This book concerns a particular type of alternative theatre that flourished in Poland during the period from the 1950s Thaw to the fall of Communism in 1989. While the movement had some striking similarities to American, British, and other alternative theatres of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, it also developed in a way unique to the Communist bloc. Specifically, many theatres believed it was their right, and even their duty, to deal with, in the words of one director, "the simple facts of political and social reality" (Cioffi and Ceynowa 82). In dealing with these facts, the theatre often reflected a nationwide discontent with the Communist system. At the same time, it existed as a genuine avant-garde artistic movement influenced by trends in the international theatre world. While several of these theatres continued to exist after the fall of Communism, the nature of this phenomenon has now irrevocably changed, as indeed the entire Polish Zeitgeist has been transformed.