Polish National Theater

Polish National Theater


(Teatr Narodowy), one of Poland’s leading and oldest theaters. It opened in Warsaw in 1765 with a production of J. Bielawski’s comedy The Nuisances. The company took the name National Theater in 1807. In 1829 the Teatr Rozmaitości was organized as an affiliate of the National Theater; the two theaters merged in 1836. Between 1838 and 1915 the company, now called the Warsaw State Theater, gave performances in the building of the Teatr Wielki. In 1924 the theater was again given the name National Theater. After Poland’s liberation from fascist occupation, the theater was reopened in 1949.

The theater’s most famous 19th-century directors were W. Bogusławski (1783–1814, with interruptions) and L. Osiński (1814–31, with interruptions). The leading directors of the inter-war period were J. Osterwa, K. Kamiński, L. Solski, A. Zelwe-rowicz, and W. Horzyca and of the postwar period, W. Kras-nowiecki, Horzyca, W. Daszewski, and K. Dejmek. Its director since 1968 has been A. Hanuszkiewicz.

The theater’s repertoire includes Polish classics and contemporary plays. Romantic drama is represented by Krasiń tski’s The Undivine Comedy (1969), Sł owacki’s Kordian and a stage adaptation of his narrative poem Beniowski (1970), and a stage version of Garczyń ski’s Story of Wactaw (1973). Other outstanding productions include Wyspiań ski’s Liberation (1969) and Bryll’s A Word about November (1970). Some of the best actors of the older generation (K. Opaliński) and of the postwar period (D. Olbrychski, Z. Kucówna) perform at the theater. In 1973 the Teatr Mały was organized as a branch of the National Theater. In 1962 and 1973 the National Theater toured the USSR.


Matskin, A. “Teatr prazdnika.” Teatr, 1963, no. 4.
Rostotskii, B. I. “Sud’ba narodnaia.” Ibid.
Bereznitskii, J., and B. Rostotskii. “Vstrechi v Varshave.” Ibid., 1971, no. 8.
Teatr Narodowy w Warszawie: 50 premier. Warsaw, 1962.
Teatr Narodowy, 1765–1794. [Warsaw, 1967.]


References in periodicals archive ?
The first pas de deux on the program, from Don Quixote, featured Batcheller and Norbert Nirewicz (a former principal with the Polish National Theater now dancing with Columbia City Ballet).