"Jerzy Zon and the KTO Theatre have created a theatrical phenomenon extraordinary in nature. Extraordinary in Krakow, where the group creates productions admired in Europe and the Americas. Their art is one and only of its kind - contemporary, highly spectacular and strongly emotional. Among the venues for their performances are places such as market squares, shopping streets and pedestrian precincts. When the KTO Theatre arrives, each of these places turns into a stage for emotions. Its productions relate stories wrapped up in customs and morals. We face the magical and exotic worlds of memories as well as the world of contemporary brutality. And all of it is truly convincing, moving and unlike anything else, as Zon's productions are phenomenal in their combination of lyricism and dynamism".
The KTO Theatre was established in 1977. It's first production was "The Garden of Delight". Its first ten performances, closed to the general public, were attended by just a few hundred people. A year later, after being censored, this grew to nearly three thousand people in Krakow and other Polish cities.
The statistics look considerably different now, in the company's 37th year of operation: over 30 productions (50 in fact, if we also count the shows prepared for special occasions) performed indoors and outdoors in Poland and around the world have been attended by over 2 million people. The group has visited nearly 250 cities in over 40 countries on 5 continents. It has made over 180 overseas trips, visiting Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Iran, the USA, South Korea and almost all the countries in Europe. It has taken part in prestigious festivals in Seoul, Bogota, New York, St Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Tirana, Edinburgh, Minsk and Kiev.
The KTO Theatre has co-created a number of spectacular open-air shows related to the most important events in the history of Europe and Poland. Among those there were "De la Revolution", Lille 1989 - a production prepared on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution (approx. 21 000 viewers), "The Refugees", Leipzig 2009 – a theatre installation prepared on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (120 000 viewers), "Vivat Academia", Krakow 2000 - an open-air show staged on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the renewal of the Krakow Academy (2 000 viewers), "The Polish Chronicle", Krakow 2004 - a show put on to celebrate Poland's accession to the EU (60 000 viewers), "The Record", Gdansk 2005 and "The Chronicle", Nowa Huta 2005 – outdoor shows produced on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of "Solidarity" (12 000 viewers). Among the most important co-productions of recent years we should mention the KTO Theatre's joint project with the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo entitled "Operation Opera" and implemented in 2011. In the same year, within the framework of the programme of the Polish EU Presidency, the group performed in Berlin, Kiev and Minsk its production "The Blind", within the project "Visible and Invisible – The Blind. The Magic of Urban Space".
In 2012 the KTO Theatre took part in the Polska Arts Programme at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and organized by The Adam Mickiewicz Institute and The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Its production "The Blind" was performed there 25 times to great acclaim from the audience and the critics.
The KTO Theatre's high standing and significance can be illustrated by the names of the artists who have taken part in the preparation of its shows. The music has been created by eminent composers, such as: Janusz Stoklosa, Jan Kanty Pawluskiewicz, Janusz Grzywacz, Grzegorz Turnau and Pawel Moszumanski. Stage sets and costumes have been designed by Joanna Braun, Zofia de Ines, Joanna Jasko-Sroka, Zbigniew Szumski, Marek Braun and Krzysztof Tyszkiewicz. The casts of the shows directed by Jerzy Zon and produced by the KTO Theatre have included many famous Polish actors, including: Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska, Anna Dymna, Dorota Segda, Ewa Kaim, Hanna Banaszak, Jerzy Trela, Mikołaj Grabowski, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, Jerzy Stuhr, Marek Kondrat, Krzysztof Globisz, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Jacek Poniedzialek and Wojciech Malajkat.
The KTO Theatre has organised 27 editions of the International Festival of Street Theatres in Krakow as well as a number of other artistic projects such as The Night of Theatres (8 editions in the years 2007-2014) and The Night of Poetry (4 editions in the years 2011-2014).
Since January 2005 the KTO Theatre has had the status of a municipal theatre in Krakow. For 38 years now the company has been managed by its current director Jerzy Zon.