Diversity on the Norwegian Stage: Whose Story is it Anyway?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordic Theatre Studies. 2014, 25 34-45.
The article proposes that non-hierarchical participatory models in the lineage of communitybased arts practice might offer interesting strategies for mainstream, professional Norwegian theatre today. The article argues that the P:UNKT project at Akershus Theatre initiated with the purpose of supporting integration in the region, offered a significant opportunity for the professional, state-funded theatre to enhance its relationship with the population. The research study demonstrates that the P:UNKT project entailed several dilemmas and tensions embedded in the social-cultural context that was challenging to negotiate. The analysis of the different perspectives involved will demonstrate that the project was not only potentially transformative for the non-professional participants but also for the host theatre itself. Through P:UNKT the theatre developed new ways of creating relationship and collaboration with the population in the region. This strengthened the audience infrastructure and the connectedness with the community. The article argues that the project potentially offered an opportunity for Akershus Theatre to develop innovative practice and to redefine its own purpose as an arts institution in a multicultural Norway in the twenty-first century. Key words applied are: theatre, cultural democracy, participatory collaboration models and diversity in a Norwegian cultural-political context.