Judiska Teatern, 'Hundarna i Prag' Björn Granath, Niklas Ek, Agneta Ekmanner

The Jewish Theatre

The Jewish Theatre was from 1995 to 2015 situated in an old skittle alley in the royal park Djurgården in Stockholm. When the theatre left the building a new era entered. Today the Jewish Theatre exists through new initiatives taken by former artistic director and theatre manager Pia Forsgren and the Robert Weil Family Foundation.

In 1995 Robert Weil and Proventus asked director Pia Forsgren, at the time working at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, to join the Jewish Theatre. Before the creation of this institution there where several actors on the search for what could be a Jewish theatre, one of them was the producer and theatre woman Yvonne Rock. She was also part of laying the foundation for this next step. Pia Forsgren, in her new position as artistic director and theatre manager envisioned a challenging and experimental stage for the exploration of definitions of contemporary drama and performance. Under her leadership, the theatre specialized in integrating environments with its performances, making use of architecture, technology and live performers. Pia Forsgren started of with the performance ‘Savannah Bay’ by Marguerite Duras. Yvonne Rock stayed at the theatre until 1998.

Forsgren’s view of theatre moved into a series of intense mixed media performances drawing on music, sound and light as well as text. The theatre worked with existing plays, as well as specially commissioned pieces. The Jewish Theatre created works that continually reconfigured the theatre space. The productions of the Jewish Theatre used the whole of the building, blurring audience and performance space, abolishing not just the proscenium but also the mere idea of a stage. Departing from the traditional model of theatres that have to carry the weight of a permanent company, and a conventional model of long production runs, she mounted a wide variety of very different productions for short periods. She collaborated with writers, musicians and performers as well as video artists and dj:s. All presented in the intimate surroundings of the theatre to audiences sometimes numbered in hundreds rather than thousands, a privilege that was made possible by Proventus which freed it from the constraints of commercial theatre.

When Pia Forsgren and Proventus in 2015 announced that the actual theatre building at Djurgården would close, a new era entered.

The Jewish Theatre Archive

Salomone and Europa Rossi

The Siblings of Mantua

8 of September 2018 ‘The siblings of Mantua’, an newly written baroque opera premiered at Drottningholmsteatern’s world-unique 18th century stage. It was based on the true story about the Italian composer Salomone Rossi and his sister, the singer Europa Rossi. The ceators was Pia Forsgren and Maria Lindal, Music Director at Drottningholmsteatern. The libretto was written by Magnus Florin, Behnaz Aram created the costumes and Karin Mamma Andersson the set design. ‘The siblings of Mantua’ was a timeless tale of good and evil, of alienation and identity and of norms and passion. Andreas Edlund and Maria Lindal fused the very old baroque master pieces with new music by Djuro Zivkovic, in a totally new way. Salomone Rossi was an Italian composer, born in Mantua in 1570. His sister Europa was one of the world’s first professional female singers. The brother and sister lived in the Jewish ghetto and worked at the royal court where they where praised by the culture-loving Prince Gonzaga, whose favours opened doors to the city. Control, brutality and oppression were part of everyday life for Jews but also for women and dissidents. And, as in our present times, society hardened. The performance was a poetic representation in five tableaux of Salomone and Europa Rossi’s life. The Robert Weil Family Foundation was a proud supporter and partner of the production.