The theatre has been continuously staging plays since 1893. It is one of the most famous and distinguished Polish theatre scenes. The edifice, designed by Jan Zawiejski, is ranked among the most valuable monuments of theatre architecture in Europe. There is an inscription of its façade: “Kraków for the National Arts”. Interiors are decorated with frescoes by Viennese artist Anton Tuch and the famed curtain by Henryk Siemiradzki. There is an antique wardrobe of the famous actor Ludwik Solski next to the stage.
The legendary Theatre started to fulfil its role as a national theatre just at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries. It was a birthplace of Polish modern theatre direction, stage design, staging and the acting profession. The whole generation of Młoda Polska– with Stanisław Wyspiański, made their stage debuts here. Premieres of his masterpieces: Wesele/The Wedding 1901 and Wyzwolenie/The Liberation 1903, belong to the most important cultural events in Poland. The first-ever production of plays based on Polish Romantic literature: Kordian, Dziady/Forefather’s Eve and Nie-Boska Komedia/ Un-Divine Comedy were staged at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries had an immense historic significance. Connection to the tradition paired with quests for new directions in Art, which can be seen by the stage debut of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), the finest repesentative of the Polish Avant-garde, in 1921.
Many prominent figures such as – Pawlikowski, Solski, Osterwa, Frycz and others were in charge of this extraordinary Theatre where the plays were made by brilliant directors. A generation of outstanding producers, among them Krystian Lupa, debuted here in the seventies. Great designers collaborated such as : Frycz, Pronaszko, Stopka, Kreutz-Majewski, Kantor and some of the best Polish actors, including Modrzejewska, Wysocka, Solska, Siemaszkowa, Jaroszewska, Solski, Osterwa, Jaracz, Junosza-Stępowski, Łomnicki, Holoubek made guest appearances here or were regular members of Theatre’s ensemble. Today the Theatre favours young – among those Maja Kleczewska, Agnieszka Olsten, Agata Duda-Gracz, Magdalena Piekorz, Paweł Miśkiewicz, Maciej Sobociński – which could be ranked among the leading Polish theatre artists. It also stages plays directed by masters - Barbara Sass, Krzysztof Babicki, Janusz Wiśniewski, Maciej Wojtyszko, Rudolfa Zioło.
Juliusz Słowacki Theatre has continuously been playing a unique role in cultural landscape of Kraków. It stages important, high quality plays which vividly comment the present days but also creatively allude to Polish and European tradition. The Theatre features famous Kraków Poetry Salon of Anna Dymna and is accompanied by the off Scena w Bramie (Gate Stage) and the open air Scena przy Pompie (Stage by the Pump) opened during the summer nights. Juliusz Slowacki Theatre located at Holy Spirit Place 1.