Urgent Drama - a series of digital scenes that reflect the state of the world right now
Urgent Drama was an effort in a crisis. In the same speed as the coronavirus spread across the globe, Folkteatern in Gothenburg, Sweden wanted to try to capture the state of the world. A mission to quickly gather about twenty short scenes by playwrights from all over the world, was put together.
The callout was distributed through networks with colleagues as well as through embassies. The task at hand: to write 2- 4 minutes of drama reflecting the current global crisis. All the possible resources within the theatre have been used: actors, stage technology, music, sound, and film. Most scenes have been shot at Folkteatern in Gothenburg, and a few in Stockholm with the help of Timmerfilm.
Every scene was given an artistic idea, with actors able to rehearse once before filming. The director, Frida Röhl, worked on video link from Stockholm. The scenes have been cut, edited and audio oriented simultaneously. Everything has been done in haste with little time for profound reflection.
A crisis demands action. The outcome were absurd, funny, touching, and poetic scenes with a wide range of stylistic variation - from relationship dramas to science fiction, and everything in between. Everyone involved have been brave and experimental and the work itself has been conducted in a playful manner. It is probably also in just that way the different scenes ought to be regarded - as fantasies and situations from across the world. Folkteatern is proud to present such a global variation.
The digital media can never replace a live experience. Folkteatern's art form is and will always be theatre. Those who write for us are playwrights who usually write for the stage. Perhaps this experiment may inspire to new ways of relating artisticly to the digital world. We are, however, in no way interested in replacing the unique experience which emerges between actors and audiences in the theatre.
The scenes were presented in spring 2020 on Folkteatern's digital platform Fjärde Scenen.
During the pandemic year we also provided live performances for a very small audience: “Dance of Death” by August Strindberg, “Arvet” by Alejandro Leiva Wenger and Cervantes’ “Don Quijote”. “Don Quijote” was presented as a humorous COVID meta-adaptation in different episodes: musical, puppet theater, reality show, radio theater, marathon reading and outdoor theater.
Folkteatern also initiated Jukebox: digital meetings with our actors playing short shows, live and directly for you only. “Dance of Death” will appear in a new suit next season; through VR technology, it will be possible to see the show at home in your own living room. Theater delivery coming up!
In the autumn of 2021 Folkteatern at last re-opens their large venue and hopes to welcome a full house again. Friedrich Schiller´s play “The Robbers” from 1782 is the main attraction of the season. Artistic director Frida Röhl welcomes the audience deep into the woods in an exciting stage room which also contains an open bar, lianer, and of course, youth rebellion.
Folkteatern also welcomes collaborative projects with playwrights and directors from Denmark and Chile: Liv Helm explores motherhood in Olga Ravn´s “Mitt Arbete” and Guillermo Calderón discusses Swedish social democracy in “Stortorget”. On top of this, the theatre will present the world premiere of a new adaptation of Chaplin’s “Modern Times” as a theatre performance.