Actor, Director, Pedagogue, Artistic Director of Teatr Narodowy
He graduated from the Higher Theatre School in Warsaw in 1964; served as an actor at the Polish Theatre (1964–1969, 1981–1994) and the Współczesne Theatre (1969–1981).
He played in performances of Erwin Axer (Leon in Witkacegg’s Mother, 1970; Banko in E. Ionesko’s Makbeth, 1972; First in November Case by E. Bryll, 1975); Jerzy Kreczmar (Mesa in the Midday Abutment by P. Claudel, 1973; Gustaw in A. Mickiewicz’s Kovenskiye Dzyady, 1978); Kazimierz Dejmk (in Wyspiański’s plays: Conrad in Liberation, 1982; Bride Groom in The Marriage, 1984; in S. Mrozek’s plays: the major role in Vatzlav, 1982; Neud in A Summer Day, 1984; Maurice in The Contract, 1985; Bartody in The Portrait, 1987; Khlestakov in The Inspector General by N. Gogol, 1989); Andrjei Lapitsky (Gustaw in Maidens' Promises by A. Fredro, 1984); Tadeusz Minc (Henryc in The Church Wedding by W. Gombrovich, 1991), Matsey Prus (the major role in Richard III by W. Shakespeare, 1993); Grzegorz Jarzyna (Paolo in T.H.E.O.R.E.M.A. after P.P. Pazolini, 2009; Dr. John Seward in Nosferatu after Bram Stoker, 2011).
He produced the following performance as director: H. Ibsen’s Nora at the Okhota Theatre (1978); Mother (1984), Unanimous Deed (1987) and They (1989) by Witkacy, and also Y. Slowacki’s Kordian (1987) at the Polish Theatre; Pan Tadeusz after A. Mickiewicz (1990, non-repertory performance) and Devotees’ Serfdom by M. Bulgakov (1996) at the Powszekhny Theatre. He directed the following performances at the Television Theatre: Iridion by Z. Krasinski (1982); Hamlet (1985) and Julius Caesar (2005) by W. Shakespeare; The Seagull (1986) and Ivanov (1996) by A. Chekhov; Pelican by A. Strindberg (1992), A Month in the Countryside by I. Turgenev (1993), Kordian (1994) and Beatrice Chenchi (2001) by Y. Slowacki; The Mistress of the Inn by C. Goldoni (1996), Dzyady by A. Mickiewicz (1997), A Study on the Light by T. Kubikovski (2001), An Attorney and the Rose by E. Shanyavski (2004).
Since 1997 and up to now, he has served at Teatr Narodowy; on its stage, he played in productions by Jerzy Grzegorzewski (Khlopitsky in the November Night by S. Vyspyansky, 1997 and 2000; Henric in The Non-Divine Comedy by Z. Krasinski, 2002; King Macbeth in Hamlet by S. Vyspyanski, 2003; R. in the Darling by T. Ruzhevich, 2004; Master the Blue Beard in He. The Second Return of Odyssey by Grzegorzewski, 2005); Machey Prus (King Lear in W. Shakespeare’s play of the same name, 1998; Gayev in The Cherry Orchard by A. Chekhov, 2004); Kazimierz Kutz (Father in The Card Index by T. Ruzhewicz, 1999), Jerzy Jarocki (roles in The Wondering after V. Gombrovich, 2004; Eugeniush in the Tango by S. Mrozek, 2009), Maya Klechesky (Theseus in Phaedra, 2006; Jacque Roux in Marat-Sade by P. Weiss, 2009); he also played in his own productions (Arnolf in Moliere’s School for Wives, 2000; Latka in the Life-Long Rent by A. Fredro, 2001; Radost in Maidens' Promises by A. Fredro, 2007).
Since 2003, he is Artistic Director of Teatr Narodowy.
He teaches at the Warsaw Theatre Academy (earlier, PWST). He had been the Dean of the Actor Faculty there (1981–1987) and Rector (1987–1993 and 1996–2002). While he had been the Rector, the training Theatre Collegium Nobilium was built anew and the International Festival of Theatre Schools was started.
He is laureate of many Theatre awards and festivals, including the Golden Mask (1971) and the Golden Screen (1978). He is recipient of the Second Degree Award of the Minister of Culture and Arts (1989) and Zelverovich Award (1994). He was honored with awards at the festivals of the “Modern Polish Drama” in Wroclaw (1984, 1987, 1988); the Opole Theatre Confrontations “The Polish Classics” in (1985). He had received Grand Prix of the “Theatre Meetings” in Kalisz (1994), “Meetings of the One-Man Show Theatres” in Wroclaw (Lidia Zamkow and Leszk Herdegen Award, 1999). He was honored with the Big Actor Prix in the Contest for Theatre Production of Old Writings of European Literature (2010).
He is recipient of the Commander Cross of the Order of Polish Renaissance (2001).
In 2006, Jan Engelrt’s performance The School for Wives by Moliere was performed with the Director in the major role at the First International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival.
In 2008, Jan Engelrt’s performance Ivanov by A. Chekhov with the “star” cast of the best Polish actors was in the program of the Third International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival (September 24 and 25, 2008).
Jan Engelrt’s performance Anonymous Deed by Witkiewicz (Witkacy) is in the program of the Seventh International Alexandrinsky Theatre Festival (May 23, 2013, the Major Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre).