Introducing Vigeland Tales

On Tuesday Night, the 2nd year students of TITAN Teaterskole (in Oslo, Norway) will perform a piece called “Vigeland Tales”. This is a self generated piece, which I have directed. Though I am directing, the piece is largely the making of the students. They are the chief creators in this process. I have given them a structure and help shape their creations into something cohesive.

We have chosen to use Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures in Frogner Parken, here in Oslo, as a source of inspiration from which to create.

Gustav Vigeland is and was Norway’s national sculptor. His park encompasses a land mass of over 300,000 square meters and contains over 200 sculptures. He was given some of the most prime real-estate in Oslo as a canvas. We asked ourselves, “Why”? What is it about Vigeland that moves people so much? Why is he so good? What do we, as artists, get out of his work and how can we use that information and inspiration with which to create something new? It is my belief that Vigeland understand universality in art and had a profound perspective and understanding of the human condition.

We too are exploring universality in art and are exploring how to create “something from nothing”. The students have been given no resources whatsoever and no usual time to find resources. Instead, they must create a piece of theatre within one week and with only the resources they have at hand–themselves. They must use their imaginations, impulses and bodies and should communicate what they believe Gustav Vigeland’s work to be about, for them personally. They were encouraged to tell their personal stories, as we want them to learn to create meaningful works of art, (work that they as creative artists can personally identify with). We want them to identify with their work so that they increase the chances of an audience identifying with it.

In this amazing park in the heart of Marjorstuen in Oslo, you will see sculptures in various “poses”. Those poses are so very life-like. Though they are all proportionately large and a little rounded and some float in trees as though in a dream and children reach into the belly of the wolf, they depict scenes from human life that any person, regardless of their race, sex or age can identify with and get something from.

We often ask the students to ask of themselves, “What is theatre”? Simply put, an act of theatre is an experience involving at least one actor and one audience member. We have chosen to define this work of theatre as a dreamscape and have attempted to create such for you.

We hope you enjoy the piece.

Jim Hart

Vigeland Tales will perform at 7pm on Tuesday, December 14 at TITAN Teaterskole. This night will be a double billing. Following “Vigeland Tales” the students of TITAN will present an event of “One Day Theatre”, a process of playmaking from creation of script to realization of production, which takes place in only a brief 24 hours.

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