Norwegian performing arts during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2022(726)
Sceneweb documents performing arts events and productions in Norway during the coronavirus pandemic, and we collect archival material from these in this gallery. Here, you may see photos and videos from productions performed during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2021. The period is counted from March 12 2020 onwards. If you wish to see an overview of repertoires performed during this time, you may enter the organisation or venue you are interested in, to have a look at its list of repertoire. You may also search for "corona-productions” in the left menue.
In 2020, we experienced the most significant crisis in Norway since World War II: The coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has caused a worldwide epidemic. The virus, stemming from Wuhan in China, came to Norway via Austria after the school break the winter of 2020, and in March, restrictive measures were established by the government.
March 12, 2020, the Norwegian government prohibited events gathering more than 50 persons. Schools and businesses were immediately closed. March 13, new restrictive measures were established: We could only gather in groups of maximum five persons, outdoors, provided that we held a distance of minimum two metres. Hairdressers, restaurants, and many shops closed. People were encouraged to work from home, and to avoid public transport if possible. Ski facilities were closed, and people were prohibited from leaving the municipality of their home. Borders were closed, and at a great scale, Norwegians who were in other parts of the world were flown home. The restrictions became stricter, and the result was a more or less complete shut-down of society.
March 13, 2020, all performing arts institutions and venues in Norway closed. National and international tours were cancelled. Employees were temporarily laid-off. Until further notice.
Artists quickly got innovative. The most readily measure was streaming and/or broadcasting of video productions of former performing arts productions. Det Andre Teatret AKA The Other Theatre went online as soon as the same weekend society shut down, streaming improvisational theatre. The Norwegian Theatre was also early in offering free online access to video productions. Other institutions and companies followed, with web-based offerings. At the end of April, we started to hear news of outdoors performances for a small number of spectators. The festival season was mostly cancelled, but several organisations arranged alternative web-based events, Vårscenefest (this year renamed as Vårskjermfest, switching the Norwegian word for stage with the Norwegian word for screen in its name) and Bergen International Festival among them.
In May, cautious reopening of Norwegian society started. From May 7 onwards, public events with a maximum of 50 attendees were permitted, provided that protective measures were maintained. Again, The Norwegian Theatre acted fast. May 7, the production for children called Yesper and Noper and Everyone Else was performed in the venue Scene 3, for a limited number of spectators.
At a new press conference May 4, the government announced that it would permit events with a maximum of 200 attendees from June 15 onwards, still on the condition that protective measures were followed. Most venues opened with full schedules after the end of summer, but with access only for a limited number of attendees due to national protection regulations. At the time of writing (early-November), the national limit of 200 is still the maximum, due to an increased number of infections.
Some regions faced a second lockdown in November-December 2020. Just before Christmas the vaccination program started. And after the Christmas holidays we experienced a national lockdown of the society. In February 2021 some regions were still experiencing lockdown due to the spreading of the English virus mutatuion, the borders were also closed for all travellers. The February-March wave was called the third wave, and was the worst wave for Norway in terms of the number of infected and hospitalizations.
Saturday 25th of September 2021 at 4pm Norway opened up. An optimism appeared in the cultural industry and among the public. Then the omicron variant of COVID-19 came to Norway, and we experienced another record in the number of infections and hospitalizations. On December 13th, the cultural arenas had to close again.
The country carefully opened the cultural venues during January 2022 and in mid-February it was again allowed to fill the venues!