‘Forefathers’ Eve’: ‘What Does the Soul Need?’

Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska, Dariusz Kosiński

A remix of Jerzy Grotowski’s Forefathers’ Eve produced at the Laboratory Theatre of the 13 Rows in Opole (first performed on 18 June 1961)

The most important figure conjured up during the Dziady ceremony in Mickiewicz’s play is the silent Phantom. It’s a paradoxical ghost that doesn’t listen to the Sorcerer, thwarts the ritual and challenges the hierarchy of the worlds. Although one cannot learn anything either from it or about it, the phantom is the most meaningful figure.

After fifty-five years, Forefathers’ Eve by the Theatre of the 13 Rows won’t tell us anything on its own, without assistance. This is precisely the reason for which we don’t want it to be lost. We will stubbornly continue to speak for the performance and on its behalf, even though we haven’t been authorised to do so. We will seek to conjure up the silent Phantom from the despair of the researcher-egregore, with the actresses appearing instead of actors, with the identical place and similar space, using music from elsewhere and body techniques from distant places, with voices from the past and a choral monologue.

In a way, we want to hold an All Souls’ Day for Grotowski’s Forefathers’ Eve, but in a rebellious spirit, without listening to the Sorcerer, thwarting the ritual and challenging the hierarchy.

  • Director, dramaturg — Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska
  • Narrator — Dariusz Kosiński
  • Set design — Jerzy Gurawski
  • Music — Gęsty Kożuch Kurzu
  • Preparation of archive recordings — Waldemar Czechowski
  • Performers — Beata Passini, Hana Umeda and Gęsty Kożuch Kurzu Ensemble: Agata Butwiłowska (guest; bass and voice), Marcin Lorenc (violin), Maria Stepień (violin)
  • Original title — Dziady. „A czegóż potrzeba dla duszy?”


Date and hour

30 October

Running time

60 minutes