Patrycia Ziolkowska /

Patrycia Ziolkowska / 22

Patrycia Ziolkowska was born in Sokolów Podlaski, Poland, the daughter of a social worker and a metal worker. Her parents initially fled from Wojciech Jaruzelski's regime to Belgium before finding asylum in West Germany. Early on, the actress sought a way to express these experiences, turning to photography and painting as creative tools. She also found refuge in literature. Her art instructor and her German teacher Stefanie Luczak understood Patrycia Ziolkowska’s wide-ranging artistic potential, which they both supported and fostered. Encouraged by her teachers, she joined the school theater club and, at the age of 17, applied and was immediately accepted at the Westphalian Drama Academy in Bochum, today the Folkwang University of the Arts.

Throughout her entire school and university education, she stood out both for her exceptional and physical talents as well as for her sheer joy in performing. Early on, she also developed her skill for absolute commitment in her portrayals. Always with the objective of giving her characters a credible emotional life and a malleable physicality, Patrycia Ziolkowska has worked from the very beginning with crossing physical boundaries. Her speed and her powerful performances enable her to create the most disparate emotional states in her characters, both precisely and changeably.

Since the beginning of her career, she has sought out the peculiarity, the subtlety, but also the fragility of her characters. With her classical, passionately devoted way of acting, she is always instinctively driven to create a fascinating contrast to productions that often border on performance art. She wants to capture the brightness, but also the destructive energy of human behavior holistically in order to create complex images and counter-images of the characters. In the process, from the very beginning, she has worked with directors who transcend conventional boundaries and thus make an impact on contemporary theater, including Dimiter Gotscheff, Jan Bosse, Jette Steckel, Karin Beier, Luk Perceval, Nicolas Stemann, Stefan Pucher, Thirza Bruncken, and Ulrich Rasche.

In film, too, she strives toward the limits of truthfulness in her performances, but also toward what is poignant and human. In so doing, as an actress she constantly examines the balancing of the human and the inhuman and probes the limits of both. Here, especially, in collaborations with directors such as Andreas Kleinert, Fatih Akin, Lars Becker, Lukasz Barczyk, Maris Pfeiffer, Martin Enlen, Mathias Glasner, Nina Grosse, and Thorsten Näter. They value Patrycia Ziolkowska’s courageous and multifaceted abilities to bring her characters intelligently to life, and engage her for their ambitious film and television productions. Audiences and the press celebrate her presence and uniqueness. The trade magazine Theater der Zeit writes: 'Patrycia Ziolkowska has both: the courage for ecstasy as well as for distance. To sweat from the cold and to freeze from the heat - this is the game of contradictions that she is constantly taking aim at.'