“The achievements of GARDZIENICE come as a wonderful gift…”                  Suzan Sontag

“…Under the inspired leadership of Włodzimierz Staniewski, the Gardzienice group are, in my view, one of few essential theatre companies working anywhere in the world today.”

In 2010 James joined renowned Polish avant-garde theatre company Gardzienice as a core ensemble member, performing principal roles in the company’s repertoire. In 2011 he became the first outside director to create a new work for the company in it’s 35 year history with his original work, The Mark of Cain. It was hailed by Poland’s major theatre publication TEATR as “a landmark event” and marked his first work directly exploring criminal justice in performance.

Founded in 1977, The European Centre for Theatre Practices, Gardzienice inhabits a 16th century estate in Poland’s far east. Led by Włodzimierz Staniewski, following his dramatic split as key collaborator from legendary stage lord Jerzy Grotowski,  the group became known to the world for it’s rigorous theatrical practices and ethnographic field work in the early 80’s. They have made some of the most hectic and poignant music-driven theatre that’s ever been, and have been presenting their repertoire of theatre and actor training in Poland and abroad ever since.  September 2013 saw the opening of a significant new theatre complex in Gardzienice, supported by the European Union, built from the extensive estate ruins where the company members have lived and worked since 1977 . The complex includes palaces, parks and galleries where the training, performances, gatherings and education continue. Things still get wild there, go and see for yourself.