National Theatre of Greenland
Nunatta Isiginnaartitsisarfia (The National Theatre of Greenland) is an independent, public institution, established in 2011. It aims to produce a repertoire of high artistic quality in the performing arts that is based in Greenlandic culture and traditions. The Theatre produces 3-5 performances every year and endeavours to produce and present a diversity of artistic expression for all age groups.
Based in: Nuussuaq, Nuuk
Contact: Susanne Andreasen (isiginnaartitsisarfimmi pisortaq/artistic director), email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: +299 381376 / +299 588849
Touring: Activities include touring, mostly in Greenland, but also outside the country. The productions tour throughout the country where they are presented at schools, educational institutions, assembly houses and/or sports halls for a performance fee. Our performances have also visited Canada, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Italy and Germany.
Acting School and Workshops: We are responsible for educating actors through an actor training program. It is a 2-year programme with admission every second year with a maximum of 5 students. Acting students are included in selected productions at the Theater as part of their training. The theatre and the acting school collaborate on the planning and delivery of the curriculum, for example, in drama, film technique, physical movement, voice, etc.
International cooperation and guest performances: We also contribute to Greenlandic art and culture by engaging in international professional productions and collaborative projects. The theatre has, among other things, been a co-founder of Circus Effects Network, a Nordic cooperation that resulted in the ‘Toqqortat’ performance in 2014, the largest theatre production so far in Greenland, which was seen by more than half of the population of Nuuk. The theatre can engage in presenting various local, national and international guest performances.
Amateur theatre: We have an ongoing dialogue with theatre groups and cultural institutions across the country. Seminars for amateur theatre groups are organised by the theatre’s professional staff.
Administration: The National Theatre has 6 employees, including 2 in administration 3 in production and 1 leader of the actor’s training school. In connection with setting up of performances, tours and workshops, while temporary staff are hired on a contract basis: actors, directors, technicians, musicians, and so on.
In October 2011, Svenn B. Syrin became the first artistic director of The National Theatre. He retired in 2016, to be replaced by Susanne Andreasen.
The National’s director Susanne Andreasen on 2021 and beyond…
In 2021, Nunatta Isiginnaartitisisarfia (The National Theatre of Greenland) turns 10 years old and on that occasion we turn things upside-down – understood in the sense that we do not go on tour with a finished performance, but instead we travel around Greenland and create performances, shows and festivals together with and outside in each individual city. Even though the Corona virus still puts restrictions on our activities, we try to do as much as we can to mark this event with the whole country.
One of our goals is to go through with our KIINNAT FESTIVAL [‘kiinnat’ means ‘faces’ in Greenandic]. It’s a travelling festival that includes the local community in all cities we visit.
“If I sing a song to you, you sing a song to me or show me something else you are good at: bake a cake; maybe your grandmother is good at singing and you can bring her or bring your horse, do a trick with a tractor or a bucket – everyone does what they are best at. The horse is playing a horse, not a cow. The street man sweeps and does not perform summersaults, but he is good at sweeping. He uses beautiful movements; he has done it many times. ” – quote from THE THEATRE OF RECIPROCITY, written by Kai Bredholt from the Nordic Theatre Laboratory/Odin Teatret in Denmark.
Kiinnat Festival 2021 takes its model is taken from the Nordic Theater Laboratory, Odin Theatre’s cultural barter – a concept that has successfully travelled the world for many years. It is a close collaboration between the two theatres with the goal of establishing working relationships with the individual leisure inspectors, cultural centers and similarinstitutions around Greenland.
We aim for a very high degree of involvement of people in a joint project, which will create unity, pride and joy.
Per Kap Bech Jensen, Nordic Theater Laboratory/Odin Teatret’s director from 2021, has extensive experience in organising this type of cultural barter worldwide and is looking forward to collaborating with Greenland for the first time. “We know that there is a lot of creative urge and talent in Greenland and the strength of the project is that everyone can participate. The starting point is that everyone has a talent – something that they are good at! Our actors will act as facilitators and help bring out the best in everyone involved.
“Every time we do this work in a new country, we also learn something new, it is really exciting and it is a very real barter.”