Lucjan Rydel

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Wyspiański:Portrait of Lucjan Rydel 1898

Lucjan Rydel a.k.a. Lucjan Antoni Feliks Rydel (May 17, 1870 in Kraków – April 8, 1918 in Bronowice), was a Polish playwright and poet from the Young Poland movement.


Rydel was the son of Lucjan Rydel, surgeon and ophthalmologist, professor and Rector of Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and Helena Kremer.

In 1904 Lucjan Rydel wrote a nativity play called Polish Bethlehem (Betlejem polskie), and staged its production in two suburbs of Kraków, Tonie and Bronowice, with local villagers as actors. It was an expression of his profound respect for rural Poland as well as the result of his flair for theatrical experimentation. Rydel left the third and the final act of his play open. In the course of history, new characters, including contemporary Polish politicians and celebrities, were added to it by various producers in order to make the play appeal to new audiences.[1]

Szopka (Christmas Crib)

An open end play like Betlejem polskie is a tradition originating with the Kraków's only Szopka (pron. shopka, The Nativity Scene or Christmas Crib) to which new characters are being added every year.

Rydel became the director of the renowned Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków for one season during 1915-1916.

The marriage of Lucjan Rydel to a peasant daughter from Bronowice took place at the Rydlówka Manor on Tetmajera Street. The event inspired Rydel's pen pal and friend Stanisław Wyspiański to write what became known as the defining Polish independence drama called Wesele (The Wedding, or The Wedding Reception).

Rydel's historical place of residence, the Rydlówka Manor, houses the museum of the Young Poland period. It is located on the outskirts of Kraków.[2]

Selected plays[edit]

  • Zaczarowane koło (1900)
  • Betlejem polskie (1904)
  • Ferenike i Pejsidoros (1909)
  • Zygmunt August – trylogia dramatyczna (1912)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]