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Dramatic for trouble – fiction or reality?

In a theater landscape where fiction is criticized and challenged – what makes one dictate what to say about reality?

The Norwegian Dramatic Festival is celebrating its 30 anniversary this year with ten selected playwrights. Strong names such as Kathrine Nedrejord, Sara Li Stensrud, Hanne Ramsdal and Linda Gabrielsen are behind this year's titles as Burnt Earth, Hans and Grete in Couple Therapy, Eight minutes og Release the Kings in the Garden.

Again, over a hundred writers have submitted scripts to be considered anonymously and selected by a jury of theater directors, actors and writers. The selected playwrights appear during the festival at Dramatiken's house 12. – 14. June this year. This is a festival founded to recruit writers to write for theater.

Why poetry? But why write for theater? Don't we have enough classics in the canon to fill an entire theater with reinterpretations and adaptations? Isn't theater a place that forces archaic forms and repeats old notions of power, women and social structures, among others? Why write fiction for the theater at all? Why not just bring in stories like from the street, from travel, from the newspapers, from the neighbor and from the workplace – why not just throw out the fiction and fill the theater with the real?

In the wake of documentary entry into the theater through, among other things, the theater collective Rimini Protokoll, the theater's use of fiction has been portrayed as its weakness, not its strength. It is as if theater in its utmost consequence has begun to excuse its form, and that the actor bends in the dust of shame and wants to reassure the audience that they are aware of how lying they are when they imagine and create in front of the audience.

Possible. . .

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