(stage name of J. Maluszek). Born June 23, 1885, in Kraków; died May 10, 1947, in Warsaw. Polish actor, director, and authority on the theater.
Osterwa worked in theaters in Poznań, Vilnius, and Warsaw from 1906 to 1915, when as an Austrian citizen he was interned and sent to Central Russia. He worked with Polish theatrical companies in Samara and Moscow, where he staged and acted in plays by leading Polish dramatists. In 1916 he joined F. Rychłowski’s company in Kiev. In Russia he became acquainted with the Moscow Art Theater and K. S. Stanislavsky’s theories, which influenced his later work. In 1918, Osterwa returned to Warsaw, where he organized the progressive experimental Reduta Theater, based on the principles of the Moscow Art Theater. While heading the Reduta Theater, he also worked in various other theaters in Warsaw from 1923 to 1925 and in Kraków from 1932 to 1935.
After Poland was liberated from the fascists, Osterwa was active in the creation of a new national theater. In 1946 he was appointed head of the association of municipal theaters in Kraków. He also organized and directed a drama school in the city. As a director Osterwa stressed the primacy of the emotions and the spiritual life of the protagonists. His acting style reflected his intense intellectuality.
REFERENCESRostotskii, B. I. “Teatr i kino.” Istoriia Pol’shi, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
Hennelowa, Y., and Y. Szaniawski. Juliusz Osterwa. Warsaw, 1956.
Szczublewski, J. Zywot Osterwy. Warsaw, 1971.
B. I. ROSTOTSKII