Talks, Readings & Films

One Day with … Andrzej T. Wirth

Andrzej T. Wirth

Andrzej T. Wirth

© Carol T. Washburn, San Francisco, California, 1968 / Pawel Kocambasi

Past Dates

This godfather of the postdramatic, born on 10 April 1927 in Wlodawa in Eastern Poland, has always been right where the theatre was blooming at the time: With Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble in the 1950s, with Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor in Poland, then with Richard Schechner in the America of the 1960s and with Robert Wilson in 1970s New York. What Andrzej T. Wirth saw, he analysed and rehearsed with his students at universities in the USA, in Berlin and Sydney – until he founded the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies (Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft, ATW) at the University of Gießen in 1982. Many artists who went on to shape German and international theatre studied here, including René Pollesch, Hans-Werner Kroesinger, Moritz Rinke and Rimini Protokoll.

On the occasion of Andrzej T. Wirth’s 89th birthday on 10 April, students and companions from Japan, the US, Poland and Germany will gather for performances and conversations. They will recall the stages of his encounters and his work, spanning seven decades on three continents, in visual art pieces, texts, photographs and film-documents. The day is curated by Wolfgang Storch and Thomas Irmer.


Lower Foyer

Andrzej T. Wirth – Theater(er)finder
Displaced – Zur rechten Zeit am rechten Ort

Stations of his life and work
Films, photos, docuements

“Las Venice”
a video essay by Thomas Martius / Andrzej Wirth 2000-2004

Upper Foyer

  • Andrzej Wirth’s Picture Gallery
    Works by Günter Grass, Karl Oppermann, Edda Grossman, Jo Brocklehurst, Robert Wilson and others
  • 16:00: Welcome: Thomas Oberender
    Overview of the programme: Wolfgang Storch & Thomas Irmer
  • 16:15: Frank Hentschker: I was Andrzej …
  • 16:30: Theatre for others
    Talk with Jasia Reichardt and Andrzej Wirth
  • Intermezzo: Katrin Kaspar with Cléo (vocals)
    “Moich dwanascie godzin” / “My Twelve Hours”
    Text Andrzej Wirth / composition Cléo
  • 17:00: Between 1956 and 1966 in Berlin: Engagement for Poland’s Literature and Theatre – Teaching at the Technical University 1964/65
    Klaus Völker: Memories of the “oldest student” of the early years
    Maria Sommer talks to Klaus Völker: The first publisher
  • 17:30: In the USA from 1966
    Richard Schechner: Video greeting
    Frank Hentschker: Andrzej Wirth rehearses Brecht’s “Fatzer” in Oxford 1978
    Emma Lewis Thomas, Andrzej Wirth: “Fatzer” in Sydney 2000
    Thomas Martius / Andrzej Wirth: “Wilson’s Island“, film, 2008, an excerpt with introduction
    Robert Wilson: Video greeting
  • Intermezzo: Katrin Kaspar with Cléo (vocals)
    “My Last Tree – For Robert Wilson”
    Text Andrzej Wirth / composition Cléo
  • 18:15: Interval
    45 min, guided tours through the exhibition, drinks and food at the bar
  • 19:00: The Return of the European with the New World in His Luggage
    Talk with Peter von Becker and Andrzej Wirth: The intellectual flâneur
  • Intermezzo: Andrzej Wirth with Katrin Kaspar
    “O Falladah, die du hangest”
    Text Bertolt Brecht / Composition Hanns Eisler / Polish translation Andrzej Wirth
  • 19:30: The Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, 1982–1992
    “Theatre without audience” by Pawel Kocambasi; directed, filmed and editied by Pawel Kocambasi; produced by Tom Streuber (film excerpt)
    Patrick Primavesi: Brecht, Müller and … Impulses of the work in Gießen
    Frank Hentschker & Hans-Werner Kroesinger: Heiner Müller directs “Hamletmaschine” 1985, with film
    John Jesurun & Thomas Irmer in conversation
    Gabriele Brandstetter: Little speech for ATW
    Miho Takayasu: Memories of Andrzej Wirth
  • Intermezzo: Miho Takayasu: dance performance
    with her Japanese ensemble Mogura Kagura
  • 21:00: Interval
    30 min, drinks and food at the bar
  • 21:30: On the Road
    Anna Beata Bohdziewicz: Andrzej T. Wirth, 1985–2015, slide projection with lecture
  • Intermezzo: Katrin Kaspar with Cléo (vocals)
    “Crazy Dreams / Limerick for my Pony I–II”
    Text Andrzej Wirth
    “My Twelve Hours”
    Text Andrzej Wirth / composition Georges Metanomski
  • 21:45: Ways of the Students and an Advice Seeker
    Moritz Rinke about his encounter with Andrzej Wirth, film excerpt, 5 min
    Hans-Werner Kroesinger & Thomas Irmer in conversation
    Grzegorz Jarzyna & Thomas Irmer: Andrzej Wirth as a godfather of Brecht, “Im Dickicht der Städte”, Schaubühne 2004
  • 22:15: Finale
    A choir reading poems by Andrzej Wirth
    Frank Hentschker: Cut Piece
    Mandie O’Connell / La Mission: Art 004: A Tattooed Woman / About These Wars (performance)

“One Day with …” is a series of events of the Berliner Festspiele, conceived together with ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. Several times a year, one artist and his or her cosmos will be presented in a one-day homage at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The most recent events of the series focused on Ian McEwan, Karl-Ove Knausgård, Tankred Dorst and Frank Witzel.

One Day with … Andrzej T. Wirth. Documentation

© Greenpocket Bewegtbild / Berliner Festspiele

A Berliner Festspiele event in cooperation with the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius
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Supported by:
Logo Polnisches Institut Berlin