A letter of support to the performing arts community in Ukraine, International Theatre Institute (ITI)

Dear friends and colleagues,
We are shocked and horrified to see the brutal Russian invasion to
Ukraine. We condemn it from the bottom of our hearts. We can imagine
the horror that you’re experiencing in this very moment. We want to
assure you that we support your struggle for freedom and
independence, and we’ll express this support everywhere we can.
Hopefully the bloodshed will end soon, and that the freedom of speech
and artistic expression will prevail under any circumstances that might
develop. We’re sure you have the power and commitment to continue
your struggle in the theatres, too, and strengthen the spirit of your
audiences to survive these awful days until you regain your freedom and

Your friends at ITI:
• Israel, Gad Kaynar, President
• Germany, Yvonne Büdenhölzer, President, Thomas Engel, Director
• Belgium Flanders, Guy Coolen, President
• Georgia, Levan Khetaguri, General Secretary
• Austria, Reinhard Auer
• Sweden, Ulricha Johnson, CEO, Petra Brylander, Chair of the Board
• Romania, Aura Corbeanu, Doina Lupu
• Hungary, Anna Lakos on behalf of Executive Committee
• UK, Stefania Bochicchio, Co-director, Nick Awde, Co-director
• Czech Republic, Yvona Kreuzmannová, Marta Smolíková, Adriana
Světlíková, Jakub Vedral – Presidency Board
• Finnland, Mikko Kanninen, Chairman of the Board, Linnea Stara,
• Slovakia, Vladislava Fekete, Director Theatre Institute Bratislava
• Croatia, Željka Turčinović, President, Nina Križan, Producer
• Italy, Fabio Tolledi, President
• Cyprus, Christos Georgiou, Executive Director
• Estonia, Anu Lamp, President, Kirsten Simmo, Director
• Slovenia, Staša Mihelčič
• North Macedonia, Ivanka Apostolova
• Switzerland, Anina Jendreyko, Ursula Werdenberg, Board Member

For TDA (The Day After), an informal forum of theatre artists which was
founded during the Covid19 lockdowns, aiming to investigate and reflect
on our responsibility and possibilities as artists in this changing world:
Hadar Galron – Playwright, director, actress, Tel Aviv
Ari Roth – Founding Producing Partner, Voices Festival Productions,
Washington DC
Darinka Abrahamova – Dramaturg of Slovak National Theatre, Bratislava
Eszter Orban – Co-president of the Hungarian Theater Dramaturgs Guild,
George Brownstone – Psychiatrist & Psychoanalys,Vienna
K. Madavane – K. Madavane, Playwright, Director, New Delhi
Matthias Naumann – Playwright, translator and publisher, Berlin
Motti Lerner – Playwright, Tel Aviv
Nenni Delmestre – resident director at Croatian National Theatre, Split
Ophir Ariel – writer, director and producer, New York
Petr Svojtka –Director, playwright and translator, Prague,
Pino Tierno – Writer, producer translator, Rome
Richard McElvain – Richard McElvain Actor, Director, Playwright,
Fulbright Scholar, Boston MA.
Vijaya Rao – Member of Chingari Theatre Group, New Delhi
Vivianne Pasmanter – Actress, Sau Paulo

A letter of support to the performing arts community in Ukraine (pdf)

SPAC 70 years

Swedish Performing Arts Coalition celebrating 70 years!

15 June 1951 – 15 June 2021

newsletter march 2020

Newsletter March 2021

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With great admiration, we are following the country’s performing artists, rehearsals with masks and protective visors, go to the premiere and eventually packing everything in boxes with anticipation of the new theatre season which will arrive when the time is right.

We were glad to receive so many suggestions for seminars, discussions and workshops for our semi-digital Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts which will happen this year on May 18-21! The program scheduling is already in the process and if, by any luck that destiny, vaccines and the Public Health Authority allow it, several events and performances will take place live in their respective hometowns as well as being available on the website.

Take part of our latest announcements with publications, tips, open calls and events. On Saturday 27th of March is the celebration of the World Theatre Day, which was instituted by the International Theatre Institute in Paris in 1961. This year the actress Helen Mirren wrote a global message, which she finishes as such:
”The creative urge of writers, designers, dancers, singers, actors, musicians, directors, will never be suffocated and in the very near future will flourish again with a new energy and a new understanding of the world we all share. I can’t wait!”

Best regards,
Ulricha Johnson
Managing director
Swedish Performing Arts Coalition

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newsletter december 2020

Newsletter #December 2020

Swedish Performing Arts Coalition is the Swedish Centre of the International Theater Institute (ITI). It was created by the initiative of the first UNESCO Director General Sir Julian Huxley and the playwright and novelist JB Priestly in 1948, and has over a hundred centers all over the world. We had our last General Assembly in Spain 2017 with 62 countries represented, but this year it will be presented online. Our head quarter in Shanghai is planning a digital General Assembly 10-15 December, and some parts of the program is open to the public. Visit their facebook page to read more!

Did you miss Swedstage Online or would like to share it with someone who didn’t have the opportunity to see it? Explore the full program on the Swedstage website! 

Swedish Performing Arts Coalition was  invited to participate in the event Sustainable Leadership in the Arts which was part of the Nordic Talks series with the Nordic Council of Ministers for International Leadership Week in November 2020. The 3-day event included 3 free online panels with Nordic and UK artistic leaders discussing their organisations’ positive practices and what changes need to be made for the future. Ulricha Johnson participated in the talk about Diversity and Inclusivity with Fin Kennedy from Tamasha Theatre Company and Lars Werner Thomsen from Glad Teater. Visit Cut the cord’s website to read more.

Due to Covid-19, the next edition of the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts in Västerås is postponed to 2022. In 2021, we will present a semi-digital version of the Biennal. We will share more updated information on our website soon.

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get updated information about our work!

Best regards,
Ulricha Johnson
Managing director
Swedish Performing Arts Coalition

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Welcome To Swedstage Online 2020

Swedstage Online 2020 – November 9th at 2 pm CET.

All films from Swedstage online 2020 is available on the Swedstage webpage.

The performances 2020 are a selection of the finest Swedish productions for children, youth and adults. There will be a great variety in the program with a range of different genres, which enables the audience to get an idea of the width of Swedish performing arts of today. See eight pitches from current selected productions and meet with actors, choreographers, and directors. 

As part of Swedstage Online we will also present a panel talk: Create or Decrease? How can art defy shrinking freedom? In a conversation with Swedish and foreign artists about freedom of speech and democracy we highlight the decreasing space of bold performing arts, that challenge power and norms. Can art be used as resistance? Can art break down walls? Can art pave the way forward? Learn how our peers around the world deal with censorship, self-censorship and threats. After the panel talk we invite you to an exclusive webinar where you can chat directly with Dr. Srirak Plipat, the Executive Director of Freemuse. 


Selected performances 2020

Helsingborg City Theatre
BamBam Frost
The Royal Swedish Opera/Young at the Opera
Virpi Pahkinen Dance Company
Kompani Giraff

Artistic advisors 2020

Theresa Benér
Swedish theatre critic, author, specialising in contemporary European theatre. Chairman of The Swedish Association of Theatre Critics.

Sara Bergsmark
Producer at MDT (Modern Dance Theatre), an international co-production platform
and a leading venue for contemporary choreography.

Pelle Hanaeus
Swedish actor, director and pedagogue. He has been Artistic Director of Regionteater Väst and President of Clowns without Borders. He lectures and gives workshops ingender aware performance for theatres and universities.

More information: www.swedstage.se

Read the newsletter about Swedstage Online 2020

Swedstage is an initiative from
Swedish Performing Arts Coaliton and ASSITEJ Sweden

Swedstage is financed by the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Arts Council, the City of Stockholm, Region Stockholm and The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Newletter #October 2020


We continue to thank the employers and employees organizations for their diligent courtship and lobbying. Politicians have probably never had more knowledge of the conditions of the culture area as right now. May this lay the foundation for a long-term investment in both art and infrastructure. There are probably many of you who work intensively to produce and get this autumn’s complicated puzzles of ticket sales, rehearsals, and touring. For you swedish producers‚ do not forget to nominate performances for The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts 2021! For obvious reasons, the selection committee cannot travel as much and spontaneously as before, so foresight is preferable.

The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts
Regarding the biennial implementation, Scensverige’s chairman Petra Brylander is convinced that we must dare to emerge from this crisis. The Biennale is an essential festival for everyone who works with and loves performing arts. We will need to talk to each other more than ever about everything that has happened during the upcoming biennial. And also be allowed to look beyond Corona and build a new future. What have we learned? What do we take with us? How can we pass on a review of our climate footprint when we restart? Are we approaching a broader representation? How can we, as a sector, make ourselves visible as a fundamental part of society?

Right now, we have a strong focus on Swedstage, our international export festival that we organize every two years in Stockholm together with The Swedish ASSITEJ. This year, the event will be digital. Keep an eye on our social media, you will get the entire program and all selected productions that will be pitched for the international market.

We have many interesting projects in the pipeline. There are several countries that, for example, are interested in exchanges in newly written drama. We continue to correspond at least once a week with the major festivals and networks that in the pandemic planned to order Swedish guest performances.

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Newletter #September 2020

We are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be possible to gather more than 50 people in the Swedish theatres very soon. With strong arguments, the industry has explained that we can responsibly solve the audience issue. We are happy for you who have so many house seats that you may let a larger audience in with safety distances. Let’s hope our journey back continues from now on!
The Swedish Biennal for Performing Arts 2021

Our competent selection committee for The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts 2021 is ready to receive many nominations of Swedish productions now when the show season is finally starting. The committee, chaired by Lis Hellström Sveningson, consists of Roger Wilson, Josette Bushell-Mingo, Lena Engström, Malin Palmqvist, Mahmoud Al Zeeb, and Martin Forsberg. There will be a lot to process and talk about at The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts in Västerås in May. It has been a confusing year on many levels, and we look forward to finding out what our members need. We long to meet in real life and feel the enormous energy that the biennial generates.
Creative Force
At the time of writing, Scensverige is at Nordkoster to hold two different workshops and talks with our colleagues and communities in Georgia. Together with Georgian ITI we run a Creative Force project with funding from the Swedish Institute. We cannot reveal too much now, but eventually, we will announce everything about the project.

Europe on the Move
We recently participated in an online conference with one of our international network organizations, Europe on the Move. 
With participants from a large number of European countries, we will compile and prepare information and guidelines regarding how international guest performances and tours can be planned and implemented in the future.
We had a lot of fun the other week, when we filmed interviews with all the creative artists behind this years online version of our pitch festival Swedstage. The program is amazing, and we can´t wait to get your reactions on it. Stay tuned for more info!

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