Born May 7, 1836, in Piotrowice, near Lublin; died July 3, 1922, in Kraków. Polish theatrical figure and one of the founders of contemporary Polish theatrical directing.
Kozmian studied in Kraków and Paris between 1855 and 1860. He became the artistic manager of the Kraków Theater in 1866 and served as the theater’s manager from 1871 to 1885. Under his guidance a progressive realistic acting style developed, known as the Kraków school. Striving for dramatic verisimilitude, Kozmian propagated a restrained style based on subtle psychological nuances, in contrast to the pedestrian acting then dominating the Polish stage. He promoted the idea of the actor’s ensemble and insisted that productions be well rehearsed. He admired Polish classical drama and produced plays by A. Fredro, A. Mickiewicz, J. Slowacki, and W. Boguslawski, as well as works by such modern Polish playwrights as J. Bliziński, M. Balucki, and J. Narzymski. Outstanding among his other productions were Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Gogol’s The Inspector-General, and Goethe’s Egmont. In 1885, Kozmian retired from the theater and in 1897 moved to Vienna. He returned to his native land at the end of World War I.
WORKSTeatr: Wybór pism, vols. 1–2. Kraków, 1959.
REFERENCESSolski, L. Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Polish.)
Estreicher, K. Teatr w Polsce, vols. 1–3. Warsaw, 1953.