Nordic Drama Train

The Nordic Drama Train is a new endeavor organized and hosted by the Nordic Theatre Union and its members, the Nordic ITI´s and information centers.1 The Train replaces the Nordic drama prize; formerly give to one Nordic playwright, every second year. In 2012 - 2013 five Nordic playwrights, one from each of the five Nordic countries will travel on the Nordic Drama Train with their selected work. Readings of the work will be organized, often in connection to larger festival events and thus given the playwrights a wide exposure of their work.

The Nordic Drama Train will be ignited in Reykjavik in August 2012 as part of the Nordic Performing Arts Days hosted by Performing Arts Iceland. Readings will take place at the National theatre of Iceland on Saturday August 25th and Sunday August 26th at 3 pm both days.

The finalists from each country for the Nordic Drama Train are:

Denmark

No one meets someone by Peter Asmussen (org. title Ingen Møder Nogen)
Premiered at Husets Teater, Copenhagen, January 2010.

Jury: Mads Thygesen title, Simon Boberg title & Mia Lipschitz title

No one meets someone is an intense chamber play which brings us deep under the skin of two passionate and longing people; trapped as they are in the patterns and delusions of a relationship.

Excerpt from the Jury's decision:
"No one meets someone is a powerful, passionate and uncompromising play. Peter Asmussen is a language equilibrist who takes us on a beautiful and highly unsettling journey to the uncanny. In sixteen short scenes carried out with equally humorous, poetic and brutal encounters Asmussen investigates the relationship of A Man and A Woman who fight to maintain compassion, dignity and identity, when communication has lost its means. Apparently we meet two perfectly normal creatures. Nice, civilised citizens who are being confronted with five recognisable situations in any relationship; meetings, waiting, deceit, loneliness and endings. Asmussen uses language as a scalpel and he dissects highly complex and eternally crucial questions of existence and thus the damned notion of death. "

Nordic Drama Train_html_5877630a Peter Asmussen was born 1957. He is based in Copenhagen and writes for theatre, film, television and radio. Furthermore Asmussen has published a number of novels as well as operatic scores. In 2010 Peter Asmussen won the Reumert Award (Best Danish Playwright) for No one meets someone.

 

Finland

Megan's Story by Tuomas Timonen (org. title Meganin Tarina)
Premiered at the Kokkola City Theatre, Kokkola, April , 2010

Jury: Minna Leino, dramaturge, Jukka-Pekka Pajunen translator, Anna Simberg, author and translator Megan´s Story tells the story of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old girl who committed suicide after being cyber-bullied.

Excerpt from the Jury's decision:
"Tuomas Timonen´s Megan´s Story proceeds in a straight and frank manner, without making excuses, and highlights an unfortunate phenomenon surrounding us all today. Due to the lack of genuine friendships, virtual „identities" may become too important, and cyber-bullying, while being just entertainment or a game for some, may even destroy the whole life of the victim and his or her loved ones. Timonen relates the irrevocable consequences of a lousy joke in a direct and stark way. Megan´s sad story haunts the shocked reader for a long time."

Nordic Drama Train_html_m4107e05b Tuomas Timonen is born 1975. He is a dramaturge, director and poet. Timonen has received various awards for his work, amongst them the Tanssiva karhu prize for his collection of poems Ode to Love in 2007 and the Lea award for Best Play of the Year 2011 for Megan´s Story. Website: ????

 

Iceland

The Chickens by Bragi Ólafsson (org. title Hænungarnir)
Premiered at the National Theatre Iceland, February, 2010

Jury: Magnus Thor Thorbergsson, assistant professor Iceland Academy of the Art — department of theatre and dance chair, Thorgerdur E. Sigurdardottir, literary critic and Gudjon Pedersen, director of theatre The play revolves around a house owners' meeting in a four-apartment house in Reykjavik, where the jazz fan Sigurhans intends to expose who stole some frozen chickens from his basement a few days earlier.

Excerpt from the Jury's decision: "In a farcical yet overly realistic style Bragi Ólafsson manages to capture compelling social issues and place them within a small house owners' meeting in the district of Hlíðar. The play presents questions of crime and punishment, guilt and responsibility, which have to do with a lot more than a petty chicken theft. Through everyday situations and a dialogue, which seems to focus on anything else then the issues that matter, the play depicts a community where the only standard is each individual's egocentric point of view. The play demonstrates Bragi Ólafsson's skillfulness in writing texts for the stage. The characters are lively and in its plainness the dialogue is layered with meaning. In a critical yet playful manner the play portrays a society, which has lost sight of its founding values."

Nordic Drama Train_html_7a56dc1e Bragi Ólafsson, writer, poet, playwright and musician, is born 1962. He has published poetic work and five novels, all to critical acclaim. Ólafsson has written three radio plays and two plays for the stage, The Chickens and Belgian Congo. Both plays were nominated for the Icelandic theatre award. Ólafsson has been short listed and nominated for various other literary works, amongst the Nordic prize in literature in 2008. Further information: http://bragi.funksjon.net/about-2/bragi-olafsson/

 

Norway

I Disappear by Arne Lygre ( org. Title Jeg forsvinner)
Premiere at La Colline Théâtre National, Paris, November 2011.

Jury: Cecilia Ölvezcky, dramaturg, Tom Remlov, artistic and administrative director, Norwegian national opera and Kai Johnson, director, Dramatikkens hus, Norway.

I Disappear follows three women caught in a reality on the brick of catastrophe. They try to escape, but can't get any real security. At the same time, they imagine different possible destinies, identifying themselves with other people's stories, they are drawn away from their own into something else. As one woman after the other disappear, the masses around them build up, and the text changes from one that deals with a few individuals to one describing a society in a crisis. It explore the dramatic form though the spoken word and by challenging the understanding of characters and narration.

Excerpt from review:
"Arne Lygre found in theatre a kingdom where identities invent themselves and lose themselves. In a minimalist, but neat and precise way (and in a way nobody has ever dared before), he tells about the uncertainties and the shady areas of today's society." Télérama, 09.11.2011

Nordic Drama Train_html_m3951f452 Arne Lygre has written seven plays since his debut in 1998, which have been staged and published In many countries around the world. Arne Lygre wrote his first short Stories collection in 2004, In Time, for which he got the prestigious Norwegian literary award, Brageprisen.

He was awarded the Literary Award Mads Wiels Nygaards´ Legacy in 2010. Further information www.arnelygre.com

 

Sweden

Mira Passing Through by Martina Montelius (org.title Mira går genom rummen)
Premiered at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, October, 2011

Jury: Lars Ring, critic SvD, Marie Persson Hedenius, dramaturgue Uppsala Stadsteater, Rolf S. Nielsen, Chairman of Teatercentrum and Ann Mari Engel, Secretary General of Teaterunionen.

Mira Passing Through is a comic tragedy that resets the notion of family and examines it from scratch. The play takes the children's party and shows how they always have to do things they are afraid of and adults can choose not to. Mira Passing Through is a play where the big emotions can run free; sadness, anger, longing and the deepest love.

Excerpt from reviews:
"As in Mira passing Through, Martina Montelius continues to write, like no other, allowing the humour to take place amongst great seriousness. From a child's perspective, you get a deep insight in the modern-day relations with LGBT-families and single parents."
- Swedish theatre critics association

"It's a great text to be present in, from massive giggles and craziness to tears of sadness and wide open longing. It's full of experiences for us to reflect in, through sensitive and empathetic humorous pictures."
- Karin Helander SvD

Nordic Drama Train_html_c0533fc Martina Montelius was born in Stockholm 1975. She is playwright and director as well as the artistic director of the theatre Brunnsgatan 4 in Stockholm. Montelius has written numerous plays which been translated into Danish, German, and English. In February 2012 she received the children and youth theatre prize from the Swedish theatre critics association. Website: http://www.teaterkritiker.se