One of the most prominent European directors of his generation. In collaboration with scenic designer Małgorzata Szczęśniak, Warlikowski creates outstanding theatrical images. Through his work process, he leads his actors to reach the deepest layers of their creativity. He has directed over forty theatre and opera productions in Poland and abroad: in Israel, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Holland. He completed his studies at the Jagiellonian University, Theatre Academy in Krakow and at the Sorbonne University as an assistant to Krystian Lupa, Giorgio Strehler, Ingmar Bergman, and Peter Brook.
He has a versatile body of work – from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, and Hamlet; to Sophocles’ Electra and Euripides’ The Phoenicians and The Bacchae; to Verdi’s Don Carlos. He is best known for his staging of modern plays, including Franz Kafka’s The Trial and Bernard-Marie Koltès’ Roberto Zucco and Quai Ouest. His 2002 production of Sarah Kane’s Cleansed at the Festival d’Avignon and the Festival de Théâtre des Amériques in Montreal received wide acclaim. Among his most famous productions are also The Dybbuk after S. An-ski and Hanna Krall which was presented at BAM’s 2004 Next Wave Festival, and Hanoch Levin's Krum which was presented at BAM in 2007. Both of these productions premiered at TR Warszawa, the theater he collaborated with from 1999 until 2007. In 2007 he returned to the Festival d’Avignon directing Tony Kushner’s Angels in America with TR Warszawa. He is Artistic Director of Nowy Teatr (New Theater) in Warsaw.
A separate field of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s work involves opera including collaborations with Warsaw's Teatr Wielki (Poland's National Opera) and the Paris National Opera.
He has for years been working with the same group of artists, including set designer Małgorzata Szczęśniak and composer Paweł Mykietyn. In October 2008 Warlikowski, together with a group of collaborators, opened his own theatre, Nowy Teatr. Warlikowski inagurated the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw with a performance of (A)pollonia. The world premiere took place in May 2009 in Warsaw. It was the only Polish performance being shown at the prestigious Festival d’Avignon 2009.
Krzysztof Warlikowski is a winner of numerous awards, including "Polityka" Weekly's Passport for 2002 "for not only his achievements of the last season, but above all for restoring belief in the artistic and ethical mission of theatre", Golden Yorick award of the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation for the best Shakespeare production (2003) and the Award of the French Theatre Critics' Union, both in 2003 for TR Warszawa’s production of Sarah Kane's Cleansed, judged to be the best foreign language production to be presented in France during the 2002/03 season. He was honored by the Theatre Critics' Section of the Polish branch of the International Theatre Institute for popularizing Polish theatrical culture abroad.
In 2004 he received the French title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et de Lettres and the Diploma of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland for his distinguished service to Poland abroad. In 2006 he received the prestigious Meyerhold Award in Moscow, and in April 2008, the X Europe Prize “New Theatrical Realities” in Thessaloniki, Greece. In May 2008 New York’s Village Voice gave Krzysztof Warlikowski its Obie Award for the direction of Krum by Hanoch Levin, presented by TR Warszawa at BAM’s 25th Next Wave Festival. He was awarded a prize “Golden Mask” for the best foreign performance shown in Russia in 2011. In May 2012 Warlikowski was honored by the international jury chaired by Gerard Mortier of The Diagilev Award in Perm for the performance African Tales by Shakespeare. In 2013 he recieved a high distinction of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres from the French Ambassador in Poland, Pierre Buhle.