Newsletter #December

I have now worked as managing director for a year. It has been a wonderful, exciting and busy year, and I’m only now starting to grasp the both broad and specialized work this organization does.

In the beginning of the year, our organization was called Teaterunionen – Swedish ITI, but we have now changed name to Scensverige – Swedish ITI. Discussions regarding name change have been held for years, and now we and our members found a name to agree on and be proud of.

We are a national and a neutral member’s organization for producers, unions, institutions and universities of all performing arts genres, and it is important that our work is essential for our members. It is also very important for us that we nurture our international contacts. We want to thank all members, partners and contributors for this year and also welcome all of our new members and contacts.

Through this year we have arranged and participated in many different projects. For example New Nordic Drama in the Faroe Islands, the ITI conference and Monodrama Festival in the United Arab Emirates, Stockholm Pride Festival, the Swedish Focus on Maribor Theatre Festival in Slovenia, Swedstage in Stockholm, Europe on the Move conference in Germany and conducted a pilot study for Queer Voices of Russia in Russia. Our latest trip was in November on occasion of Swedish Theme at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Scensverige’s former director Ann Mari Engel remains in ITI’s Executive Committee until the next World Congress, and has during the year participated in board- and committee meetings. The ITI World Congress, which was supposed to take place in May 2015 in Brazil, is now being planned for Spain in July 2017.

During the remaining part of this year we will mostly work with the The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts that will take place May 23-28 2017. We are looking forward to both welcoming international guest performances as well as international guests, so if you are interested in Swedish performing arts, please stay updated on the festival work!

Ulricha Johnson,
Managing Director Scensverige Swedish ITI

Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #November

We have had a very nice October and are now full of impressions and inspiration!

We participated in Festival Borštnikovo Srečanje (Maribor Theatre Festival), which this year was dedicated to Swedish playwriting and theatre. During the first week of the festival, the book Contemporary Swedish Drama (edited by Alja Predan) was released, featuring translations of four contemporary plays selected by Edward Bromberg in collaboration with Alja Predan.

The Swedish focus also included an introductory lecture by Ulricha Johnson, the director of the Swedish ITI, as well as the first staged reading of the play Medea’s Children (S. Osten and P. Lysander), a conversation with translator Vida Sebastian and director Michael Cock, staged readings of Dissection of a Snowfall (S. Stridsberg) and I Call Upon My Brother (J. H. Khemiri) followed by a conversation with translator Mita Gustinčič Pahor. The focus was concluded with the staged reading of Where is Everybody? (M. Unge) and a conversation with translator Silvana Orel Kos and Ulricha Johnson.

The festival also presented “Wuthering Heights” by moment:teater and the “This is Not a Love Story” by Gunilla Heilborn. Everything was very well received and the festival management and we were very pleased!

A few days later in October, 23-26 to be exact, the third edition of Swedstage started – a major sales event in which 60 international theatre directors, festival bookers, artistic directors, etc. from all over the world came to Stockholm to see what Swedish performing arts has to offer. The performance program included shows for children, youth and adults and was very well received by the guests. We want to thank everyone who took the time to participate and provide assistance in various ways!

Later in November we will go to St. Petersburg with a bunch of translated plays, and arrange readings and talks around new Swedish drama. The playwrights Paula Stenström Öhman and Rasmus Lindberg will go with us, as well as a performance by Unga Klara and a number of playwrights students from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. We are very much looking forward to spread information about Swedish performing arts in Russia!

Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #October

October is indeed an international month for us. We will go to Slovenia, where Maribor Theatre Festival has chosen to focus on Swedish drama and performing arts for a few days. The four plays that have been translated into Slovenian and will be presented in the form of staged readings are Dissection of a snowfall by Sara Stridsberg, I call my brothers by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Medea’s children by Suzanne Osten and Per Lysander and Where is everyone? by Mirja Unge. Swedish productions Gunilla Heilborn’s This is not a love story and Moment Theatre’s Wuthering Heights will perform, and we also have with us Ylva Lagercrantz, Michael Cocke and Edward Buffalo Bromberg to lecture and participate in seminars.

The week after we announce the third edition of Swedstage in Stockholm, where Teaterunionen along with Assitej invite around sixty bookers and festival organizers from Germany, China, Iran, Nigeria, the UK, Turkey, USA and many more. The selected performances are Wild Minds, Tvärslöjd, Limits, Trans(e)ición, The Fables, The Can, Scenes from a Marriage, Sensescapes, People respect me now, Paper, Falling Out of Time and Buy Hearts, read more HERE.
New this year is that a number of producers will be able to present themselves in a shorter stage program and pitch their international touring productions. We will also hold a seminar with the title Gender on stage.

We’ve also had a couple of days workshop on site in St. Petersburg, preparing for a possible LGBT project in Russia, which we hope to tell you more about shortly.

On the sadder international note, we get alarming reports from our ITI office in Poland, where the space right now is shrinking further for artists. The colleagues there report that the government last month dismissed artistic directors of several theatres and replaced these with elected leaders without artistic qualifications. Almost half of the heads of cultural institutions around the world have been called home. ITI’s Action Committee for Artist’s Rights continues to follow the situation.

The performing arts and its development around the world as well as in Sweden, we’ll discuss at the Performing Art’s Biennial in Norrköping in May. We are stepping up preparations, and hope to see as many international guests as possible there.

Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #September

Autumn is here and a new performing arts season! We are happy to see how well arranged the large Swedish festivals Gothenburg Dance & Theatre Festival and the Ingmar Bergman International Theatre Festival have been. Many of our members are also out and about in the world right now and we get excited reports from the Edinburgh Fringe as well as the Tanzmesse in Dusseldorf.

We look forward to arranging our next big event, Swedstage, which is where Teaterunionen and Assitej invite people of arts from the whole world to Stockholm, to showcase the very best of Swedish performing arts ready to tour the world.
We are very pleased with the response we received Stockholm Pride this summer with our performing arts theme. The audience numbers were above all expectations, we had to start with changing to larger venues already on the first event. Our invited participants from across the country and Russia were well prepared and made the seminars and talks reach a high level and sharpness even though many came straight from their vacation.

We want to thank everyone who contributed their time and knowledge, and thank our partners, Unga Klara, Stadsteatern Skärholmen, Riksteatern and Stadsteatern Fri Scen. We have great hope that this can become a recurring and growing place for the country’s performing arts to come together and deepen their knowledge and exchange experiences. We will continue our dialogue with the Arts Council, and hope that the concept will ripple toward several pride celebrations in the country.

– Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #July and August

We have had wonderfully busy days here at Teaterunionen – Swedish ITI before the summer vacations. In a couple of weeks we will organize a performing arts programme during Stockholm Pride. Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29 will be packed with performances, seminars and readings that highlight LGBTQ issues within the performing arts.

The extensive smorgasbord of Swedish productions you can experience during Swedstage is now official. We welcome all international programmers, artistic directors and festival organizers who are curious of Swedish performing arts and trends to come to Stockholm October 23-25. See the full program and register at

Maribor Theatre Festival will take place October 14-23 in Slovenia. This year, the festival has focus on Sweden, with guest performances from Gunilla Heilborn with “This is not a love story” and moment:teater’s “Wuthering Heights”. The festival will also launch a book with Swedish plays by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Mirja Unge, Sara Stridsberg, Suzanne Osten and Per Lysander translated into Slovenian.

In November, our office will travel to the Alexandrinsky Theater in St Petersburg and arrange programs with the aim to spread knowledge of Swedish playwrights.

During the fall, we will also intensify our work with the next edition of The Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts.

The fall will be packed with interesting and inspiring work, so during the summer we will have a couple of weeks of vacation. We wish you all a wonderful summer!

– Ulricha Johnson, managing director


Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #June

It was a pleasure to host international guests during Bibu – the Swedish performing arts festival for children and youth. Together with ASSITEJ Sweden, and with financial support from the Swedish Institute, we welcomed a number of guests that stayed in Helsingborg in order to see performances, participate in discussions, attend seminars and establish contacts with the Swedish performings arts world. We hope that we can make this exchange-programme a tradition and which to welcome more guests in the future.

Due to the cancellation of the ITI congress in Manaus the General Secretariat is exploring new ideas where and when the 35th ITI World Congress may be held. On 4 and 5 June 2016 the Executive Council will meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to discuss the issue. Ann Mari Engel, Executive Council member and Teaterunionen’s former secretary general will join the meeting.

As the world is closing its borders, we hope that the performing arts world will do the opposite! One opportunity to meet and exchange ideas is to join us in July when we are organizing a performing arts programme during Stockholm Pride. The two day, July 28 and 29, will be packed with performances, seminars and readings that highlight LGBTQ issues within the performing arts.

One other opportunity to experience Swedish performances is to register for Swedstage 2016. Swedstage is the Swedish showcase for performing arts and will take place October 23-25 2016. Together with our artistic advisors, we have selected fantastic performances that show a wide range of Swedish performing arts. The program will be presented next week and the registration opens June 9, so please visit, to secure your participation.

– Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Upcoming premieres in Sweden

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.

Premieres in June.

Swedish performances on tour


Claire Parsons Co

Marmalade is a delicious, tactile performance about meeting, mixing and blending. Mira and Viktor taste and feel in poetic movements and circus actions in an exquisite and visual experience with the audience. Marmelade looks at the world through body, eye, feeling and taste in a room with fluffy skirts, soft circus and Fellini music.

Marmelade is choreographer Claire Parsons’ first dance production for young children from 2 – 6 years.

May 31-June 5 MARMELAD Act 3i Festival, Singapore


GöteborgsOperans Danskompani

Meet two masters from different generations. Noetic, a creation by Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui can contain everything from deep spirituality to comedy. The thing that interests him most is what happens between the dancers, rather than the movements of the individual dancer. Larbi’s roots are in the cultures of both Morocco and Central Europe. His artistic identity has been influenced by many years of involvement in the Belgian dance company Les Ballets C de la B, whose work belongs among the most exciting things to have happened within dance in recent decades.

June 1-4, Paris, France

Julia & Romeo

Royal Swedish Ballet

A romantic story in a brutal environment. A clash of people and power. A struggle between generations. Love, hate and jealousy. Who can win? The Royal Swedish Ballet performs Mats Ek’s compelling and daring version of the world’s most celebrated love story, envisioned by Ek as revelatory and, as critics agree, haunting.

June 1, 2, 3, 4, Kennedy Center, Washington, USA 
June 10, 11, 12, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Los Angeles, USA 

20 November

Jupither Josephsson Theatre Company

Sebastian is 17 years and lost. He doesn’t fit in. Years of bullying have made him isolated. His place on earth, in society, in schools are becoming increasingly blurred, and the uncertainty is a frustration that pulsates faster and harder by the day. Something must be done.

With text largely taken from the video diaries and blog of an actual school shooter, Swedish playwright Lars Noren creates a character that is at once sympathetic and horrifying.

July 14-17, Festival d’ Avignon, France

The Tiger

Jupither Josephsson Theatre Company

An average European town. A beautiful medieval square, sidewalk cafés, pigeons, passers-by, tourists, homeless people… An ordinary town, where everything is as it always has been, until suddenly something out of the ordinary happens.
A tiger escapes from the zoo. From this real event, when a Siberian tiger created chaos in a European town, the Romanian dramatist Gianina Cărbunariu constructs a witty, playful and political tale of our time. With humour, tenderness and intelligence The Tiger portrays how anxieties for the future may alter our attitudes and relationships with the people surrounding us.

July 13-17, Festival d’ Avignon, France

Teater Tre

In February 2017, our member Teater Tre has been invided to Hong Kong by the Theatre Space Foundation Limited. Teater Tre will perform 10 shows and host a 2-dag long workshop for baby-theatre.

Read more about Teater Tre’s work and productions at their website

Newsletter #May

As many of you know, the next ITI congress in Manus has been cancelled due to political and governmental problems in Brazil. As the Swedish ITI-centre, we are very sad about this development and we feel extra strongly for the Manaus team, the General Secretariat and Executive Council team, who have worked so hard in the past two years for having this congress in Manaus. The Executive Council are now focusing their work on finding a solution to have a congress in Manuas in the future or elsewhere.

On a more positive note; during the end of May/beginning of June we will present the program and open the registration for the next edition of Swedstage. Swedstage is the opportunity to see and experience the very best of Swedish performing arts for children, youth and adults. During three days in Stockholm, we will present exclusively selected Swedish performances, able to tour and available for an international audience. Swedstage will take place October 23-25 in Stockholm and is organized by us together with Assitej Sweden.

We are very pleased to announce that we will organize a performing arts program during Stockholm Pride, which will include performances as well as seminars. The program is made in collaboration with the Swedish Arts Council, Kulturhuset City Theatre, Unga Klara, the National Touring Theatre and our members and we will also have the opportunity to invite some international guests to take part in the event. If you’re in Stockholm in the summer, remember to save the dates July 28-29 in order not to miss this!

May 18-21 the office will travel to the south of Sweden, more exactly to Helsingborg, and participate Bibu – the Swedish performing arts festival for children and youth. In collaboration with the Swedish Institute, we are, together with Assitej Sweden, inviting and coordinating a number of international guests who will attend the festival with us. A very warm welcome to Mohamed Dimassi, Tunisia, Phylemon Odhiambo Okoth, Kenya, Lê Quý Dương, Vietnam, Simon Iyarwema, Rwanda, Feyzan Yilmaz, Turkey, Samsom Movsesyan, Armenia, Irma Tavelidze, Georgia, Jaqueline Dommisse, South Africa and Holly Hunter from the UK!

Ulricha Johnson, managing director

Read the full newsletter here.

Newsletter #April

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 my project manager Lovisa Björkman;

If we don’t meet in Helsingborg, I hope to see you in Stockholm in the fall. October 23-25 are the dates for the next edition of Swedstage. Swedstage is the opportunity to see and experience the very best of Swedish performing arts for children, youth and adults. During three days in Stockholm, we will present exclusively selected Swedish performances, able to tour and available for an international audience. The program will be published in May and the registration will open in June, but you can already find some information about the showcase festival at

During the year, we also plan to collaborate with the Alexandrinsky Theater in St Petersburg, Russia, make a program during the Stockholm Pride Festival where performing arts and LGBT–activists can meat, coordinate seminars during the Swedish focus at the Maribor Theatre Festival in Slovenia and much much more. We are always interested in international collaborations, so feel free to contact us if you have a great idea where you think we could take part!

Ulricha Johnson, managing director


Read the full newsletter 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.