Johanne Dybwad

Also known as: Johanne Juell

Johanne Dybwad (born as Johanne Juell in 1867, dead 1950) was a Norwegian actress and director. She took the name of Dybwad when she married the writer Vilhelm Dybwad in 1891, and kept it after their divorce in 1916.

Johanne Dybwad made her debut at The National Stage in 1887 and got her breakthrough the next year as Fanchon in Little Fadette after the novel by George Sand. The same autumn this became her first role at Christiania Theater.

At Christiania Theater 1888-99 she performed a great repertoire, developing her artistic techniques. When The National Theatre of Norway opened in 1899, she had a standing as one of the most powerful and original actors in Norway, a position she kept throughout the next 40 years.

Except for the season of 1908-09 she was connected to The National Theatre for the rest of her career, but she did visiting performances in all the Nordic countries, went on her own tour to Hamburg and Berlin in 1907, and followed The National Theatre to Paris in 1937.


(Objekt ID 29517)
Object type Person
Also known as Johanne Juell
Born August 2, 1867 (dead March 4, 1950)
Functions Director, Actor
Nationality Norwegian
Gender Female

During her career Johanne Dybwad played most of Ibsen's female characters, including Signe in The Feast at Solhaug, the title role of Lady Inger, Solveig and Mother Aase in Peer Gynt, Nora in A Doll's House, Mrs. Alving in Ghosts and Rebecca West in Rosmersholm.

Her foremost Bjørnson roles were Klara Sang in Beyond Human Power 1 and Tora Parsberg in Paul Lange and Tora Parsberg; in Gunnar Heiberg's drama she played the title role of Aunt Ulrikke and Karen in Love's Tragedy AKA The Tragedy of Love. Further Lavinia in The Happy Choice and the title role of Wiers-Jenssen's The Witch were central characters in her Norwegian repertoire.

Of the classics she acted in plays including Euripides' Medea, a number of Shakespeare roles, plus Elizabeth in Schiller's Mary Stuart in Scotland. Of her roles in international contemporary drama Christine Mannon in O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra excelled.

Among the plays she directed were Euripides' Medea and Aristophanes' Lysistrata, Shakespeare plays such as As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear, Victor Hugo's Ruy Blas, Schiller's Mary Stuart in Scotland, Ibsen's Rosmersholm and Ghosts plus Nordahl Grieg's Barrabas and Our Power and Our Glory.

As Mother Aase in Peer Gynt, one of her most popular characters, Johanne Dybwad celebrated her 60th anniversary as an actress November 7 1947. Her last performance took place December 8 the same year.

In 1962 Per Ung's statue of Johanne Dybwad was revealed outside of The National Theatre, in the square carrying her name.


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