaborative nature of the work and its main premise: the autonomous theatre, in which all components of the work are of equal importance.

In this creative process, the participants will experience:
various structures of time and space
and their implications for the actor;
learning the basic methods of onstage practice,
different behaviours of the actor,
functions of the object,
functions of the costume,
ways of creating tension,
performance structures,
scene selection,
learning about the role of the text in the Cricot 2 Theatre
and the role of chance in the creative process.

The workshop aims at encouraging creativity, as opposed to a passive interpretation of a role.
The work will be based on the local character of the venue as well as on the individual skills and abilities of the participants.

Exercises will start from the basic, elementary practices on the stage whose goal is to create the alphabet – a common language which we will use to communicate with the participants in the course of further work. Oddly enough, it is often at this first stage that the origins of future characters and their adventures begin to form. In each case, the result of the workshop is different and the final show or performance has a unique form.

The workshop will be conducted in English and Polish.

Andrzej Wełmiński


Teresa Wełmińska – actress, director. Graduate of Nursing School in Krakow. From 1976 to 1990 she worked with Tadeusz Kantor and performed in the following productions of the Cricot 2 Theatre: The Dead Class, Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, Wielopole, Wielopole, Let the Artists Die, I Shall Never Return and Today Is My Birthday. Since 1992 she has been working on theatre productions and running theatre workshops along with Andrzej Wełmiński.

Teresa Wełmińska


Andrzej Wełmiński – graduated from the Faculty of Graphic Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow (diploma under Professor Włodzimierz Kunz, 1977). Involved in drawing, painting, photography, creating objects and installations. Associated with the Foksal Gallery and the Krzysztofory Gallery. Actor and director. Worked with Tadeusz Kantor, from 1973 to 1990 he participated in all the productions and tours of the Cricot 2 Theatre.

Co-author – with his wife Teresa – of performances: Manjacy of Their Master’s voice with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 1993; America or don’t look back with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 1995; Devil of the motion in Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, 1996; Slaughterhouse by Sławomir Mrożek in Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz, 1997; Da liegt der Hund begraben – Germanias Halluzinationen – Theater Rampe, Stuttgart, 1997; set design for a musical De Dolende Ney – Amsterdam, 1999; Hydromaschinen Prozession – an outdoor happening as part of stadt im fluss event, commissioned by Esslingen municipal authorities, 2005; Gone, Passed and So Will All the Stories… (Minęło, minęło i tak przeminą wszystkie historie) with the Actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre, 2007; Traumatikon – Rose Bruford College, London, 2011; Flammarion – La MaMa Spoleto, 2011; Pages from the Book of… – Rose Bruford College, London, 2012, performance presented at the International Festival Istropolitana Project in Bratislava (which received two main awards in the following categories: Outstanding Achievement and Best Production), at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Moscow at the Moscow International University Theatre Festival.

Andrzej Wełmiński


Teresa and Andrzej Wełmiński give lectures and workshops on the history, theory (philosophy) and stage practices of the Cricot 2 Theatre. They have run workshops in Stuttgart, Romainmotier, in Rote Fabryk in Zurich, Scuola Teatro Dimitri Verscio, Loughborough University, UK, University of Washington, USA, Rose Bruford College in London, University of Tehran and other places.

More at:


Tadeusz Kantor, “Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980, Teresa Wełmińska, Andrzej Wełmiński, Stanisław Rychlicki


Andrzej Kowalczyk – graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Krakow University of Technology in 1982. From 1984 to 1998 an employee of Cricoteka – co-author of many exhibitions in Poland and abroad, a technical manager of the Cricot 2 Theatre; an actor of the Cricot 2 Theatre from 1985 to 1992; participated in Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre performances: Let the Artists Die , Wielopole, Wielopole, I Shall Never Return, Today Is My Birthday. He took part in the happening The Anatomy Lesson by Tadeusz Kantor – a debate organized with part of the Cricot 2 Theatre group as a tribute to Tadeusz Kantor, 1991.

He frequently cooperates (set design, direction, participation in performances) with the Cricot 2 Theatre actors – Manjacy of Their Master’s voice, 1993; America or don’t look back, 1995, Gone, Passed and So Will All the Stories (Minęło, minęło i tak przeminą wszystkie historie), 2007. He participated in Andrzej Wełmiński’s projects Da liegt der Hund begraben – Germanias Halluzinationen in Theater Rampe, Stuttgart, 1997; De Dolende Ney, Amsterdam, 1999.

In 2004 he received the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Award at Krakow University of Technology during the Tenth International Architecture Biennial in the Museum of Tadeusz Kantor competition (team: Jacek Czech, Andrzej Kowalczyk, Jakub Kowalczyk).


Andrzej Kowalczyk


Tadeusz Kantor, “I Shall Never Return”, 1988, Andrzej Kowalczyk, Andrzej Wełmiński, photo Caroline Rose

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