Natalia Korczakowska was born in 1979 in Warsaw, educated at the departments of Theatre and Directing Knowledge at Warsaw’s Theatrical Academy, assisting René Pollesch and Oskaras Koršunovas.
In her performances, Korczakowska combines various art genres (music, visual arts, writing), emphasizing the value of space and visuality, which becomes her starting point when working on each performance. She has staged, among others, her adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s “Solaris” (2009, TR Warsaw), G. G. Lessing’s play “Natan mędrzec / Nathan the Wise” (2012, National Theatre in Warsaw) and “Dziady part III / Forefathers’ Eve. Part III” by Adam Mickiewicz (2014, Dramatic Theatre in Bialystok).
As an opera director, she directed “Jakob Lenz” by W. Rihm and “Halka” by S. Moniuszko for the National Opera in Warsaw. She has worked with the prestigious Ensemble Modern orchestra on “El Cimarrón” by H. W. Henze at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. She also directed “The Lost Highway” by E. Jelinek and O. Neuwirth at the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław, which Katja Petrowskaja reviewed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: “The National Forum of Music has created the perfect stage upon which to discover the unsolved mysteries of this cult movie. Natalia Korczakowska, as its director, has created a theatrical stereo effect from this music.”
In April 2016, Korczakowska became artistic director at Teatr STUDIO in Warsaw, changing its name to STUDIO teatrgaleria (theatregallery). Under her direction, the theatre returned to the idea of being an interdisciplinary melting pot inspired by the 20th century avant-garde, in which the stage and the audience meet. As artistic director, Korczakowska invited to work with the ensemble such theatre directors as Anna Smolar, Michał Borczuch, Paweł Miśkiewicz and Grzegorz Jaremko, among others. In 2020, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic she initiated the program of Open Studios. It is a platform for artists and practitioners in the field of performing arts to sustain international collaboration and exchange during and after the pandemic, realized in cooperation with Onassis Stegi in Athens.
At STUDIO, she has directed an adaptation of “Berlin Alexanderplatz” by A. Döblin, “The Devils “by F. Dostoevsky. Jim O’Quinn – the founding editor of AMERICAN THEATRE magazine – wrote: “None of the artists from Generation After 2 has been closer to the socio-political dilemmas of the country than Natalia Korczakowska. The performance opens with an iconic image of Tsar Nicholas II and his family locked in a plastic cube; overwhelmed by a cloud of gas, one by one they fall to the ground. Voilá: Revolution, Holocaust, Aleppo.” In June 2019, Korczakowska directed an outdoor performance of G. Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly” with renowned singers Aleksandra Kurzak and Robert Alagna. February 2020 saw the premiere of “Devils VR”, a performance-exhibition version of “The Devils” created in 2018, now adapted for a new medium – virtual reality. Her most recent production at STUDIO is entitled “Krasz”, a daring adaptation of “The Crash”, a cult novel by J.G. Ballard. The play premiered in March 2021 and deals with themes of addiction to violence, obsessions with catastrophes and ever-present narcissism in the society of the spectacle.
For several years, she has been cooperating with the CalArts Center for New Performance in Los Angeles, fostering artistic conversation between Poland and the USA. As part of the co-production, she directed “Two Headed-Calf”, a play based on the writings of Witkacy, Teatr STUDIO’s patron, presented at the RedCat Theater in Los Angeles – one of the most important stages in America. Theater critic Mark Swed wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “Teatrgaleria is both gallery and performance venue, and just about as confusingly mixed in its media as was Witkacy. It has a Fluxus vibe. Media is experimentally mixed.”