Meissner Krystyna

She was born on 19th June, 1933, in Warsaw. She was theatre and TV director, and an art director for various theatres. She was also the founder of the International Theatre Festival KONTAKT that takes place in Toruń.

She graduated from the Polish studies department at the University of Warsaw (where she studied in the years 1952-1956). After that, she went on to study theatre directing at the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. In 1956, she made her début as an assistant director in the play ‘The Mother’ written by Karel Čapek, which was performed on stage of the Polish Theatre in Warsaw.

In 1962, she started working as a theatre director at the Aleksander Węgierko Drama Theatre in Białystok (in the years 1962-1964), the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz (in the years 1965-68), the Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń (in the years 1968-1969), and the Grand Theatre in Warsaw (in the years 1970-1980).
In the years 1980-83, she was the director of the Leon Kruczkowski Lubuski Theatre in Zielona Góra. In 1983, she assumed the position of the director and artistic director of the Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń. During her years as the director there, a number of important theatre productions were made, for example the drama ‘Balladyna’ written by Juliusz Słowacki (1984) or ‘Zmierzch / Twilight’ written by Isaac Babel (1987). In the season 1997-1998, she was the director of the Helena Modrzejewska National Stary Theatre in Kraków, and then, in the period from 1999 to 2012, of the Contemporary Theatre in Wrocław. During her years as the director in Wrocław, she was the originator and artistic director behind the International Theatre Festival ‘Dialog-Wrocław’.

Krystyna Meissner passed away on 20th February, 2022, and was interred at Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.

Selected Filmography

As director of television plays:

  • 1973 – ‘Dom Bernardy Alba / The House of Bernarda Alba’
  • 1974 – ‘Śniadanie u Desdemony / Breakfast at Desdemona’s’
  • 1974 – ‘Lekkomyślna siostra’
  • 1975 – ‘Wielki człowiek do małych interesów’
  • 1977 – ‘Wysoka stawka’
  • 1981 – ‘Stary dom’
  • 1996 – ‘Zaczarowane jezioro’
  • 2011 – ‘Białe małżeństwo’

Selected Awards

A honorary badge: Meritorious Activist of Culture (1982); the Order of Polonia Restituta Fourth Class (the Officer’s Cross) for “outstanding merits for Polish theatre, and achievements in the artistic work” (2005); the Order for Merits to Lithuania (2006); the Goethe Medal (2014); the Golden Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2016)