A greeting from the Artistic Director Fall 2023

Dear audience

The summer of 2023. While political parties are preparing for the municipal elections come fall, the news has been reporting about expensive times, poverty, the climate crisis, war and a crisis of confidence in politics. In a troubled world characterized by issues and challenges that require long-term attention and effort, we must work even harder to remember that the role and importance of art in society is just as important in troubled times as calm times. Perhaps even more important.

Although we in Norway have a vital art field with good conditions for art, artists and the audience, there are signs of weakening. The decision to introduce tuition fees for students from outside the EU and EEA, and the decision to reduce the number of positions in theater studies at the University of Bergen, are two issues outside the cultural sector that in the long run will have negative ripple effects for the art field. If we want a vigorous, strong and courageous art field, art, and thus artists and art arenas, must be treated as indispensable parts of society. Nor must we close the doors to education and exchange across national borders and cultures, or downgrade knowledge and research.

Seminar on the international in art
With this description of the situation as a backdrop, this fall’s seminar on ‘the international’ in art is particularly timely. The performing arts field in Norway is international. Artists with different backgrounds and with roots from different countries and parts of the world live and work here, and artists from Norway arouse interest in foreign arenas. Black Box teater is also part of an international performing arts environment through collaboration and guest performances. Although all this seems easy to establish, we still benefit from stopping and digging deeper into what is really meant by "international". Together with a panel of invited guests, artist Armin Hokmi has initiated the seminar On the idea of 'international' in arts: talks and conversations. The seminar is organized in collaboration with the project room Norma T.

Snippets from the program
Fall at Black Box teater means performance collaborations with our good partners, the festivals Ultima and CODA Oslo International Dance Festival. In September, we look forward to presenting REtransLATe by Mirte Bogaert in collaboration with Ultima, a performance about communication, translation and (mis)interpretation. The collaborations with CODA are due in October. With the performance My Song, Tendai Makurumbandi draws inspiration from the physical, spiritual and cultural archives of the African people to examine how colonization and modernization affect, and limit, identity formation. In Pardon, Petals, Fredrik Petrov puts macho culture under the microscope by taking a wry look at Balkan folk traditions, especially folk dance.

This season we have two premieres: Henriette Pedersen / Nartmanstiftelsen with ZEKT, based on a text by Pernille Mercury Lindstad, and Kristinsdottir/Willyson with Do-re-me-too-sa-Lo-li-ta. Mentioned must also be made of Fredrik Floen and his new project that recently was presented as the Norwegian contribution at the Prague Quadrennial 2023. We are very much looking forward to this!

We also have the pleasure of showing reruns of performances by two artists with strong ties to Black Box teater, Verdensteatret and Hooman Sharifi / impure company. Verdensteatret's Trust me tomorrow premiered at Ultima 2020 and was only played for a small audience in Oslo. Now more people will have the opportunity to experience the performance. impure company's The Dead Live On In Our Dreams is a solo with Hooman Sharifi from 2019. This is a performance that is both a laboratory and a research process, and has as many versions as screenings.

Reconstruction at Black Box teater
This fall, we are carrying out a necessary reconstruction of parts of our premises in order to improve the physical working environment for the theater's employees and visitors. The work starts in October and lasts until the end of 2023. This means that the main stage and part of the foyer will be closed during the period. However, we keep on working on the small stage and the bar is open both before and after performances as usual, just with a slightly smaller foyer to hang out in. We look forward to opening the main stage and the entire foyer again in January 2024.

We would like to express a big thank you to all the hard-working artists who have made the fall program possible. We need the kick that only art can give.

Welcome to a different autumn with us! Notice that selected productions are played at both 17.00 and 19.00 o’clock.

Jørgen Knudsen
Artistic & General Director