The history of Witold Gombrowicz in performance is a uniquely rich and complex one to capture and share as a digital archive. Gombrowicz is Poland's most widely performed playwright globally (in at least 40 countries and 32 language to date), with Iwona, księżniczka Burgunda by far the most widely and consistently performed Polish play abroad. The great majority of the history of the performance of Gombrowicz has taken place in languages other than Polish, and includes examples in every genre and medium of performance and a vast and diverse history of adaptations of his non-dramatic works. While relatively modest in scale (currently approximately 1500 productions), the Gombrowicz Performance Database requires maximum complexity in design to capture, organize, and share such diverse performance data. As such, it provides an essential resource on Gombrowicz for both scholars and theater professionals, along with providing an innovative and flexible prototype of optimal performance database design for other subjects.
Allen Kuharski is the Stephen Lang Professor of Performing Arts in the Department of Theater at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, where he has taught since 1990 and served as the founding chairman from 1997 thru 2016. At Swarthmore, he teaches directing, performance theory, and theater history, and for ten years directed a study-abroad program for theater and dance students in Poland. He is also a part-time member of the MFA program in devised performance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Originally trained as a stage designer and director, Kuharski completed a doctoral dissertation titled "The Theater of Witold Gombrowicz" in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. He is a co-editor of Witold Gombrowicz: Pisma zebrane (published by Wydawnictwo Literackie), and his writings on Gombrowicz and other aspects of contemporary Polish theater have been widely published in Polish, English, and other languages. He was named Zasłużony dla kultury polskiej in 2002, and received the S.I. Witkiewicz Award in 2006. His long-standing research on the global performance history of Gombrowicz is the basis of the Gombrowicz Performance Database, created in collaboration with Richard Lowe. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar at IBL PAN researching Polish Romantic drama as both text and performance.
Richard Lowe recently retired after 32 years working as a technical writer for the company that publishes Web of Science, a large-scale database of citation data and journal abstracts. He has presented conference papers on citation analysis, content management, and relational database design. Richard holds two Master's degrees from Drexel University, one in Library and Information Science and the other in Technical and Scientific Communication. He is the principal data architect and software engineer for the Gombrowicz Performance Database.