photo Katarzyna Pałetko
Krystian Lupa (born 1943, Poland) is a director, stage designer, writer, translator and educator. He graduated in graphic arts from the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków, Poland, and in directing from the PWST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Kraków. After graduation, he worked at the Norwid Theatre in Jelenia Góra, where he conducted research into new forms of theatre expression with a group of young actors, and then at Stary Teatr in Kraków, which hosted the largest number of his stagings. In Jelenia Góra, Lupa mostly staged original productions, which were his artistic manifestos: The Transparent Room and The Supper, and productions of Witkacy’s plays: Dandies and Frumps, The Pragmatists and Maciej Korbowa and Bellatrix. In the Kraków shows, such as Musil’s The Dreamers, Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Malte, or the Prodigal Son’s Triptych, based on Rilke, The Lime Works, based on Bernhard, and two productions of Broch’s The Sleepwalkers, Lupa explored the spiritual condition of man in the era of deep cultural transformation. With The Lime Works, the director began his engagement with the work of Thomas Bernhard (Immanuel Kant; Ritter, Dene, Voss; Auslöschung/Extinction; Over All the Mountain Tops; Gargoyles; Holzfällen; and Heroes’ Square). Immanuel Kant marked the start of Lupa’s association with the Polski Theatre in Wrocław, which continued with The Lady and the Unicorn, based on Broch’s Hanna Wendling, Musil’s The Temptation of Quiet Veronica, Schwab’s First Ladies, Asylum, based on Gorky’s The Lower Depths, Waiting Room.0, written by Lupa on the basis of his actors’ improvisations, Holzfällen, based on Bernhard. Other important stagings include Wyspiański’s The Return of Odysseus, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, Loher’s Clara’s Relations, Zarathustra, based on Nietzsche and Schleef, Factory 2, inspired by the life and work of Andy Warhol, and the diptych Persona: Marilyn and Persona: Simone’s Body. For many young directors, Lupa is a master and spiritual guru. Krystian Lupa has won many prestigious theatre awards in Poland and abroad, including the Konrad Swinarski Award, the Leon Schiller Award and the European Theatre Award.