Michał Zadara

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Michał Zadara (born 19 October 1976) is a Polish theatre director and set designer. He has worked primarily in Warsaw and Kraków, but he also staged several plays abroad, in Germany, Israel and the United States. He studied at the American International School of Vienna, and at Swarthmore College.[1][2]

Early years and education[edit]

Born in Warsaw, Zadara left Poland with his parents when he was three years old and moved to Austria, and then to West Germany. He attended English-language schools. In 1994 he began studying Political Science at Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia. After two years of study, he took a leave of absence from Swarthmore, and studied directing at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw, and then oceanography at Sea Education Association in Massachusetts. Upon returning to Swarthmore he changed his major to Theatre Studies, and earned his B.A. with honors with a minor in Political Science in 1999. After his studies, he moved to New York, where he worked as a publicity assistant, theatrical carpenter and computerized-banking assistant. He also directed one show at the no longer existing off-off-broadway stage Collective Unconscious.

In the year 2000 he returned to Poland. After being rejected from the Kraków Theatre School, he worked as an assistant and collaborator of set designer Małgorzata Szczęśniak at Warsaw's Rozmaitości Theatre. In 2001 he was accepted and began studying at the Directing Department of the Kraków Theatre School.

Theatre career[edit]

Since 2004 Zadara has directed more than thirty plays and performance art pieces at The Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk, Stary National Theatre in Kraków,[3] Współczesny Theatre in Wrocław, National Theatre in Warsaw, Współczesny Theatre in Szczecin, the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, the HaBima National Theatre in Tel Aviv,[4] the Schauspielhaus Wien[5] and a staging of Iannis Xenakis's opera Oresteia at the National Opera in Warsaw.

He was nominated for the Political Passport prize in 2006 and 2007, and was awarded this prize - the Polish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize - in 2007. His 2007 production of Witold Gombrowicz's Operetta was presented in the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.[6]

In 2010, Zadara and his partner Barbara Wysocka created the much-discussed performance piece "Anty-Edyp", in which Wysocka, then 8 months pregnant, performed a version of Sophocles's Oedipus, while two doctors examined her heart and her unborn child's heart using USG. The images and sound from the USG created the visual and musical frame of the performance, as three musicians played the score, using the child's heartbeat as the basic rhythm. The text of was inspired by and included fragments of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus.[7]

In 2011, Zadara created a theatrical installation of Joseph Roth's novel "Hotel Savoy" at the original Hotel Savoy in Łódź, in the building, where Roth's novel takes place - which was then still a functioning hotel. The spectators walked through the entire seven floors of the old building and its courtyard, while scenes and music were played simultaneously, so that no spectator could ever see the whole installation.

In 2014, Zadara began a three-year-long project at the Teatr Polski in Wrocław to stage the first ever full production of Adam Mickiewicz's epic drama Dziady. This text is one of the most fundamental theatre text in Polish culture, but has never been staged in its entirety. The full version of the play will be presented in June 2016.[8]


  1. ^ "Artist Bio-Michal Zadara". livearts-philly-fringe.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  2. ^ Michał Zadara - reżyser, który zainscenizował opowiadanie Hłaski 2013
  3. ^ "A one-stop shop for Polish theatre". The Irish Times. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Bio of Michal Zadara". zadara.pl. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
  5. ^ "Bio of Michal Zadara on www.schauspielhaus.at (in German)". Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Gombrowicz's "Operetta" at Philadelphia Live Arts Festival". culture.pl. Retrieved March 18, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Burzynska, Anna (January 2015). "Barbara Wysocka - Alles oder Nichts". Max Joseph, das Magazin der Bayerischen Staatsoper, p. 39
  8. ^ "Dziady". Teatr Polski. Retrieved January 23, 2015.

External links[edit]