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MICHAL ZADARA
Michal Zadara, Wroclaw 2006. Photo: Teatr Wspolczesny

Michal Zadara (b. 1976, Warsaw) - theater director, author of short films and video installations. At age three, Zadara left Poland with his parents, moving first to Austria and then West Germany, where he attended English-language schools. He studied at Swarthmore College in the U.S., where he majored in Theater Studies and minored in Political Science, and received his B.A. cum laude in 1999. After working various jobs in New York, Zadara returned to Poland in 2000, where he was an assistant and collaborator to set designer Malgorzata Szczesniak at Warsaw's Rozmaitosci Theatre (now known as TR Warszawa). In 2001 he began studying directing at the State Drama Academy in Krakow under the tutelage of Krystian Lupa and, especially, renowned actor and Academy professor Jan Peszek.


Since 2004, Zadara has directed productions at the National Theatre in Warsaw, the National Stary Theatre in Krakow, as well as other prestigious theater venues in Gdansk, Wroclaw, Szczecin and abroad (Berlin, Tel Aviv). His bold interpretations of canonical Polish authors: Juliusz Slowacki, Jan Kochanowski, Witold Gombrowicz, Stanislaw Wyspianski, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, and Tadeusz Rozewicz have made him one of the most important Polish directors of his generation. He has also adapted and/or staged works by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, Martin Buber, Peter Handke, T.S. Eliot, and Heiner Mueller, among others. In addition to his work for the stage, Zadara has directed short films and video work. His video installation "Talking in Europe" was presented at the BUDA Art Center in Kortrijk, Belgium, and at the 2006 SommerSzene Festival in Salzburg.


In 2007 the weekly magazine Polityka awarded Zadara the prestigious Passport Award for theater, citing his "impressive creative output" and his capacity to "restore faith in theater as a space for artistic freedom." In 2008 he was the featured artist at the biannual Warsaw Theater Meetings Festival, a showcase of the best productions of the year in Poland. The festival program included seven productions by Zadara from all over the country. In January 2010, Zadara is scheduled to make his debut at Warsaw's National Opera, directing Greek composer Iannis Xenakis's rarely staged Oresteia.