An alternative theatre director, culture animator, originator and Artistic Director of the Kana Theatre in Szczecin and Theatrical Centre founded by the artists associated with the Kana Theatre. Born on the 2nd of June 1951 in Głuszyca, in the Sudety Mountain region, died on the 15th of March 2006 in Szczecin.
An independent theatre director and culture animator. An originator and Artistic Director of the Kana Theatre in Szczecin and Theatrical Centre founded by the artists associated with the Kana Theatre.
Since the very beginnings of the Kana Theatre, which he founded in 1979, Duczyński worked with the theatre's artists to prepare them for stage performance. He produced several performances with the ensemble. Geist was the last production he'd begun to work on at the time of his death, which was then completed posthumously by the ensemble in cooperation with Arkadiusz Buszko (2007).
The plays Moskwa-Pietuszki / Mocow-Pietushki and Noc / Night were performed during the most important festivals in Poland, and staged many times in Great Britain, the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, and Germany. They were enthusiastically received by such periodicals as The Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Weekly, The Herald, The Scotsman, and Backstage (Critics Picks distinction for the best performance of the week in Los Angeles, February 1997). In the Rzeczpospolita daily Janusz R. Kowalczyk wrote,
Among the junk, mental rubbish and artistic swindlers who boldly elbow their way to our stages, there are just a few shows which let the viewers regain the weakening faith in the theatre's power. Such exceptions include two performances based on Venedict Yerofeyev's Moscow-Pietushki and Night, recently delivered in Warsaw by the Kana Theatre from Szczecin. They have already won acclaim in Poland and around the world (Rzeczpospolita, 30.11.1994).
In 1994, Night won the Fringe First Award and Critics' Award at the Edinburgh Art Festival. It was performed at the same festival a year later at the organisers' honourary invitation. In the same year of 1995, the performance of Night inaugurated the British Festival of Visual Theatre in London and Nitra International Theatre Festival (Slovakia). In the same review, Kowalczyk remarked,
In spite of the fact that it was Night that won two main awards at the Edinburgh Art Festival, Fringe First Award and Critics Award, the performance of Moscow-Pietushki appealed more to my imagination. Zygmunt Duczyński, the director, is lucky to work with Jacek Zawadzki. He is a professional actor in his ensemble. In the monodrama Moscow-Pietushki, Zawadzki proved his outstanding acting skills.
Zygmunt Duczyński was the laureate of the 1994 Artistic Award of the President of the City of Szczecin, and the winner of The Outstanding popularity contest organized by the editorial staff of Głos Szczeciński.
Apart from producing theatrical performances, Zygmunt Duczyński ran the Theatrical Centre. For many years, he was also the Artistic Director of the Bonds of Culture Festival and Okno International Theatre Meetings as well as the initiator of many culture-forming projects. He also inspired the change of name and form of Kontrapunkt - the Polish National Small Theatre Forms Festival and served as a member of the artistic council of this festival.
Duczyński cooperated with many Polish alternative theatre ensembles such as Teatr Ósmego Dnia / Theatre of the Eighth Day, Provisorium, Grupa Chwilowa, music ensembles (Kwartet Jorgi, Dikanda), international theatre centres (Grotowski Centre in Wrocław, Schloss Bröllin) as well as off-the main-stream and students circles. He also worked with adolescent drug addicts as a therapist.
Zygmunt Duczyński was buried in the field of honour at the Central Cemetery in Szczecin.
Major performances directed by Zygmunt Duczyński at the Kana Theatre:
- Być / To Be, 1978;
- Spektakl / Spectacle, 1979;
- Abbadon, 1981;
- Księga o życiu i śmierci i twórczości Osipa Mandelsztama / The Book of Life and Death of Osip Mandelstam, 1982;
- Krótka historia Europy / Abridged History of Europe, 1983;
- Droga / Road, 1984;
- Czarne światła / Black Lights, 1985;
- Bezsenność / Insomnia, 1987;
- Moskwa-Pietuszki / Moscow-Pietushki, 1989;
- Noc / Night, 1993 (Critics' Award and Fringe First Award won at the Edinburgh Art Festival);
- Szlifierze nocnych diamentów / Night Diamonds Cutters, 1996;
- Ja, Henryk Bilke / I, Henryk Bilke, 2000;
- J.P. odkrywa Amerykę / J.P. Discovers America, 2000;
- Rajski Ptak / Bird of Paradise, 2000 (2003 Main Award at the Polish National Monodrama Festival in Stara Prochoffnia in Warsaw);
- Miłość Fedry / Phaedra's Love, 2002;
- Widmokrąg (open-air performance), 2003, 2004;
- Geist, 2007 (performance started by Zygmunt Duczyński, and finished after his death by the ensemble in cooperation with director Arkadiusz Buszko, winner of the Audience Award at the 2008 Klamra Alternative Theatre Meetings in Toruń).
Author: Janusz R. Kowalczyk, October 2010. Translated by Katarzyna Różańska, October 2010.