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Janusz Glowacki

Sometimes it pays to be a playwright from a country in political turmoil. That's partly how and why Janusz Glowacki--best known for "Hunting Cockroaches" and whose "Fortinbras Gets Drunk" is currently having its West Coast premiere at the Fountainhead Theatre--first caught on in the United States. But producing a Pole isn't the novelty it was five years ago. And "Fortinbras Gets Drunk" unfortunately doesn't stand on merit alone. In fact, it wobbles as much as its titular tanked anti-hero.
July 5, 1986
We the undersigned express grave concern over the growing number of political arrests in Poland during the past weeks following the arrest of Zbigniew Bujak, the underground leader of Solidarity. We call for the release of all political prisoners in Poland; in particular, we ask for the release of Zbigniew Lewicki, head of the American literature department of Warsaw University, an eminent scholar, a passionate advocate of American letters and a friend, acquaintance and colleague of many of us. The above letter, drafted at California State University, San Diego, was signed by the following writers and teachers from all over the United States: Walter Abish, John Ashbery, Stanislaw Baranczak, Donald Barthelme, Saul Bellow, Joseph Brodsky, Jerome Charyn, Robert Coover, Marcus Cunliffe, Stephen Dixon, E. L. Doctorow, Raymond Federman, Leslie Fiedler, William Gaddis, William Gass, Allen Ginsberg, Janusz Glowacki, Sinda Gregory, Ihab Hassan, Richard Howard, Irving Howe, John Irving, Harold Jaffe, Frederick R. Karl, Ken Kesey, Jerome Klinkowitz, Larry McCaffery, James McClintock, Joseph McElroy, Norman Mailer, Clarence Major, Peter Matthiessen, Harry Mathews, Leonard Michaels, Arthur Miller, Bradford Morrow, Joyce Carol Oates, Maggie Paley, Walker Percy, Robert Pinsky, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Michael Stephens, Rose Styron, William Styron, Ronald Sukenick, Calvin Tomkins, Frederic Tuten, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Anne Waldman, Paul West .
June 13, 1990 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Janusz Glowacki's "Hunting Cockroaches" is a pun with reverberations, a clever sociopolitical play on words and ideas that goes on for almost two hours. "Cockroaches," now at the Way Off Broadway playhouse, is about a Polish dissident writer who lives with his wife in Manhattan's lower Eastside. His current speciality is trying to teach Kafka to "kids who drive sports cars."
April 2, 1993
"Cinders," at the Open Fist Theatre, might have been just another women-behind-bars drama. But Polish playwright Janusz Glowacki used the fable of Cinderella as an ersatz play-within-a-play, and included a television unit sent to investigate rumors of abuse and violence in the prison. What he has made is a parable about power, on several levels, and the evil it can breed.
November 25, 1988 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Exploitation is at the hard core of Janusz Glowacki's "Cinders" at Rancho Santiago College through Sunday. The setting is a Polish reformatory, where the imprisoned girls are linked as much by the selfish urge to exploit each other as by the desperation of their predicament. The officials who control them, meanwhile, are less committed to rehabilitation than to preserving the illusion of rehabilitation.
November 13, 1987 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Times Theater Writer
In Europe, cockroaches are Kafkaesque. In the United States, they're just pesky pests to be hunted down and squashed. It's the difference between poetry and pragmatism. In Janusz Glowacki's often funny but oh-so-thin "Hunting Cockroaches," at the Mark Taper Forum, it is also emblematic of the culture chasm into which immigrants inevitably fall--none harder than the artists--and from which they must emerge or be forever mired in the sludge.
March 2, 1997 | 'Don Shirley, Don Shirley is a Times staff writer
'No one in my grandfather's clan would ever have imagined that I'd be on the West Coast doing plays about immigrants," said Louis Fantasia, whose forebears crossed the Atlantic from Italy in the early 20th century.
April 25, 1986 | RAY LOYND
"Night Breath" at the Actors Alley Repertory Theater is ritualistic drama, bewitchingly staged. Three rural women gather in the blackened shell of a burned-out barn. The focus of their attention, bundled in canvas and lying in a cart, is the corpse of a young, unidentified woman killed by the fire. Through confrontations and flashbacks, each of the trio purges her own persona and at play's end claims the dead victim's identity. Playwright Dennis Clontz knows his Greek drama.
December 18, 1988 | JANICE ARKATOV
The second time around might just be lovelier for Gretchen Corbett. Seven years ago, the actress played Jill in the Back Alley's production of D. H. Lawrence's "The Fox." On Thursday, Corbett repeats her role at the Van Nuys theater. "This is a great role," Corbett said with emphasis. "You don't expect them to come around very often, and you don't know if what you did will ever work again. When this closed before, I definitely felt finished with it. It's a heavy piece, a heavy role--and you can't help but carry some of the chaff home with you. It's like when you've had a terrible fight with a friend and you're sobbing.
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