Valerie Kittel, who is making her directorial debut with Salt Lake Acting Company's production of "Hunting Cockroaches," is a native of New Mexico who moved to Salt Lake City when she was 16. She lived here one year, then did some traveling, and has been a resident here for the past 15 years.

Kittel received her BFA degree in theater from the University of Utah in 1979 and her MFA in arts administration in 1982. She was one of the original founders of SLAC and has appeared on stage in such productions as "Standing on My Knees" (as a schizophrenic poet, a role she considers a highlight of her career), with Borgenicht in "On the Verge . . . "; and in "Cloud Nine," "Private Parts" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."The chance to work with director Hilary Blecher in "On the Verge" was also an exciting experience.

Kittel is enjoying her first directorial experience . . . especially on an important play that is having its regional premiere.

Kittel and her husband, attorney Mark N. Schneider, are the parents of a daughter, Dylan, 4.

-PLAYWRIGHT JANUSZ GLOWACKI is the author of six plays, 10 books, 20 radio plays and four produced screenplays.

In December 1981, while he was in London for the opening of his play, "Cinders," at the Royal Court Theater, martial law was declared in Poland and he found himself unable to go back to Warsaw to get his family.

He came to the United States to write and teach, after an old friend invited him to lecture during the spring semester at Bennington College, but it took two years before his wife and daughter could join him in the United States.

"Cinders," described as a stinging and comic allegory about repression in Poland (New York Times, Aug. 25, 1985), played to strong reviews in 1984 at Joseph Papp's Public Theater.

His novel about the birth of Solidarity, "Give Us This Day," was banned by Polish censors, but became an underground best-seller and has been published in England and the United States (St. Martin's Press, 1985).

"Hunting Cockroaches" was commissioned by the River Arts Repertory Theater in Woodstock, N.Y., in 1985.

The Glowackis' early experiences in New York City parallel those of his playwright character (Jan Krupinski) in "Cockroaches."

The family first moved into a Washington Heights flat, but intruders broke into the apartment several times and another resident of the building was murdered. Glowacki, like Krupinski, found himself depressed and creatively barren.

"An emigre," Glowacki told New York Times writer Samuel G. Freedman in 1985, "is someone who has lost everything but his accent.

"Democracy offers possibilities. The possibility that we can meet here openly, that I can write a play about what I hate about Poland and what I don't like about America without being expelled. This is important - facing all this trouble but having all these possibilities. Which is priceless, I think."

"Hunting Cockroaches," according to the playwright, is `about people living in two worlds, two languages. It's also a play about the different ways of being frightened. In Poland, you're scared of the police or the prison and here you're scared of the super the apartment superintendentT or how to get a green card." - Ivan M. Lincoln