The Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC) introduces a new generation of Nordic playwrights in a series of staged readings
representing Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
Remember Me/Muista minut
Written by Minna Nurmelin (Finland, 2012), translated by Eva Buchwald (U.S.), and directed by Drew O’Kane (U.S.). Helena, a photographer in her thirties, decides to sell her home after a difficult divorce. Her real estate agent Anna, a single woman in her fifties, comes to see the apartment, but their negotiations never get underway: Anna is in the early stages of dementia and Helena cannot stop wallowing in her broken marriage.
Both women are at turning points in their lives as they face the future. With help from each other, they tackle life’s big questions in attempt to regain control.
Offset by sharp dialogue and off-beat humor, Remember Me is a highly perceptive, unconventional tragicomedy about painful life experiences and a moving, yet light-hearted probe into the recesses of the human psyche.
About the playwright
Minna NurmelinMinna Nurmelin is a freelance playwright and director from Helsinki, Finland. In 1999 she graduated from the Theater Academy at the University of Arts Helsinki with a M.F.A. in Directing.
The themes found in Nurmelin’s work often revolve around female identity, abandonment, and the need for love, ranging in style from physically visual to minimalistic, dialogue-based theater. Women confront the most vulnerable aspects of themselves and one another in her plays, facing up to personal tragedies, memories, and emotions. All of this the playwright and director depicts with keen humor, even when a situation appears to be nothing less than desperate.
In recent years Nurmelin has shifted her artistic method from group-based work to independent playwriting and directing. Her first play, The Woman Who wanted to Faint/Nainen joka halusi pyörtyä (2010), is a series of amusing sketches about women’s sexuality. Co-authored by Annu Volanen, Harvala (2012), the work that followed is the tale of three sisters gathered around their mother’s deathbed – a poetic study of the joys and anguish of family relationships. Remember Me premiered at the Open Doors Theater in Helsinki (2012) and was widely popular with audiences and critics. Dreamteam, her latest work (2014), takes an ironic look at the vagaries of employment, life management, and modern therapy.
About the director
Drew O’Kane studied acting at the William Esper Studio and earned his B.A. in Film Studies from Boston College. As a part of SATC, O’Kane oversees the hiring of crew and casting for each of SATC’s productions and produces SATContemporary Reading Series. Within SATC he has also worked as a Director, Stage Manager, Assistant Director, and Production Manager.
The Baroness – Karen Blixen’s Final Affair/Om Baronessen
Written by Thor Bjørn Krebs (Denmark, 2011), translated by Kim Dambæk (Denmark), and directed by Henning Hegland (Norway). In 1948, at the age of 62, Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), author of Out of Africa, met the 29-year-old poet Thorkild Bjørnvig. Newly married, Bjørnvig had recently made his successful publishing debut. The two shared a powerful, dangerous, and intimate friendship for six years before it fell apart.
Full of tension and poetry and inspired by anecdotes, letters, and books by and about Blixen and Bjørnvig, The Baroness is playwright Kreb’s provocative, free interpretation of the relationship between the two – a relationship that was both platonic and sexually-charged and that questioned and challenged the role and nature of the artist.
The play premiered to rave reviews in 2011 at Folkteatret in Copenhagen and was nominated for Play of the Year at the 2012 Danish Theater Awards. The reading at Scandinavia House will feature a special guest artist from Denmark to be announced at later date.
About the playwright
Thor Bjørn Krebs (b. 1974) is a Danish actor, director, and playwright. He made his debut as a playwright and director at Theater Grob in 2000 with The Art of Maintaining a Father/Kunsten at vedligeholde en far. His About Tommy (2003) focused on the experiences of Danish soldiers serving in U.N. Peacekeeping forces and toured throughout Denmark, played at the TheaterSchaubühne in Berlin, and was well-received at the Red Stitch Actors Theatre in Melbourne. The Baroness, Krebs’ twelfth play, established his success as a playwright. Krebs is also a three-time Reumert (the Danish Theater Award) nominee for Best Playwright.
About the director
Henning HeglandHenning Hegland is a founding member of SATC and serves as its Co-Artistic Director and Director of Development. He has worked as a director and performer in the U.K. and across the U.S. since 1997. Hegland’s work ranges from devising new performances, to opera, to re-contextualizing classic masterpieces. He is the recipient of a Wallenberg Award and has received grants from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and the Schubert Foundation. Hegland holds an M.A. in Devised Theater from Dartington College of Arts and an M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University School of the Arts.
About Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC)
SATC is a collective of theater artists founded to provide Scandinavian perspectives through the new generation of Scandinavian playwrights and theater artists. SATC presents contemporary plays and inventive takes on the classics from the Nordic region.
SATC is committed to strengthening the relationship between Scandinavia and the United States through collaborations and interdisciplinary artistic exchange that examine and challenge the cultural status quo.
About the director
MON – 3-30-2015 – 8:00 PM