International guests at Bibu

In collaboration with the Swedish Institute, we are, together with Assitej Sweden, inviting and coordinating a number of international guests who will attend Bibu. Bibu is a festival where everyone interested in the performing arts for a younger audience can meet and be inspired; by each other, by the performances that are shown and by the seminars, workshops and meetings which you can attend during the four biennial days. This year’s edition of Bibu will take place May 18-21 in Helsingborg. If you are interested in visiting the festival and want to have some more information, please send a mail to the project manager Lovisa Björkman;

World Theatre Day 2016

Today is World Theatre Day 2016!

The World Theater Day Message 2016 is written by the russian direktor Anatoli Vassiliev.


“Do we need theatre?

That is the question thousands of professionals disappointed in theatre and millions of people who are tired of it are asking themselves.

What do we need it for?

In those years when the scene is so insignificant in comparison with the city squares and state lands, where the authentic tragedies of real life are being played.

What is it to us?

Gold-plated galleries and balconies in the theatre halls, velvet armchairs, dirty stage wings, well-polished actors’ voices, – or vice versa, something that might look apparently different: black boxes, stained with mud and blood, with a bunch of rabid naked bodies inside.

What is it able to tell us?


Theatre can tell us everything.

How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin, and how no-one needs a good person in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, and how they all have to return back to the desert, and how day after day we are forced to part with our beloveds, – theatre can tell everything.

The theatre has always been and it will remain forever.

And now, in those last fifty or seventy years, it is particularly necessary. Because if you take a look at all the public arts, you can immediately see that only theatre is giving us – a word from mouth to mouth, a glance from eye to eye, a gesture from hand to hand, and from body to body. It does not need any intermediary to work among human beings – it constitutes the most transparent side of light, it does not belong to either south, or north, or east, or west – oh no, it is the essence of light itself, shining from all four corners of the world, immediately recognizable by any person, whether hostile or friendly towards it.

And we need theatre that always remains different, we need theatre of many different kinds.

Still, I think that among all possible forms and shapes of theatre its archaic forms will now prove to be mostly in demand. Theatre of ritual forms should not be artificially opposed to that of “civilized” nations. Secular culture is now being more and more emasculated, so-called “cultural information” gradually replaces and pushes out simple entities, as well as our hope of eventually meeting them one day.

But I can see it clearly now: theatre is opening its doors widely. Free admission for all and everybody.

To hell with gadgets and computers – just go to the theatre, occupy whole rows in the stalls and in the galleries, listen to the word and look at living images! – it is theatre in front of you, do not neglect it and do not miss a chance to participate in it – perhaps the most precious chance we share in our vain and hurried lives.

We need every kind of theatre.

There is only one theatre which is surely not needed by anyone – I mean a theatre of political games, a theatre of a political “mousetraps”, a theatre of politicians, a futile theatre of politics. What we certainly do not need is a theatre of daily terror – whether individual or collective, what we do not need is the theatre of corpses and blood on the streets and squares, in the capitals or in the provinces, a phony theatre of clashes between religions or ethnic groups…”

Anatoly Vassiliev

Translation: Natalia Isaeva

Swedish premieres #March

In Scendatabasen you will find compiled searchable information for the professional performing arts in Sweden: theatre, dance, musical theatre, opera, circus, mime and performance art. Scendatabasen is operated by Teaterunionen. Since 1966 Svensk Teaterunion/Swedish ITI had compiled and published Månadens premiärer, a monthly publication of upcoming premieres that has served as a major source of information on contemporary Swedish performing arts.

You will find the premieres for March here.

Newsletter #March

Teaterunionen was founded in 1951 as the Swedish centre of the ITI. Over the years, the organization has developed into a platform for the Swedish performing arts, where we also work to support international relationships through collaboration and promote Swedish performing arts internationally.

As the (still) newly appointed managing director, I have now participated in my first meeting with the International Theatre Institute.

This happened last week in Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates. The meeting included presentations of the exciting and important work of the various ITI committees.

At the office, we have now started the planning of our coming festivals, Swedstage, October 23-25 2016 and Scenkonstbiennalen (The Swedish Biennial for Performign Arts), May 23-28 2017. Be sure to save the dates!

Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Read the full newsletter here.

New Nordic Drama 2016

Celebrating Nordic plays

Six contemporary Nordic plays will be staged and celebrated at New Nordic Drama during 2016 and 2017.

New Nordic Drama is a reading-festival with the purpose of presenting and uniting plays and playwrights from six Nordic countries: Faroe Islands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland. A jury from each represented country has selected their best contemporary play written and staged between January 2014 and December 2015. The selected plays will form the basis of the festival and show a glimpse of the current Nordic drama scene. The plays are:

Faroe Islands – “TÓM RÚM” (Empty Rooms) by Marjun Syderbø Kjelnæs
“The play is universal and relevant for a bigger audience, and has the potential to last as the subject is universal and timeless” (Faroese argument)

Denmark – “SOLI DEO GLORIA” by Peter Asmussen
“The playwright uses a unique linguistic tone and dramaturgical precision that puts him in a master class along with Strindberg, Bergman and Norén” (Danish argument)

Sweden- “PEOPLE RESPECT ME NOW” by Paula Stenström Öhman
“The play really involves the viewer and encourages him or her to take a stance” (Swedish argument)

Norway – “VISNING” (Viewing) by Cecilie Løveid
“In Viewing, Løveid partly abandons the postmodernist position while social relations and power struggles are described tightly and efficiently with exemplary linguistic precision” (Norwegian argument)

Finland – “IHANAT IHMISET” (Lovely People) by Antti Hietala
“Antti Hietala’s Lovely People has been awarded by the Finnish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild as the best play of the year in Finland” (Finnish argument)

Iceland – “SEGULSVIД (Magnetic) by Sigurð Pálsson
“The play inspires interpretation on the stage in its multi-layered form and its tragicomic and passionate beauty” (Icelandic argument)

A Nordic Collaboration

New Nordic Drama aims to put a greater focus on both new Nordic plays and the playwrights. The festival seeks to strengthen the bond between the Nordic countries and reach a greater audience. New Nordic Drama is a collaboration between twelve Nordic actors, two from each country, and three Nordic directors who will be staging selections from the plays in durations of half an hour each. The readings will be performed in their original languages supported with English subtitles. New Nordic Drama is supported by The Nordic Culture Fund. The plays will be published in English by the Faroese publishing company SROTIN.

Where and when?

New Nordic Drama premieres in the Faroe Islands May 27th-28th 2016 during the Nordic Performing Arts Days also called DAGARNIR 2016. Hereafter the reading-festival will go on a Nordic tour during 2016/17. The first stop will be at Husets Teater in Denmark June 8th 2016 during the CPH STAGE festival.

If you are have any questions regarding New Nordic Drama please contact:
Marita Svartá or Laura Ramberg – – (+45) 27219232

Further information

New Nordic Drama has been developed by the Nordic Performing Arts Network, a board of representatives from the Nordic ITI-centers. Read more about the reading-festival here:

The Nordic juries consist of:
Faroe Islands: Vár Berghamar Jacobsen, Sóley Danielsen and Paula Gaard 
 Denmark: Mette Garfield, Jakob Højgaard & Christina Wendelboe
Sweden: Lis Hellström Sveningson, Anders Duus, Judit Benedek and Birgit Hageby 
 Norway: The Ibsen Award jury
Finland: TINFO – Theatre Info Finland
Iceland: Jórunn Sigurðardóttir, Kristín Ómarsdóttir and Magnús Þór Þorbergsson

Welcome Ulricha!

Since December 1 2015, Ulricha Johnson is the new Managing Director of Teaterunionen – Swedish ITI.

After nearly 40 years in the organization Teaterunionen’s secretary general Ann Mari Engel has retired. Our board has now appointed her successor, Ulricha Johnson. Ulricha Johnson has previosly worked at Riksteatern, Sweden’s national touring theatre.