The Ludowy Theatre in Kraków was set up in 1955 as one of the most avant-garde and modern theatres in Poland. Thanks to the eminent artists standing at its helm it quickly became one of the most tempting Polish stages, a theatre with exceedingly high intellectual and artistic ambitions.
Formal innovation in the presentation of drama, rejection of the traditional aesthetic cannons, and the use of specific convention and visual minimalism also played a major role in the development of the Ludowy’s artistic visage. In the successive seasons it gravitated towards a more popular repertoire and ambitious entertainment, also focusing on educational activity and strongly emphasising its culture and community-building dimension.
The experiment in the current of therapeutic and artistic pursuits undertaken early in the 1990s brought about the production of Romeo and Juliet with participation of young people from punk and skinhead subcultures and attracted considerable international interest. In 2017 the post of the director of the Ludowy was taken over by Małgorzata Bogajewska, a young Polish theatre director who is especially keen on returning to the best traditions of the Ludowy. The foundations for her work include a search for the new aesthetics and new language of the theatre, projects from the boundaries between the arts, reinterpretation of the most famous texts of European classics, and culture-forming participative projects that entail a current reaction and poignant commentary on political and social reality.
Theatre Ludowy is also connected with the Jagiellonian University in Kraków for the PlayOn! project.