Polish-French director Anna Smolar takes the personal stories and experiences of her actors as a point of departure for her productions, which hug the border of documentary theater. Actors and artistic teams become co-authors of her theater productions, in which they collectively search for a personal language and new means to enter into dialogue with others.
Smolar studied literature at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and completed her dramatic training at the Sudden Théâtre. She assisted directors Krystian Lupa, Jaques Lassalle and Andrzej Seweryn and has worked in film with Agniezka Holland and Kasia Adamik. In 2001, she founded the company La compagnia Gochka, with whom she worked until 2004. She regularly directs at renowned theaters in Poland, including the Nowy Teatr, the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, the Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz, the Old National Theater in Cracow, and Studio Tethe in Warsaw. Her award-winning productions include Jewish Actors, which earned her the Grand Prix at the 2016 Counterpoint Festival in Szceczin and the main prize in the cast category at the Kaliz Theater Festival. She won the competition for Best Production of Polish Contemporary Drama of the Ministry of Culture with The Dybbuk in the same year. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Paszport Polityki (Polityka's Passport) for theater, a prize that has been awarded by the weekly magazine Polityka since 1993.