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Mon, May 06

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Segal Theatre

INTO THE EVERYDAY AND EXISTENTIAL: Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse’s Texts for Performance in New York, 2004 to the present

The Segal Center presents a durational event: five plays from Jon Fosse in collaboration with Oslo Elsewhere, with support from The Royal Norwegian Consulate General.

INTO THE EVERYDAY AND EXISTENTIAL:   Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse’s Texts for Performance in New York, 2004 to the present
INTO THE EVERYDAY AND EXISTENTIAL:   Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse’s Texts for Performance in New York, 2004 to the present

Time & Location

May 06, 2024, 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Segal Theatre, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA

Guests

About the event

Into the Everyday and Existential:  Jon Fosse’s Texts for Performance in New York, 2004 to the Present

Monday, May 6

The Segal Theatre

11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Ongoing engagement and experiments throughout the day. Come and go as you please.

Join us for an all-day event to hear readings of five plays by 2023 Nobel Laureate Jon Fosse, in their American English translations. The Norwegian playwright was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.” While much of the American literary world knows Fosse’s prose, his theatrical texts are what shaped his career and made him relevant around the world.

Oslo Elsewhere co-founders Anna Gutto and Sarah Cameron Sunde reunite twenty years after they produced the U.S. debut production of Fosse’s work in New York City, to revisit and experiment anew. New York actors will start at 11 AM reading across a 10 hour duration in the center of the Segal Theatre. Audience will be seated in the round, and invited to engage in Jon Fosse’s texts in multiple forms. At 6:30 PM, there will be a panel discussion with Sunde, Gutto and others to be announced, moderated by Frank Hentschker, followed by the final reading of deathvariations. All plays translated by Sarah Cameron Sunde.

Altogether, Oslo Elsewhere premiered three of Jon Fosse’s plays in New York (Night Sings Its Songs, deathvariations, Sa Ka La). Sunde went on to translate and direct A Summer Day and Dream of Autumn, for Rattlestick at The Cherry Lane Theatre in New York and Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh, respectively, and she is currently working on a translation and directorial concept for Fosse’s newest play.

This event is conceptualized and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde and Anna Gutto; curated by Frank Hentschker; and presented by The Martin E. Segal Theater Center in collaboration with Oslo Elsewhere, with support from The Royal Norwegian Consulate General. 

Schedule (subject to change)

11:00 AM 

Night Sings Its Songs

1:00 PM 

Sa Ka La

2:30 PM

A Summer Day

4:30 PM

Dream of Autumn

6:30 PM 

Panel discussion

With Anna Gutto, Sarah Cameron Sunde, more to be announced; moderated by Merve Emre (The New Yorker, Wesleyan University).   

8pm 

deathvariations

The cast will be an ensemble of actors, including some original cast members alongside other NYC leading performers, to be announced.

** Throughout May, we are encouraging theaters around the country to do in-house readings of one of these translated plays. Send an email to osloelsewhere@gmail.com to request the translations and sign up to participate.

Biographies:

JON FOSSE was born in 1959 in the Norwegian coastal town of Haugesund in Western Norway and made his debut as a fiction writer in 1983 with the novel Raudt, Svart. In 1985 came the novel Stängd Gitar. The first collection of poems Engel med Vatn i Augene was published in 1986. Fosse made his debut as a playwright in 1993 with the play And We Shall Never Be Separated, a commission from Den Nationale Scene in Bergen where it was first performed in 1994. The big breakthrough as a playwright came with the play Someone is Going tol Come in 1996 and then followed with a series of plays such as A Summer’s Day, Night Sings Its Songs, Dream of Autumn and Deathvariations. Jon Fosse soon became one of Europe's most performed playwrights, translated into more than forty languages, and his plays have been staged nearly 900 times worldwide. Although today Fosse is best known as a playwright, he has always continued to write fiction, such as The Septology, Fosse's most extensive work to date.  Jon Fosse was awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature. He resides in Oslo, Norway. 

OSLO ELSEWHERE was founded by Anna Gutto and Sarah Cameron Sunde in 2004, with a mission to bring Jon Fosse’s plays (and other Norwegian writers) to American audiences. Creating American English translations that would resonate with a U.S. audience was central to their work -- establishing Sunde as Fosse’s primary American English translator and director. Oslo Elsewhere formally introduced Fosse to American audiences with NIGHT SINGS ITS SONGS at The Culture Project’s 45 Below Theater (2004) to critical acclaim, with The New York Times describing the production as “universally excellent.” In 2005, Oslo Elsewhere was commissioned to create VARIATIONS ON A THEME for their Royal Highness King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway during their official visit to New York. To mark the Ibsen centennial in 2006, Oslo Elsewhere produced an IBSEN/FOSSE double bill with Ibsen’s ROSMERSHOLM and Fosse’s DEATHVARIATIONS at 59E59 Theaters, developed in partnership with the National Theater in Norway. In 2008, they produced Jon Fosse’s SA KA LA back at 45 Bleecker Theater. Oslo Elsewhere continued to support Sunde’s next three translations/productions of Fosse’s plays: A SUMMER DAY, DREAM OF AUTUMN, and SLEEP at Rattlestick/The Cherry Lane Theatre in New York and Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh. Sunde’s translations have been published in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art and Oslo Elsewhere’s work has been written up in The New York Times, Variety, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, The Brooklyn Rail, among others, and has received massive recognition across Norwegian media and press.

Oslo Elsewhere took a pause around 2014 when Sunde moved her practice towards media and performance art and Gutto became a film director. They are excited to reunite and bring the combination of their expanded artistic trajectories into this event.

ANNA GUTTO is a theater and film artist, mostly directing for the screen in recent years. Her feature film debut PARADISE HIGHWAY, starring Academy Award-winners Juliette Binoche and Morgan Freeman, premiered at Locarno Film Festival 2022 and was hailed by Variety as “a singularly promising debut for a first-time feature filmmaker.”  While in the Big Apple, in addition to working as an actor as well as co-artistic director for Oslo Elsewhere and The Unbound Collective, Anna also produced concerts at Carnegie Hall, was a consultant for HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE and was a contributing guest lecturer at Columbia University (2012 Ibsen’s A Doll House). She graduated with Honors from Columbia University in 2016 with an MFA in film directing. Gutto co-directed HOME FOR CHRISTMAS for Netflix and her short films won multiple festival awards, incl. Best Director and Best Ensemble Cast. MOMMY HEIST was broadcast on French channel FR3 and A LUCKY MAN is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award recipient and in the screening catalogue of the Museum of the Moving Image. Handling a range of genres and mediums, for Anna, storytelling is about connection – characters connecting with each other, and stories connecting with an audience. Anna is now a dual citizen of the US and Norway.

SARAH CAMERON SUNDE is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video and public art. She investigates scale and duration in relation to the human body, water, ecological crisis and deep time. In 2023, she was named a Cultural Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2021 awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her series of nine performances and video artworks made on six continents, 36.5 / A DURATIONAL PERFORMANCE WITH THE SEA (2013 – 2022). Her work has been performed and exhibited around the U.S. and internationally in Norway, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, the UAE, and Iraqi Kurdistan. In 2017, Sunde instigated and co-founded Works on Water (a triennial and artist-driven experimental organization dedicated to art that is made on/in/with bodies of water). She also co-founded the live art collective Lydian Junction (2011-2015), Oslo Elsewhere (2004-2013), and the Translation Think Tank (2003-2008), and served as Deputy Artistic Director of New Georges for 16 years (2001-2017). She is also internationally known as Jon Fosse’s primary American English translator and director. SarahCameronSunde.com + 36pt5.org

MERVE EMRE is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing and Criticism at Wesleyan University and the Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing and Criticism. Her books include Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar AmericaThe Personality Brokers (selected as one of the best books of 2018 by the New York TimesThe EconomistNPR, and The Spectator), The Ferrante Letters (winner of the 2021 PROSE award for literature), and The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway. She has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Robert B. Silvers Prize for Literary Criticism, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle. She is a contributing writer at The New Yorker.

Photo credit:  By Jim Baldassare. Louis Cancelmi in Night Sings Its Songs by Jon Fosse, produced by Oslo Elsewhere at 45 Bleecker Theater, New York, 2004

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