KJ: Maciej Prus, who was an assistant to the direktor, Kazimierz Djmek, recalled that you entered the stage, looked around, and began to improvise in such a way that everyone suddenly had goose bums. Is this true, or is is just legend?
GH: Well, he tells it that way. If you permit me to make a confession pertaining to this matter, I should like to say that I was solidly prepared to perform the role of Konrad-Gustaw. I already had my own version of the text since back in my school days. In any event, what took place went beyond any of our expectations. During the permiere, the curtain went up and there was a full house in attendance, and Kazimierz Opaliński, who performed the role of Guślarz and who was in many ways the spiritus movens of the entire play, began a Mickiewiczian dedication for our patriots who had been condemned to suffer in Syberia and then began to cry. I note that he authentically began to cry - he was so moved by the words of the text that he could not finish his line. This is the kind of atmosphere that we began our performance with. Peoples nerves were on edge. But we were stunned by the reaction of the audience. It seems that just about every line of the play elicited a very clear, powerful rea