JAN KOTT has been a young man for as long as I have known him, which is going on twenty eight years, so the idea of celebrating his eightieth birthday boggles the mind. Jan Kott's clear mind has never been boggled in the slightest. It has functioned rather as a continuing source of youthful energy, original ideas, and dazzling insights. Therefore, one way to salute this innovative thinker is by trying to produce thoughts about the theatre inspired by his ground-breaking work, with the understanding that none of our perceptions will ever match those of the ‘onlie begetter.’ My own poor contribution is ‘The Theatre of Guilt’, which I hope he will recognize as an effort to help produce a cultural atmosphere where a theatre worthy of his imagination can still flourish. I offer it with respect and love for a man who, even when he reaches a hundred, will still, like Shakespeare, be ‘our contemporary’.