The International Ibsen Award 2009

The International Ibsen Award 2009

The International Ibsen Award honours an individual, institution or organisation that has brought new artistic dimensions to the world of drama or theatre. The committee consists of senior figures in the international theatre community. It was established by the Norwegian government in 2008, and amounts to 2.5 million NOK.

The winner of the 2009 award was Ariane Mnouchkine.

  • Ariane Mnouchkine

    Excerpt from the jury's English-language statement*:

    "Everyone who has seen one of Ariane Mnouchkine's productions at the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris leaves with the feeling of having been part of a tale of enchantment. A tale that is larger than life but at the same time reveals life. A fantastic journey that throws fresh light on history and contemporary society, that enriches thought and feeling and in dramatic language inspires an apparently paradoxical faith in the future.

    It is said that theatre originated in ritual. If so, Ariane Mnouchkine’s theatre is proof that the sources of ritual have not dried up. She gathers people around her in order to tell them stories of the great crises of civilisation, of long-ago battles and the persecution and desperation of refugees in our own time. Yet out of these tales of crisis and tragedy grows a strong, many would say utopian, community of experience between actors and audience.


    Ariane Mnouchkine and her fellow actors at the Théâtre du Soleil give us back what our seemingly hopeless world has taken from us: courage, compassion and joy."

    The full statement can be read at the webpage of Ibsen Awards,

    *The jury's English-language reason is expanded, compared to the Norwegian version of same. Sceneweb quotes the Norwegian-language version in full, and an excerpt in English, corresponding to the Norwegian version.