On the International Ibsen Scholarships: The International Ibsen Scholarships was initiated by the Norwegian Government in 2007. The total amount under the Scholarship program is NOK 1.000.000,- and scholarships are awarded for innovative projects in the field of drama and performing arts and projects that act as incentives for critical discourse in regards to existential and society-related subject matters concerning Henrik Ibsen.
This year Ibsen Award received 85 application from 43 different countries.
The Jury consisted of Cliff Moustache, Line Rosvoll and Helge Rønning with Hilde Guri Bohlin as secretary.
As an introduction the Jury wants to state that it had a very challenging task. There were so many interesting projects submitted for scholarships. They covered many aspects of contemporary theatre and elements of Ibsen’s work. They also had their background in many parts of the world. There were also some of Ibsen’s plays that apparently are felt to be more relevant than others –An Enemy of the People and A Doll’s House. It is also worth noting that quite a few of the projects involved cooperation between theatre groups across borders.
Hedda’s sisters. Empowering Women Theatre Artists in Romania and Eastern Europe. Ibsen Awards has awarded the Romanian project “Hedda’s sisters. Empowering Women Theatre Artists in Romania and Eastern Europe” an International Ibsen Scholarship 2014. The Scholarship is of a total of NOK 200.000,- (app 23.700 Euro due to current rate).
About the project “Hedda’s sisters. Empowering Women Theatre Artists in Romania and Eastern Europe”focuses on Ibsen’s feminine characters, aiming to use them as a tool to showcase contemporary women’s perspective and empower Romanian women theater artists, extending the conversation to the Eastern Europe too. In the same time, the project underlines the importance and value of Ibsen’s plays in the Romanian artistic and social context of change and enlightenment in the theater field. Not in the least, the project will contribute to re-imagining Ibsen’s female characters from the 21st century perspective.
The jury’s statement This is a very ambitious project that takes its point of departure in a description of the situation in Romanian theatre, where there are very few women who are theatre directors. As it is formulated in the application Romanian theatre is “dominated by the male gaze”, and this is the case also when the plays have female protagonists such as in Ibsens’s two dramas – A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler. This situation is aggravated so much more by the fact there is an equal number of women who start studying to be directors, but very few, if any, get the chance to direct plays, except in small free groups.
In its first phase the project aims at creating a situation where female characters get a chance to stage plays by Ibsen, and bearing in mind Hedda Gabler. This will be done in the form of an audition where women of the theatre [actresses and directors] will imagine and present their versions of female characters in Ibsen’s plays. The audition will be followed by a series of discussions about Ibsen’s characters viewed from a contemporary women’s perspective.
The second phase consists of the production of three different Ibsen plays directed by three young Romanian women directors with support from local cultural institutions in Bucharest. Furthermore the project involves cooperation with theatre groups in other East European countries – Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia.
The project will also involve the setting up of a website, the production of a book titled Hedda’s Sisters: Empowering Women Theatre Artists to be launched in March 2016.
In conclusion the Jury is very impressed by the scope and daring of the project, and feels that it will contribute substantially to a theatrical understanding of Ibsen’s work from a women’s perspective.
About the applicant: Cristina Modreanu is a curator, theatre critic and expert in performing arts based in Bucharest, Romania. She is the author of five books on Romanian Theatre and she is co-founder and editor of the Performing Arts Magazine “Scena.ro”. Cristina Modreanu has curated the most important theater festivals in Romania; The European Performing Arts Festival in Timisoara (2011 to 2013), The National Theater Festival (2008 to 2010), The Romanian New Drama Festival in Timisoara (2006-2008) and she co-curated FestCo, the festival produced by the Comedy Theater in Bucharest (2005-2006). She is also an adviser for Nitra Theater Festival in Slovakia. As an expert in Performing Arts she is currently working with the team designated to formulate the cultural strategy of Timisoara city for 2014-2024. In 2012 Modreanu started teaching at Bucharest University, Center for Excellency in Visual Studies, using her international theater expertise to design a course on Contemporary Performance in a Globalised World.
To read more about Ibsen Scholarships, projects and winners, see http://www.ibsenawards.com/scholarship/