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Theaters of Witold Gombrowicz and Michal Zadara

The Swarthmore College Department of Theater's Senior Company presents:

Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl
Thursday-Saturday, December 3-5, 2009
8 pm
Frear Ensemble Theater, Lang Performing Arts Center
Swarthmore College
Free and open to the public
For more info:, (610) 328-8260

The Department of Theater and the William J. Cooper Foundation present


Presented in partnership with the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival on the occasion of the North American professional premiere of Witold Gombrowicz's OPERETTA, produced by Teatr Muzyczny Capitol of Wrocław, Poland, at the Wilma Theatre


A panel discussion introducing the work of Gombrowicz as a playwright and of Zadara as a director featuring:

Michał Zadara '99, director of OPERETTA

Rita Gombrowicz, widow and literary executor of Witold Gombrowicz

Thomas Sellar, critic, editor of THEATER, faculty of the Yale School of Drama

Allen Kuharski, chair of the Department of Theater, Swarthmore College

4:30 pm, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009


Free and open to the public, with reception to follow

WITOLD GOMBROWICZ (1904-1969) was a Polish émigré playwright and novelist, whose plays have been produced in over 40 countries in spite of the banning and censorship of his works in Poland before 1989.

MICHAŁ ZADARA '99 is a graduate of the Department of Theater at Swarthmore and the State Drama School in Cracow, where he studied with the renowned director Krystian Lupa. He has directed over two-dozen professional productions to date in Poland, Germany, and Israel. He works with theater students in Swarthmore's Semester Abroad in Poland.

RITA GOMBROWICZ (b. 1935) is the playwright's widow, literary executor, and the author of two definitive biographical works, Gombrowicz en Argentine and Gombrowicz en Europe.

THOMAS SELLAR is a graduate of Haverford College and the Yale School of Drama, and is a professor of production dramaturgy at Yale. He is a widely published critic for The Village Voice and other publications and is the editor of THEATER.

ALLEN KUHARSKI is Chair of the Department of Theater and an authority on the theatrical work of Witold Gombrowicz.

OPERETTA was Gombrowicz's last completed play, first produced in Italy and France just after his death in 1969. A unique and controversial piece of political musical theater, the play's prophetic qualities have been revealed in new ways since the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the global economic crisis of the last year. This production features an original score by the Polish jazz musician and composer Leszek Możdżer.

Performances of OPERETTA in Philadelphia:

Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St.

Performances: Sept. 10-12 @ 7 pm, Sept. 12-13 @ 3 pm

For tickets call 215-413-1318, or go to www.livearts-fringe.org15.413.1318 

Swarthmore College students, faculty, staff, and alumni are specially invited to attend the opening night performance and post-show panel discussion at 7:00 pm on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. The panel will include director Michał Zadara '99, Rita Gombrowicz, Thomas Sellar, and Prof. Allen Kuharski.

To reserve discounted tickets as part of the Swarthmore group attending the Sept. 10 performance and panel, please contact Jean Tierno in the Theater Department Office @ 610-328-8149 or


Frear Ensemble Theater (Room 1 LPAC)

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 12 & 13, 10 am - 1 pm & 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm both days

Open to all students; priority given to those that have taken at least one class in the Department of Theater. Sign up sheet outside of Allen Kuharski's office (LPAC 15).

BARBARA WYSOCKA is an actor and director and a graduate of the Cracow State Drama School. As an actress, she is a regular collaborator with Michał Zadara, and she has directed a series of critically-acclaimed productions in Cracow and Wrocław. She works with theater students in Swarthmore's Semester Abroad in Poland.