Wlodzimierz Staniewski, born in 1950 in Bardo on the Nysa River, Poland, regards his native region with a special devotion, believing that one's character is strongly influenced by the configuration of one's native land.
He studied literature and drama at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. In 1977 Staniewski formally founded his theatre under the name Centre for Theatre Practices "Gardzienice". Today this center is world famous and Staniewski's method of acting, known as "The ecology of theatre", has been numbered among the most important of the 20th century. His productions, unusually intense and filled with music, movement, and dramatic singing, recall the fundamental myths of East and West.
Wlodzimierz Staniewski has directed, among others, the performances Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, Forefathers' Eve (a.k.a. Sorcery) by Adam Mickiewicz, The Life of Archpriest Avvakum, Carmina Burana, and his adaptations of Metamorphoses by Apuleius and Elektra by Euripides.
Staniewski has successfully presented his performances around the world, at such venues as the Theatre of the Nations Festival (Baltimore), Seoul Olympic Art Festival, The First New York International Festival of the Arts Toga Festival (Japan), Olympic Theatre Festival (Moscow), Theater der Welt Festival (Berlin), and the Sao Paolo Theatre Festival.
As a director and writer he has run master-classes and given lectures in such prestigious theatres and drama schools as the Royal Shakespeare Company (UK), Meyerhold Centre (Moscow), Theatre Conservatoire (Paris), National Theatre Studio, Barbican Centre (London), Magdalen College (Oxford), Waseda University (Tokyo), Getty Center, NYU, Yale, Stanford University (USA), and Warsaw University (Poland).
Staniewski's work and practice have been described in a number of books (among others: Twentieth Century Actor's Training by Alison Hodge, Gardzienice - Polish Theatre in Transition by Paul Allain) and encyclopedias (Encyclopedia of Polish Scholarly Publishing Houses, Illustrated History of Theatre edited by John Russelbrown - Oxford University Press, and Teater Historia edited by Carl Gustav Peterson). Together with Alison Hodge Staniewski has published the book, Hidden Territories - the Theatre of Gardzienice (Routledge, London). Staniewski's latest work, Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides, has been realized in co-production with the National Stary Theatre in Krakow.