Krystyna Meissner

Born in 1933. Graduate in Polish studies from the Warsaw University (1956) and in directing from the Warsaw State Academy of Theatre (1962). Drama, opera and TV theatre director, manager of theatres, creator, organiser and director of the International Theatre Festival Kontakt in Toruń (1991-1996). Member of the Informal European Theatre Meeting.  She was also a member of the jury of the European Theatre Prize in Taormina (three times). 

She nade her debut at the Ateneum Theatre in Warsaw, with Polish first premieres of „Escurial” by Ghelderode, „Self-Service” by Pinter and „Out at Sea” by Mrożek. For 10 years, she was a member of the permanent company of Teatr Polski in Warsaw; her works included the famous „Morality of Mrs. Dulska” by Gabriela Zapolska with Nina Andrycz in the title role. She worked as a director at theatres in Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Elbląg, Gdańsk, Krakow, Wrocław, Toruń, Rzeszów, Warsaw.  

Prizes for direction: „Life Is a Dream” by Calderón at. Siemaszkowa Theatre in Rzeszów (1978, Kalisz Theatre Meetings), „The Bedbug” by Mayakovsky at Drama Theatre in Elbląg (1990, Northern Poland Theatre Festival in Toruń), „Balladyna” by Słowacki, „The Sunset” by Babel and „The Flea” by Zamyatin: prizes at Northern Poland Theatre Festival in Toruń in the years 1985, 1987, 1989.  

General and Artistic Director of many theatres including:

-          Kruczkowski Theatre in Zielona Góra (XI’80 – VIII’83, where she staged „A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare, „The Bedbug” by Mayakovsky, „Waiting for Godot” by Beckett, „One hundred hands, one hundred daggers” by Żurek);
Horzyca Theatre in Toruń (IX’83-XII’96 - tu zrealizowała „The Card Index” by Różewicz, „The Scarlett Island” by Bulhakov, „Balladyna” by Słowacki, „The Confusions of Young Törless” by Musil, „Story of a Soldier” by Stravinsky/Ramuz, „The Polish Night” („The Un-Divine Comedy” by Krasiński and „A Minor Apocalypse” by Konwicki), „The Inspector General” by Gogol, „The Flea” by Zamyatin, „The Sunset” by Babel, „The Servant of Two Masters” by Goldoni, „The Operetta” by Gombrowicz, „The Wedding” by Wyspiański);
Stary Teatr in Krakow  (I’97 – VIII’98; she staged there „Fernando Krapp Wrote me This Letter” by Dorst).   

Director of the first Polish theatre festival: Northern Poland Theatre Festival in Toruń, in the years 1983-89. Organiser of a monographic review of the works by Jonas Vaitkus from Vilnius, during which the Lithuanian first representation of Mickiewicz’s “Forefathers’ Eve” was presented (Warsaw-Toruń 1990).  

Creator and director of the International Theatre Festival Kontakt in Toruń in the years 1991-96. For that festival, as well as for the promotion of Polish theatre abroad, she received the prize of International Theatre Institute, the Polish Foreign Affairs Minister’s prize, and “Polityka’s Passport” (1994). 

Since 1 January 1999 Krystyna Meissner has been the General and Artistic Director of Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny, where she staged „The Sunset” by Babel, „Family Stories” by Srbljanović (Polish first premiere), „American Blues” composed of four American one-act plays, „Balladyna” by Słowacki. She also prepared Polish first premieres of the plays „Bis Denver!” by Oliver Bukowski and „Princess Eagle” by Tadeusz Miciński. 

Creator, organiser and director of the International Theatre Festival DIALOG-WROCŁAW, which had its third edition in October 2005 (the previous festivals took place in 2001 and 2003). The nearest edition of the event is planned for 6-13 October 2007. 

Krystyna Meissner was decorated with various distinctions including the Officers’ Cross for artistic achievements and extraordinary merits for Polish theatre in 2005 and the Cavaliers’ Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Lithuania in 2006.

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