Artistic Director Polina Klimovitskaya founded the group as Atelier 7 in 1981, producing Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. In a review of the company’s second production, at a Mabou Mines festival, Dan Isaac wrote in Other Stages, “Watching Pandora’s Box, one sensed the beginning of experimental work that will continue and grow more into terra incognita.” The company adopted the mantle, and in the following years Terra Incognita produced several shows, including Ida at the Window, winner at BACA Downtown. When Ms. Klimovitskaya moved to Portugal in 1990, the company went into hibernation. Since her return in 2000, Ms. Klimovitskaya has brought the company back to life, revitalized by a new generation of artists.
Since then, Terra Incognita produced its original piece Ophelia Tapestry at WAX and Construction Company in 2004; Manhattan Theatre Source hosted a workshop of Terra’s interpretation of Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey in 2006; a workshop of Pebble-and-Cart Cycle: one-line tragedies, Parts I and II performed at Dixon Place in 2008; and limited-engagement runs of Pebble-and-Cart Cycle: one-line tragedies, Parts I-III ran at the new Dixon Place and at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C., in 2009. The company’s installation-performance piece Hair of Sand appeared first in 2009 at both Dixon Place and through the chashama Windows Program.
The company received a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in 2008, as well as residencies at Dixon Place and CAVE in 2009. In addition, The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards invited Terra Incognita to participate in its Zero Budget Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, in November 2009. At the festival, Ms. Klimovitskaya delivered the lecture “The Mind of the Actor” and, assisted by Jeremy Goren, taught a three-day workshop. Terra Incognita’s residence at CAVE began in February 2009 and continues today.