Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)

Also known asOslo Nye
Organisation typeProducing
Main focusTheatre, Children and youths, Puppetry
Established1 Sep. 1959
WebsiteOslo Nye Teater

About Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) is a modern capital city theatre. It is located in the city centre of Oslo, consisting of four venues located in three separate buildings: the main stage Oslo Nye Hovedscenen (literal: Oslo New Main Stage) (Rosenkrantzgate 10), Oslo Nye Centralteatret (literally: Oslo New Central Theatre) (Akersgata 38) with Teaterkjeller'n (literally. The Theatre Basement) in the basement, and Oslo Nye Trikkestallen (literally: Oslo New Tram Stall) (Torshovgata 33).

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) was established in 1959, when Det Nye Teater (literally: The New Theatre) and Folketeatret (literally: The People's Theatre) merged.

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More about Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre)

As of now, Oslo Nye Teater AS is a limited liability company fully owned by the municipality of Oslo.

The history of Det Nye Teater:

The limited liability company Det Nye Teater was established November 20 1918, after an initiative by the writers Johan Bojer and Peter Egge, and with the Norwegian nation as the major shareholder. The aim was to support recently written Norwegian drama.

In 1924 the theatre bought land in the street of Rosenkrantzgate, no. 10, to build a theatre venue. Architects Gudolf Blakstad and Jens Dunker designed it, and the cornerstone was laid down in 1927. The theatre opened February 26 1929, when At the Gate of the Kingdom, the first part of a trilogy by Hamsun, was performed. The next two evenings Hamsun's The Game of Life and Sunset Glow followed.

Because of economic struggles the theatre gave up the Norwegian drama idea after a couple of seasons, and in 1937 the enterprise was taken over by a new company, the limited liability company called AS Scenekunst (AS Performing Arts), founded by the actor Victor Bernau. With this, Det Nye Teater became a privately owned entertainment theatre.

Not until 1947 the then leader of the theatre, Axel Otto Normann, returned to the original artistic aim. At the time the repertoire consisted of classic plays, modern Norwegian and international drama, entertainment pieces, operettas and operas. During this period of time the theatre was supported economically by the municipality of Oslo.

Heads of AS Det Nye Teater:
1928-1931: Ingolf Schanche
1931-1932: Thomas Thomassen
1932-1933: Gyda Christensen
1933-1934: Einar Sissener
1934-1935: Hjalmar Fries
1935-1936: Gyda Christensen
1936-1937: Einar Sissener, partly in collaboration with Fridtjof Mjøen.

Heads of AS Scenekunst:
1937-1939: Victor Bernau
1939: Otto Carlmar (for a few months)
1939-1945: Gyda Christensen, partly in collaboration with Hjalmar Fries
1945-1947: Tore Foss
1947-1959: Axel Otto Normann

The history of Folketeatret:

In 1929 the architects Christian Morgenstierne and Arne Eide were hired to design a theatre building for Folketeatret, which was at the time a recently established theatre association. The building was finished in 1935, located by the central square Youngstorget in Oslo.

The auditorium had 1200 seats, but for a long time it was used as a cinema (screening films, not showing live theatre) because of economic difficulties. The actual theatre activity did not start until 1952, with Aunt Ulrikke as the opening performance, while Dukketeatret (literally: The Puppetry), a sub-department of Folketeatret, had its first premiere with Gjete kongens harer* (Shepherding the hares of the King) January 17 1953.

In 1959 Folketeatret merged with Det Nye Teater. At the same time the then newly established opera, The Norwegian Opera, took over the responsibility for the venue by Youngstorget.

Heads of Folketeatret:
1952-1955: Hans Jacob Nilsen
1955-1959: Jens Gundersen

The history of Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre):

September 1 1959 AS Scenekunst, managing Det Nye Teater, merged with Folketeatret in establishing a new company, the limited liability company Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre). The initiative had been taken by the municipality of Oslo.

The first few years as Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre), the theatre was managed by the limited liability company Teaterselskapet AS (literally: The Theatre Company), in which the companies AS Folketeatret, AS Scenekunst and the municipality of Oslo each had two representatives on the board. Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) had prolonged the contracts of almost all the actors from the two former companies. The theatre chose to use the venue in the street of Rosenkrantzgate as its headquarters, but it also happened that the old facilities of Folketeatret (now, formally, taken over by The Norwegian Opera) were borrowed back.

In 1967 the company reorganised, and the municipality of Oslo was made fully responsible for the economy of the theatre. From 1986 to 1999 the government contributed funds, in collaboration with the municipality, but in 1999 the municipality of Oslo was again fully responsible for the theatre economy.

The puppetry department Dukketeatret, which had been given the name Oslo Nye Teater – Dukketeatret (literally: Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) - The Puppetry), was provided with facilities of its own from 1966, in the department of Oslo City Museum at Frogner. Here the puppetry company was based until February 2003, when the move to the old tram stalls in the borough of Torshov took place. At the same time the company changed its name into Oslo Nye Trikkestallen (literally: Oslo New Tram Stall).

From 1971 Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre) has used Centralteatret (literally: The Central Theatre) in the street of Akersgata as a second venue. This building, too, has theatre traditions going back to earlier times: Different theatre companies have used the same location since the establishment of Det Dramatiske Selskab (literally: The Dramatic Society) was established in 1780. The current venue was constructed in 1826 and reconstructed in 1897. Later it was rented to companies and theatres including The Norwegian Theatre and The National Theatre, and for many years it was managed by the theatre family Otto.

Heads of Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre):

1959-1962: Axel Otto Normann
1962-1967: Mentz Schulerud
1967-1978: Toralv Maurstad
1979-1984: Barthold Halle
1985-1988: Per Theodor Haugen
1989-1996: Janken Varden
1996-2001: Kjetil Bang-Hansen
2002-2009: Svein Sturla Hungnes
2010-2013: Catrine Telle
From 2014: Kim Bjarke


Store Norske Leksikon, http://snl.no/Oslo_Nye_Teater and http://snl.no/Folketeatret

Oslo Nye Teater (Oslo New Theatre), http://www.oslonye.no/om_teatret/historikk/

Sceneweb on The Hedda Award 2000, www.sceneweb.no, 12.11.2012, http://www.sceneweb.no/en/awarding/23919/Heddaprisen_2000-2000

*Not yet translated into English. The title within parentheses is the Norwegian title's literal meaning.