The plays of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885–1939,* born in Warsaw, and known as Witkacy) languished in relative obscurity throughout most of their creator’s short life. A home country revival took place in the 1950s, and adventurous theater companies in Western Europe and the United States started producing his work in the 1970s.
A key figure of the European avant-garde—a peer of Artaud, Beckett, Genet, and Ionesco—Witkacy’s resolutely anti-realist theater work has inspired WITKACY / TWO-HEADED CALF, a new collaboration by Natalia Korczakowska (the artistic director of Warsaw’s Studio Teatrgaleria), and CalArts Center for New Performance.
Witkacy believed that nature can be a source of metaphysical experience that gives us a chance to protect our individuality from the soulless social machine of Western civilization. WITKACY / TWO-HEADED CALF is a journey of a neurotic boy and his family from Poland to the California desert—and also a journey into the depths of oneself.**
For the next eight days at Redcat, performing artists from Studio Teatrgaleria and CalArts will present the American premiere engagement of this sui generis production.
Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, at 8:30 pm.
Sunday, October 20, at 3 pm.
Tuesday through Friday, October 22, 23, 24, and 25, at 8:30 pm.
631 West 2nd Street, downtown Los Angeles.
*Witkacy allegedly committed suicide upon hearing of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, but when his grave was disinterred many years later, the body reportedly belonged to someone else.
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Natalia Korczakowska, WITKACY/Two-Headed Calf, performance photographs by Rafal Nowak and Hao Feng. Images courtesy and © the photographers, the performers, the director, Studio Teatrgaleria, and CalArts Center for New Performance.