Teatr Ósmego Dnia


Founded in 1964 as a countercultural student theatre at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, The Eighth Day Theatre has soon become the most famous of the Polish theatre companies. Considered today as a legendary company, the group is the symbol of the theatre involved in the pulsating rhythm of the most significant political and social events. The theatre's original name was: Studencki Teatr Poezji Ósmego Dnia (The Eighth Day Student Theatre of Poetry), created as a reference to the Teatrzyk Zielona Gęś (Green Goose Theatre) by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński ["on the seventh day God rested from all the work that He had done, and on the eighth day He created theatre"]. At the turn of 1967 "Ósemki" became acquainted with the experiments of Jerzy Grotowski and the Teatr Laboratorium (Laboratory Theatre), which resulted in the company's transformation from the poetic into the "pure" theatre. Grotowski's theory changed the approach of the Eighth Day Theatre to theatre art. Openness to the spectator and devotion of the actor sharing his true fears and desires with the audience became the most important thing. The second event to have an impact on the company itself was March 1968. In opposition to the world of establishment, the group from Poznań criticized the social-political system and the distorted ethical code of the PRL (People's Republic of Poland). Their objection was not expressed by withdrawing into the world of theatre, but rather by exposing it "outside" through art.

In the new reality, where the poetics of revolt and counterculture of the 1960s is the thing of the past, the Eighth Day Theatre remains one of the last theatre companies which continue the former experiments in the changed reality. The company conduct workshops, organise cultural events and present their performances abroad, too.