Founded under in 1923 under the name "Masks. The Helena Modrzejewska New Theatre" (in honour of the Shakespearean actress known across the pond as Helena Modjeska), the first iteration of this cultural institution preferred a less ambitious repertoire and went bankrupt in 1937. After this discouraging start, it wasn't until 1973 that theatre director and film critic Izabella Cywińska brought the New Theatre back to life. Fearless when it came to anti-authoritarian struggle, in 1981 Cywińska staged The Accused: June Fifty-Six, a political play about the 1956 Poznań protests which she co-wrote with Włodzimierz Braniecki; this decision led to a few months' imprisonment in an internment camp during the period of martial law. In 2002, the New Theatre was renamed in honour of actor Tadeusz Łomnicki, who died on its stage in 1992 after uttering the words "Then there’s life in ’t. Come, an if you get it, you shall get it by running" during a rehearsal of Shakespeare's King Lear. Today, the theatre stages mostly contemporary plays by Polish and international authors.