Zygmunt's Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team BIG

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Chicago, IL

  • AIRED ON:

    Indie: Indie Roadtrips

ZYGMUNT DYRKACZ

Founder
Chopin Theater

“We didn't know much about how to do it, but if you have a passion, you slowly find a way.”

INTERESTS:

Acting & Theatre Entrepreneurship

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Struggle

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

biology, business, exchange program, Poland, real estate, science

BIOGRAPHY:

  • He originally came to the U.S. from Poland on a foreign exchange program, and expected to stay for one year.
  • But instability in the communist Polish economy caused him to extend his stay, even though his study of killer bees had become irrelevant.
  • Decided to switch his focus to business, and made a good amount of money in a short amount of time.
  • While he'd become financially successful, his personal relationships suffered, and ultimately, his wife divorced him.
  • He realized he'd become completely "fake," and he knew he needed a passion project to help him rediscover himself.
  • When he saw a nearby theater was going to be demolished, he decided to buy it and renovate it.
  • Since its reopening in 1999, it's put on over 1,400 events, including 110 of its own productions, and featuring actors like John Cusack.
  • In February 2010, the Chicago Tribune rated Chopin Theatre as one of the best Chicago venues.

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