Antonina Grzegorzewska
Iphigenia and Other Dramas

A poetic language, full of metaphors and allusions to the outstanding movements of the twentieth-century avantgarde

Scene 5

Artemis’s house. The wall painting is a battle between animals. Three stag antlers. Five stone temple dogs.

Birds pluck the seeds from pomegranates.

Artemis’s swimsuit is hung out to dry on the temple dogs, as are some towels, a swim cap and diving goggles.


Your daughter wishes to fall in love.


What concern of yours is Iphigenia?


And what concern of yours is the war?


I am off to help other daughters.

That place is hell.


You will not go there in the name of peace.


My contingent will bring justice.

It will take back what belongs to it.


You sought to conquer that land, Paris provided

the pretext.


Send me down the wind, I shall bring you victims from Troy, dragged from beds in their nurseries, Tuesday’s lesson plan struck out with blood from the wrist of a mother raped on top of scattered physics notebooks, and from the perpetrators’ sweat, also soaked into her torn skirt.

Send me down the wind, I shall rescue children doused in petrol and splattered with sperm.

They have launched the war, they have plucked out our eye.


War is an endless organism of corpses. Should you want to ship your army from the port of the impotent to Troy, land of the Apocalypse, Agamemnon, send me your daughter, Iphigenia, as a sacrifice.


She is not yet out of high school!


Just right for a sacrifice.


What will I tell Clytemnestra?


That’s your business. What do I care.


In Troy, the death toll of soldiers is soaring. Wrapped in flags, they cannot return to the cemetery in Hellada, and I cannot aim between Priam’s eyes.


Sacrifice me your daughter, then the exchange of war prisoners shall begin. Your army shall not hound you. You shall maintain command. You shall save face. The ships will do your bidding.

Oh, father of the nation, you long to be a statesman. In a true revolution heads must roll and victims fall, so that newspapers may have their headlines.

Bring Iphigenia to my altar.


You drive a hard bargain, Artemis.


The morgue is at the end of the hall.

Excerpt translated by Soren Gauger

Antonina Grzegorzewska
Iphigenia and Other Dramas

A poetic language, full of metaphors and allusions to the outstanding movements of the twentieth-century avantgarde

Publisher: Księgarnia Akademicka, Kraków 2021
Translation rights: Antonina Grzegorzewska, antoninagrzegorzewska@wp.pl
Foreign language translations: Selected plays have been translated into: German (Ifigenia, Za mało), French (Migrena, Martwe), Hungarian (Migrena), Hebrew (Ifigenia; in preparation).

Antonina Grzegorzewska is one of Poland’s most compelling contemporary dramatists. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and makes ceramic art to this day. Yet the stage has always called her, given that her father, Jerzy Grzegorzewski, was a brilliant theatre director. Grzegorzewska’s work is a response to the misfortunes of the world, and also a conversation with the great artists. Her painting diploma project focused on Bernard-Marie Koltes, a French author and theatre director who died of AIDS. As a playwright, she debuted with the monologue He, part of Jerzy Grzegorzewski’s final play, He: The Other Return of Odysseus. Staged at the National Theatre in Warsaw (2005), it was the artist’s painful reckoning with himself. Grzegorzewska has built her dramatic style taking a page from Heiner Müller’s work. Like the postdramatic and catastrophic author of Hamletmachine (1977), Grzegorzewska depicts wars, upheavals and revolutions through a single protagonist’s experience, often a woman. She frequently draws from mythology and history, but not as a pretext. Her major themes are violence, suffering and salvaging goodness as inextricable parts of human life. Hers is a poetic language, full of metaphors and allusions to the outstanding movements of the twentiethcentury avant-garde. She is no stranger to irony and a sense of humour, but remains a step removed from the cruel reality portrayed on stage. She is a theatre visionary, shaping the scenography of future plays. Grzegorzewska’s plays are infused with emotion, yet meticulously constructed. Her expressive monologues have a musicality that makes their performance quite demanding. Some important Polish directors (including Anna Augustynowicz) have taken an interest in Grzegorzewska’s work, and the author herself has staged the titular work from Iphigenia and Other Dramas. She has also written a memoir about her father, JG: Dreams (2007), as well as A Letter to Heiner Müller (2008). She publishes prose and op-ed pieces in literary and theatre journals. She has made her home in Andalusia, Spain, settling down in its culture and history. In 2020, she wrote and published a drama, La Pasionaria, whose protagonist is the tragic figure of Dolores Ibárruri, a political activist from the Spanish Civil War era.

Jacek Kopciński

Translated by Soren Gauger

Selected samples

Urszula Honek
Radek Rak
Mariusz Staniszewski
Paweł Rzewuski
Adriana Szymańska
Kazimierz Orłoś
Rafał Wojasiński
Antonina Grzegorzewska
Józef Mackiewicz
Tobiasz Piątkowski, Marek Oleksicki
Daniel Odija
Bronisław Wildstein
Józef Mackiewicz
Józef Mackiewicz
Witold Szabłowski
Andrzej Muszyński
Wiesław Helak
Bartosz Jastrzębski
Dariusz Sośnicki
Łukasz Orbitowski
Jakub Małecki
אנדז'יי ספקובסקי
Elżbieta Cherezińska
Wiesław Myśliwski
Jakub Małecki
Aleksandra Lipczak
Jacek Dukaj
Wit Szostak
Bartosz Biedrzycki
Zyta Rudzka
Maciej Płaza
Wojciech Chmielewski
Paweł Huelle
Przemysław "Trust" Truściński
Angelika Kuźniak
Wojciech Kudyba
Michał Protasiuk
Stanisław Rembek
Krzysztof Karasek
Elżbieta Isakiewicz
Artur Daniel Liskowacki
Jarosław Jakubowski
Zbigniew Stawrowski
Szczepan Twardoch
Wojciech Chmielarz
Robert Małecki
Zygmunt Miłoszewski
Anna Piwkowska
Dominika Słowik
Wojciech Chmielewski
Barbara Banaś
Rafał Mikołajczyk
Jerzy Szymik
Waldemar Bawołek
Julia Fiedorczuk
Jakub Szamałek
Witold Szabłowski
Jacek Dukaj
Grzegorz Górny, Janusz Rosikoń
Paweł Piechnik
Andrzej Strumiłło


Marta Kwaśnicka
Piotr Mitzner
Paweł Sołtys
Wacław Holewiński
Anna Potyra
Wiesław Helak
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marek Stokowski
Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki
Jakub Małecki
Łukasz Orbitowski
Małgorzata Rejmer
Rafał Wojasiński
Wojciech Kudyba
Włodzimierz Bolecki
Jerzy Liebert
Wojciech Zembaty
Wojciech Chmielarz
Bogdan Musiał
Joanna Siedlecka
Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski
Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz
Marek Bieńczyk
Leszek Elektorowicz
Adrian Sinkowski
Szymon Babuchowski
Lech Majewski
Weronika Murek
Agnieszka Świętek
Stanisław Szukalski
Barbara Klicka
Anna Kamińska

She climbed her first peaks in a headscarf at a time when women in the mountains were treated by climbers as an additional backpack. It was with her that female alpinism began! She gained recognition in a spectacular way. The path was considered a crossing for madmen. Especially since the tragic accident in 1929, preserved … Continue reading “Halina”

Wojciech Chmielarz

First, Marysia, a student of an exclusive private school in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, dies under the wheels of a train. Her teacher, Elżbieta, tries to find out what really happened. She starts a private investigation only soon to perish herself. But her body disappears, and the only people who have seen anything are Gniewomir, a … Continue reading “Wound”

Anna Kańtoch

A young girl, Regina Wieczorek, was found dead on the beach. She was nineteen years old and had no enemies. Fortunately, the culprit was quickly found. At least, that’s what the militia think. Meanwhile, one day in November, Jan Kowalski appears at the police station. He claims to have killed not only Regina but also … Continue reading “Penance”

Marek Krajewski

The year is 1922. A dangerous time of breakthrough. In the Eastern Borderlands of the Republic of Poland, Bolshevik gangs sow terror, leaving behind the corpses of men and disgraced women. A ruthless secret intelligence race takes place between the Lviv-Warsaw-Free City of Gdańsk line. Lviv investigator Edward Popielski, called Łysy (“Hairless”), receives an offer … Continue reading “A Girl with Four Fingers”

Ks. Tomasz Stępień

This question is closely related to the next one, namely: if any goal exists, does life lead us to that goal in an orderly manner? In other words, is everything that happens to us just a set of chaotic events that, combined together, do not form a whole? To understand how the concept of providence … Continue reading “Order and Love”

Jakub Małecki
Szczepan Twardoch
Wiesław Helak
Maria Wilczek-Krupa
Anna Kańtoch
Rafał Kosik
Paweł Sołtys
Dorota Masłowska
Wiesław Myśliwski
Martyna Bunda
Olga Tokarczuk
Various authors
Mariola Kruszewska
Waldemar Bawołek
Marek Oleksicki, Tobiasz Piątkowski
Wojciech Tomczyk
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar
Ks. Robert Skrzypczak
Bronisław Wildstein
Anna Bikont
Magdalena Grzebałkowska
Wojciech Orliński
Klementyna Suchanow
Andrzej Franaszek
Natalia Budzyńska
Marian Sworzeń
Aleksandra Wójcik, Maciej Zdziarski
Józef Łobodowski

The work of Józef Łobodowski (1909-1988) – a remarkable poet, prose writer, and translator, who spent most of his life in exile – is slowly being revived in Poland. Łobodowski’s brilliant three- volume novel, composed on an epic scale, concerns the fate of families and orphans unmoored by the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war and … Continue reading “Ukrainian Trilogy: Thickets, The Settlement, The Way Back”

Piotr Zaremba
Wacław Holewiński
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