Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nordic Spirit - postmortem at a glance

So Nordic Spirit 2010 is officially over. *sigh of relief* This festival was the first Akvavit Theatre event, and it went as well as we could have hoped. Over the entire weekend, we had 250 people who generously gave their time and feedback, and that's not even including the actors, directors, and volunteers.

We'll be compiling our notes as well as the recordings of the post-show talk-backs. Anyone want to volunteer to transcribe the audio tapes? Tack! We're also keeping an eye out for other feedback about the event. Brendan McCall of Ensemble Free Theater Norway was gracious enough to moderate our post-show discussion for Verkeleg/Reality and recently posted his thoughts here.

Verkeleg is even being considered for other American theatre festivals after its introduction during Nordic Spirit, which, obviously, is very exciting for us. This is a big part of why we formed Akvavit - to get new Nordic plays in front of American audiences.

I forget sometimes, that not everyone has the same Nordic knowledge base as I do. The actors I worked with in the Danish and Icelandic plays mentioned that they knew very little to nothing about Nordic theatre. After the readings, I heard the following:

- Now I'm going to do research...
- I want to know more about Nordic theatre!
- Someone needs to do this play!
- I want to hear about what you're doing next.

Woohoo! So yeah, it feels good. Not only are we working to increase exposure of new plays and playwrights, but we're shining a spotlight on Nordic theatre. We're saying, "Hey Chicago, come take a look at this!" After this weekend, it sounds like Chicago may be interested in what we have to offer. I'm holding my thumbs...

Thanks again to all of the actors, directors, students, playwrights, translators, and scholars who made this festival happen. And a big thank you to everyone who attended! Festival photos and discussion notes are being compiled shortly. Stay tuned!

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