Oslo International Acting Festivals theme this year is Nordic Profiles – teachers and stage performers who in various ways reflects Nordic diversity of performative strategies and acting techniques. Both new and more established methods are discussed, ranging from a physical to more textual or spatial oriented approaches. As always there will be conferences, debates and workshops. Welcome to the festival!




Program OIAF2015

Click the image to view the program full size.

Program PDF for print



Carolina Pizarro: Odin Teatret – physical and vocal techniques
Per Nordin: Yat technique – Movement for actors
Karmenlara Ely and Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk: Materialist Strategies for athletes
Ville Sandqvist: Intellect and emotions in physical life
Gianluca Iumiento: Interaction Technique – Space strategies for actors
Tore Vagn Lid: Acting Within New Dramaturgical Structures




Carolina Pizarro: Odin Teatret – physical and vocal techniques

Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark has since the 1960s been central within anthropological theatre. Odin Teatret has conveyed a multitude of techniques and methods through travel and research activity, often inspired by non-European methods. Carolina Pizarro has been associated with Odin for years and has particular experience in Indian theatre. The workshop is a part of Grotowski Institute’s project ‘BodyCONSTITUTION… Julia Varley will introduce the Odin Teatret movie The Conquest of Difference for all participants Friday night.


Per Nordin: Yat technique – Movement for actors

Yat acting technique was developed by the Swedish dancer and acting teacher Gert Malmgren, based on Rudolf Laban’s dance pedagogy. Central to the technique Moving Psychology is an understanding of that movement is controlled by unconscious processes that we are aware and can take advantage of. Yat has been central at the Gothenburg University where Per Nordin has taught the technique for years.


Karmenlara Ely and Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk: Materialist Strategies for athletes

Karmenlara Ely focuses on “the hidden life of things” and how objects communicate different universes. Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk introduces a practice where the text is understood as “things”. The course discusses intimacy through the encounter with things and how they invoke ethical action: demands of relationship, responsibility and listening in practical work. Both teachers prefer alternating on experience of performing arts and other performative art fields.


Ville Sandqvist: Intellect and emotions in physical life

Ville Sandqvist is a Finnish Actor and director and Professor at the Academy of Theatre at the University of Helsinki. Sandqvist has researched the educational legacy of Stanislavski and has extensive knowledge of Russian acting techniques. The workshop focuses on the visible expression of the actor, on what is communicatied in the moment and how the actor physically and rhetorically interacts with the audience.


Gianluca Iumiento: Interaction Technique – Space strategies for actors

Gianluca Iumiento is the BA Acting Programme Coordinator at the Academy of Theatre, Oslo National Academy of the Arts. His Interaction technique is a method that aims to increase the actor’s awareness of their own behaviour and their patterns of behaviour, to be able to expand these. Central in his work is room strategy; every human being has a certain way to relate to others in a room. As actors we must broaden our strategies, learn new ones and always be flexible and in a continuous process.


Tore Vagn Lid: Acting Within New Dramaturgical Structures (one day / all participants)

Tore Vagn Lid is the Artistic Director of the Transit Theatre in Bergen and a Professor at the Academy of Theatre, Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He has also received a major research grant from the The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme with his project “Knowledge and skills for a post-dramatic theatre”. His focus on the performer is often linked to musicality and rhythm in a theatre universe where the elements often are equal. Tore Vagn Lid’s workshop is one day only and open to all.



Oslo International Acting Festival is divided into three main different moments and daily phases:

Interviews and debates

From 11–12. Every day a dedicated interview will introduce one of the festival guests. The interview will be conducted by one of the festival Curators, Øystein Stene. Such conversation has the goal to present and clarify the artistic research of each one of the guests, underlining the unicity of both thoughts and practice behind a specific aesthetic.

From 12 – 13. After a short break a panel conducted by the other festival curator Gianluca Iumiento will create an open debate between the different guests present in the manifestation. The goal of such conversation is to create a theoretical platform of research where each guest will have to put his/her competence in dialogue with new artistic themes and problems, often outside or not directly related to his/her specific area of aesthetic interest. The debates change in structure and formula from year to year trying to match and mirror the festival’s theme. This year debates will look for an high grade of interactivity and experimentation with the audience.

Workshops and Rehearsals 

From 14–18, Every day a session dedicated to the practical research and experimentation. Each workshop or rehearsal will focus on a specific way of working, acting technique, performance approach or defined theatrical aesthetic. The workshops will be guided by one of the invited acting coaches, performers or artists. Each class will be composed by a maximum of 16 participants and the seminars will take place in the facilities of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and at the Norwegian Actor Center.

Shows, performances and artists talks

From 19–23. During some of the festival’s seven nights, these sessions will present encounters with performances of the students, lectures and artists talks.


Parties, awards and other activities

On the first and last night of the festival, the event will offer an opening party and closing party. The closing night of the festival will also be the occasion to award the best norwegian freelancer actor of the year and the life achievement in pedagogical research in the field of acting and performance of one of the festival guests.



As part of the 2015 Oslo International Acting Festival in co-production with Dramatikkens hus OIAF will host the Norwegian version of the theater format CON_TESTO. CON_TESTO is a 24 hour theatre marathon based on the idea of creating an instant theatre event. The format is conceived by Bruno Fornasari in collaboration with Tommaso Amadio. The OIAF 2015 edition of CON_TESTO will be supervised directly by Bruno Fornasari.

5 theater groups (composed by 1 director, 1 playwright and 5 actors) will each create a 10 minute play based on current events, secretly chosen from recent worldwide news. The result will be a theatrical newspaper frontpage, a one-hour show, consisting in 5 short plays, that will present the audience with 5 significant news stories told through the magnifying and critical lens of theatre! Entertainment and reflection on our contemporary world are the key  to this italian format that combines an artistic approach to journalism objectivity, and has been produced at Teatro Filodrammatici in Milan since 2012.

On Saturday August the 29th after the conference session at KHIO 25 participants at Oslo International Acting Festival will be choose by draw to participate in the Oslo edition of Con_Testo. The 25 actors will then be associate to 5 directors and playwrights by draw and then the 5 groups will be associate to one of the news selected.

At the end of this process 5 groups formed by 5 actors, 1 director and 1 playwright each with 5 different news will start working on an play of 10 minutes length that will be performed as part of the closing event of Oslo International Acting Festival on Sunday August the 30th at Dramatikkenshus. Each group will be assigned a room where they will be able to rehearse for 24 hours from 3:00 pm of Saturday August the 29th to 3:00 pm of Sunday August the 30th. The rest of the festival participants will continue normally their activity in the workshops and will attend the show on Sunday evening as audience.



In 2013 the festival’s theme was “the audience”. The festival tried to question, problematize, explore and research performance approaches and acting techniques related to the audience: What happens when the audience is included from an early development stage of the performance? How can an actor train and strengthen his/her abilities to interact with the audience? How can a performance be created without losing focus from the audience in the rehearsal phase? What does the statement “enter into a dialogue with the audience” actually mean? How can a performer become aware of the audience role? Do different aesthetics need different audiences? Is the history of theater and performance also the history of audience perception? To what grade is the artist to change the world of the audience and to what grade is the audience to change the world of the performance? 



program oiaf oppdatert 11.4




Click the image to view the program full size.



Performativity and the audience: Richard Schechner
Political activism: The Yes Men
Audience as impulse: Laurent Chetouane
Audience as concept: Fix & Foxy
Theatre of the oppressed: Gisella Mendoza
Lecture performance: Veronika Bökkelmann



Performativity and the audience
Richard Schechner – The first director of the legendary Wooster groups and one of the most central theoreticians and practitioners in American performance studies. Schechner has written a number of important books on performativity, theatre and society, and is today professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York. The workshop will be centered around the relationship between the actor, the theatre and the audience. More


Political activism
The Yes Men – American activist group who often hit the news pretending to speak on behalf of large corporations. Through this method, they have several times raised important issues in the media. One example was their stunt on CNN where they pretended to be spokesmen for Dow Chemical, making statements about their poisoning of rivers in India. This is a workshop about political activism using the tools of the actor and the theatre, and about invisible theatre as an activist strategy. More


Audience as impulse
Laurent Chetouane – Originally a French choreographer, he now directs shows on all continents. Chetouane has become famous for making performances that demand the actor to listen intensely, both to the other actors and to the audience. A workshop about letting the actor’s impulse for text and action arise from the dialogue with the audience. More


Audience as concept
Fix & Foxy – This Danish theatre company use the audience as the starting point for their innovative performance concepts. Both their staging of Leni Riefenstahls Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the will” with the audience playing the masses and their version of “Pretty Women” where they hired an actual prostitute for the night, and got her to play the main part, received considerable attention in Denmark. A workshop about developing concept based, audience oriented performances. More


Theatre of the oppressed
Gisella Mendoza – South American theatre maker who worked closely with Augusto Boal developing the theatre of the oppressed. The so called «forum theatre» had pedagogical and political aims, exploring the possibility of participating in society and changing it, seeking to empower the public. The workshop deals with how the audience can become an active, acting part of a theatre performance. More


Lecture performance
Veronika Bökkelmann – Bökkelmann is a German theatre artist who has produced a number of documentary and site specific performances in Europe and South America. A lecture performance is a genre which combines the aesthetics and purpose of theatre and lectures. The form makes the audience into recipients of knowledge as much as of an aesthetic experience. The workshop will focus on the production of lecture performances and site-specific documentary theatre. More


For videos from 2013, follow this YouTube link.




The 2012 Oslo International Acting Festival had focus on a confrontation between the System of Constantin Stanislavsky – used in the school as the main pedagogical approach – with other German and American acting traditions. From America, the derivation of Stanislavsky’s ideas with Micheal Chechov, and the two most important personalities of the Group Theater, Sanford Meisner and Lee Strasberg, and from the new groundbreaking ideas from German theater tradition such as Brecht and post-dramatic approaches.


Program Oslo International Acting Festival 2012

Click the image to view the program full size.



From the CONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKY acting system: Hans Henriksen (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo – Oslo National Academy of the Arts).

From the MICHAEL CHEKOV technique: Lenard Petit (Michael Chekov Acting Studio, New York)

From GOB SQUAD theater group: Gob Squad (Berlin, Germany)

From the LEE STRASBERG technique, “The Method”: Ed Setrakian (Actors’ Studio, New York)

From the BERTOLT BRECHT tradition: Michael Keller and Harald Fuhrmann (Ernst Bush Acting School, Berlin)

From the SANFORD MEISNER technique: William Esper (William Esper Studio, New York)

From the ACTING TRAINING AS ARTISTIC RESEARCH – the withdrawal of technique: Karmenlara Ely (Norwegian Theater Academy, Østfold University College)



HANS HENRIKSEN has his directing education from The National Academy of Theatre Art, St.Petersburg. Together with the Russian director and pedagogue Irina Malochevskja he played a major role in building up a new pedagogical model of the directing and acting education in the Academy of theater at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Hans Henriksen is now a professor and works as a director in Norway and abroad.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Hans Henriksen

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate

LENARD PETIT director of the Michael Chekov Acting Studio in New York, Petit works as a director, actor and acting trainer. His productions are well-known the world over. Petit is one of the Michael Chekov method’s most ardent practitioners. He has taught at Rutgers University, the Theatre of Art in Moscow, the International School for Film and Television in Munich, and the University of Helsinki.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Lenard Petit

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate

GOB SQUAD is a group of UK and German artists, started in 1994 in Nottingham, but now more or less based in Berlin. Gob Squad is an artist collective, the 7 core members working collaboratively on the concept, direction and performance of their work. Gob Squad try and explore the point where theatre meets art, media and real life. As well as theatres and galleries, they place their work at the heart of urban life – in houses, shops, underground stations, car parks, hotels or directly on the street. Everyday life and magic, banality and utopia, reality and entertainment are all set on a collision course and the audience is often asked to step beyond their traditional role as passive spectators and bear witness to the results.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Gob Squad coming up..

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate coming up…

ED SETRAKIAN has a long career as an Off-Broadway and regional theatre director. For two years he was director of the La Mama Ensemble. He directed several major productions at the Actors Studio where he is the head of the playwrights and director unit. He wrote and directed the documentary THE GROWTH OF OUR CHILDREN. Mr. Setrakian is a veteran actor with many credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in film and TV. Ed Setrakian has a P.h.D. in Performance Studies from NYU.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Ed Setrakian

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate

Prof. Michael Keller graduated in drama and education. He worked as an actor and director at various theaters in Germany and in film and television. 
Since 1981 he works as a lecturer at the School of Dramatic Arts “Ernst Busch” in Berlin. Since 1996 he has been professor and for 13 years also head of the drama department. For 16 years he has taught the so-called “improvisation and basic course” for the students in the 
freshman year. 
For 20 years he has been coaching actors from film and television, given master classes all over the world, and been a recognized trainer for lawyers, managers and executives from politics and economy.

HARRY FUHRMANN ended his theatrical studies in 1995 at the Academy of Music and Theatre Hamburg and worked for several years as an actor at various theaters in Germany. From 1998–2002 he studied directing at the Academy of Dramatic Art, Ernst Busch in Berlin. 
In 2004 he founded the “Flying Fish” Theatre Group, and he has also worked in theaters as the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Neues Theater Halle, Staatstheater Mainz, Theater Bern, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Staatstheater Cottbus, Theater Baden-Baden and Theater Augsburg. He is theatrical lecturer at the School of Dramatic Arts “Ernst Busch” Berlin.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Michael Keller and Harry Fuhrmann

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate coming up

WILLIAM ESPER, a member of the team of Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse of New York, Esper founded his own studio in 1965. He has taught in both inside the United States and internationally, and has directed the acting program of Rutgers University’s Mason School of the Arts. He currently works as an art director and is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with William Esper

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate

DR. KARMENLARA ELY is the Artistic Director of the Acting program at Norwegian Theater Academy in Fredrikstad. Karmenlara has a Phd in Performance Studies where she studied under Richard Schechner, Barbara Browning and Peggy Phelan, among others.She has a broad pedagogical from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she has also been an part of the historic Spiderwoman Theater based in New York City. Heavily influenced by her experience as a dancer and physical performer in both festival and stage genres, her topics of inquiry examine the critical role of the body in taboo breaking and the complexities of erotic pleasure in the creation of art.

youtube-transparent-logo Interview with Karmenlara Ely

youtube-transparent-logo Following debate





ENCEPA- Expanded territories


Dramatikkens hus

Den norske filmskolen

Akademiet for scenekunst, Høgskolen i Østfold

Black Box teater

Norsk filminstitutt