This edition of Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival feels quite special. On March 11, 2020, while we were moving towards the final weekend of the festival, we had to put everything on hold, cancel the remaining shows and see the international artists return home – some of them before they had even reached the stage. That day marked the very beginning of two years of pandemic – of uncertainty, vulnerability and challenges. Many had to experience loss in various degrees: loss of close relatives, loss of a job, loss of income, loss of touring, loss of collaborations, loss of social encounters.
After an “online and at home” edition of the festival in 2021, we are grateful to finally be able to gather again in real life. This year, we can host international artists as well as Norwegian ones, as restrictions are lifted and the society is gradually opening up. Grasping how precious this moment is, this edition of the festival aims at celebrating collectiveness and togetherness, and to open up sensorial, sensitive and political perspectives.
Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival 2022 circulates around different forms of the collective. What does it mean to be together; as a choir, a band, a group, an assembly or in an intimate setting? What is the potential of the collective? Can one experience a sense of belonging in such a temporary community? How are you invited to join as an audience?
Several performances propose a dialogue between voices that belong to the present and the past, between the living and the dead, the performers and the audience. They convey a polyphony of bodies questioning norms and structures; and the stories of multiple identities and political bodies that have been excluded. Several artists throw a contemporary and current look upon history. The program also invites us to explore how individuals and the society, as well as bodies and places, interact. It unfolds the multiple possibilities when establishing relations – with resonance, dissonance, frictions, unison or symbiosis.
After months spent online, shaped by time efficiency and repetitive tempo, we reopen the festival with contrasting experiences of time and rhythm. The program is framed tightly, with fewer productions compared to the past editions. This way, we offer a smooth restart, allow space for breathing and rejoin gradually. This edition will begin with a gentle bang, with productions that carry emotions, frenzyness and vibrancy – a way for us to energize our bodies and minds. Gradually, the festival will dive into intimacy and slow motion, allowing deceleration and meditative spaces, before wrapping up with a sparkling closing party.
For this “reopening” edition, we present artists with whom we have had a long term collaboration over the past years – paying tribute to the value of faithfulness – as well as some who had visited Black Box teater recently with only one production or last year with a project online. This will be an opportunity to continue the conversations that were initiated with them and discover multiple facets of their work.
We are looking forward to being gathered for performances, seminars, talks, workshops and small chats. In asserting that a festival is vital as a meeting place, we wish that we – all together – may shape possible futures. Perhaps the different experiences we share together will contribute to an open and curious community during the festival – and hopefully after, too.
Let's join, enjoy, share, talk, question and spread!
Artistic & General Director