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Leading Polish Playwright Slawomir Mrozek Dies at 83

Mrozek's plays received stagings worldwide, including several at New York City's La MaMa. logo

Slawomir Mrozek
Polish dramatist, journalist, and cartoonist Slawomir Mrozek passed away at his home in Nice. He was 83 years old.

Mrozek was born on June 29, 1930 in Borzecin, a village outside of Krakow. Raised in Krakow, he spent his youth studying art and architecture, and after graduating high school, he began contributing articles and satirical cartoons to the weekly newsmagazine Przekroj.

Frequently sparking controversy with his political writing in Poland, Mrozek defected to Italy with his first wife, Maria Obremba, in 1963, and five years later, moved to France where he eventually received French citizenship in 1978.

Mrozek's first play, Policja, was published in 1958, followed by his first full-length play, Tango, which premiered in Warsaw in 1964, earning him widespread notoriety throughout Poland. An absurdist dark comedy exploring totalitarianism, the play went on to gain worldwide recognition, receiving a production in London at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966 as well as an off-Broadway production in 1969 at the Pocket Theater on Third Avenue at 13th Street. In both 2004 and 2010, La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in the East Village produced several of his one-act plays, including Striptease, Out at Sea, Enchanted Night, and Serenade. Mrozek is also widely known for his play Emigranci, an ironic depiction of two Polish immigrants in Paris, which was produced in 1975 at the Teatr Stary in Krakow.

Mrozek penned a total of nearly 40 plays, the last of which (Piekny widok) he wrote in 2000. He is survived by his second wife, Susana Osorio Rosas.


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