Happy new year, everyone!
We wish you the best possible year and hope you will be able to do things that are meaningful to you – and that you get to share many moments together as a collective audience.
2021 does not start quite as we had hoped for, with a social pause in all of Norway, and cultural venues still being closed. One would think that we had become accustomed to this now, almost ten months after the first coronavirus lockdown – but our need for togetherness and cultural replenishment is too great for this situation to ever feel normal.
The lockdown did not come as a surprise to us, but yet we are disappointed. Disappointed, and despairing on behalf of all those who have had their income base greatly reduced, those who are prevented from planning their future, those who are prevented from being with their loved ones – and of course those who are affected by illness.
Yet, there is much to be happy about, and not least to look forward to! After all, we completed a total of 107 (!) performances and events last fall, before the infection control measures were tightened in November. We have now prepared an exciting spring season, with many premieres and distinctive voices addressing topics of our time through a wide range of expressions. We cannot predict when the theaters in Oslo will reopen – but suddenly the corona infection rate will go in the right direction, suddenly we can open our doors again, and we still hope to be able to invite you into the theater at the end of January as planned.
Together with the artists, we are getting ready for the coming months, and we will reopen the theater as soon as we get the green light from the authorities. The artists, their collaborators and the freelancers in the field deserve all praise for their extreme flexibility and great determination, like so many other committed workers in the civil society.
The months ahead are unpredictable. Therefore, our program overview is preliminary – more performances and activities, as well as more information, will be added over time, and we are prepared to make changes to the program as we go. Tickets will also be released gradually from January onwards – and for the productions that are planned to be shown in January and February, the tickets will be available at short notice.
Several of the productions that were canceled last year have been given new dates this spring. Marie Bergby Handeland's Kirkedanseren (The Church Dancer) will also be continued for four dates in January / February – if the coronavirus measures allow us, that is. In addition, we have a number of premieres and a rich topical program to present.
In March, we look forward to marking the action week FRI KUNST (“Artistic Freedom”), initiated by SafeMuse, again – a great and important opportunity to pay attention to the importance of artistic freedom.
From 11 to 21 March, we have planned for Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival – an eleven-day celebration of performing arts from Norway and abroad. This time we have added the subtitle "11 days of Live Art experiences" to emphasize that it is not only theater in its traditional sense being shown.
In addition to this, we promise more cultural replenishment in digital, readable and listenable form. A new digital children's workshop is just around the corner, we have planned several episodes of our podcast, and in March we will release the essay collection Black Box teater Publication 6. In a couple of weeks we will also have a new selection in our bookstore, curated by the artist collective Carrie, who are associated artists at the theater. All of this will be available here on our website.
Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has said something like “When you watch television you look down, when you go to the cinema you look up.". This quote could be used about the theater as well. It is remarkable to think of our position in front of the TV screen – or the screen on our smart phone, laptop or computer, for that sake – and how it makes our gaze turn inwards when looking at it. When we raise our heads up towards the stage, our horizon expands immediately. Theater opens our gaze, perspectives, our senses, our understanding and our imagination.
We made it through 2020 – and we hope and believe that the worst part is over! Never before have we been looking this much forward to gathering in the theater again, even with a face mask and two meters apart. Happy new year, everyone!