Theatre

Human Zoo (2019)

From the beginning of the 19th century until well into the 20th century, tribes and indigenous peoples, including the Sami, got sent on tours in Europe and the United States. In traditional clothing, with the tipi and reindeer, they were exhibited in zoos for curious inquisitors. In Human Zoo, we follow a Sami family's journey from open plains to enclosed areas, which are getting increasingly narrower and narrowerr. The relationship between mother and father is bad. Grandma has started coughing a lot. The son is tormented by the spectators. And the daughter is asking the questions the parents have difficulty answering. The narrower the room outside, the clearer the conflicts between family members become.

The Sami National Theater Beaivvas is putting up Human Zoo in 2019, the premiere taking place at the National Theater in Oslo on the 4th of October.

THE ELDER WOMAN
These are new times.
New borders, other grazing land.
An era of curiosity.
THE BOY
Those were different times.
It wouldn’t have happened today.
THE GIRL
I still remember when he knocked on the door.
THE MAN
And what is it that he’s saying?
THE WOMAN
That people are curious.
They want to see how we are living up in the north.
THE MAN
We’re living like everybody else, surely.
THE WOMAN
But they want to have a look.
It’s not the first time.
He’s done it before.
THE MAN
We’re like everybody else, I’m sure.
Tell him to knock on another door.
Tell him to go away.
THE WOMAN
I said yes.

Undertow (2018)

Ferdinand grows up in a poor fisherman’s family. He has to quit school at an early age to start helping his father. There’s a war out on the ocean, and soon also a war on the shore. In a version of Norway that’s different than today’s, Ferdinand has to grow up and fight back.

It’s been three weeks since I turned twelve.
Dad says: Tomorrow’s the day. Tomorrow you’ll come with me out on the sea. From tomorrow on, you’re a fisherman.
I don’t sleep that night. I’m listening to their breathe. And when I’m sure that everyone’s asleep, I go out and hide in the log box. There’s not a whole lot inside of it. It’s still summertime. We barely make a fire. I used to hide here when we where younger and played hide-and-seek. No one ever found me.

Dad is (2017)

A mother, her son and her daughter are trying to live their everyday life in the father’s absence. He’s a political rebel and has gone into hiding. However, the government won’t let the mother be, and she gets called into the police again and again. One day she doesn’t return at all. How will the family cope? What does the struggle for democracy cost on a personal level?

GIRL
Mum says it’s not right, reading about those conquerors.
They took stuff that weren’t theirs.
BOY
Did I ask for your opinion?
GIRL
Dad doesn’t do that.
Dad does the opposite.
Dad takes back what’s ours.
BOY
Go mind your own fucking business.
GIRL
Sighs
She’s not home yet.
Silence. The Boy gets up. Seemingly indifferent, he shrugs.
BOY
She’s working late, that’s all.
GIRL
Grandma asked for her
Short silence.
BOY
But grandma is always confused.
GIRL
But she’s off work since a while now.
BOY
So what?
Stop nagging me.
The Boy goes to the window, looks outside, seemingly at random. He looks at his watch.
BOY
She’s probably out shopping. A lot of people are at this time.
GIRL
But I saw two police officers outside the school.
BOY
So?
GIRL
They have been asking for her.
BOY
They just want to scare, that’s all.
The Boy goes over to the window once more, looks outside. Looks at his watch.
He looks at the Girl, before he finds his book, going through it hastily.
GIRL
And what if she –
BOY
Fuck, you’re always exaggerating –
GIRL
But they took the neighbor boy’s Mum even though she knew even less –
BOY
Shut up!
I’m reading.
Silence. The Boy goes through the book, before closing it violently. He walks over to the window, looks out. The Girl comes after. They look out together.
Long silence.
The Girl looks at the Boy.
GIRL
Whispers
What time is it?
BOY
Whispers as well
It’s getting a little late.

Interned (2016)

In order to ensure Norwegian sovereignty in the northernmost areas of the country, Norwegian authorities closed down rural schools and built new, larger boarding schools. Thus, at an early age Sami, Kven and Norwegian children were forced to move from their home to these schools, where they were forbidden to speak their native language. This play is based on testimonies from parents, children and teachers who were strongly affected by the Norwegian authorities' assimilation policy.

Premiered at the Norwegian Drama Festival in June 2017.

YOUNG BOY
At the front row, they put the Norwegian children, those of them with the nicest shirts and most clothes with them.
And then there are the Kven children, like our neighbors back home, eadni (*sami word for mum). They’re behind the Norwegians. And then, at the back, where I’m sitting, you find us. Us. The Fucking Laps.
That’s what he calls us, eadni.
When I can’t answer, when Biret besides me can’t answer.
His face gets all red and he screams it.
Fucking Laps, fucking Laps.
And eadni, at that point, I can’t help it, I have to laugh.

Scorched Earth (2014)

Finnmark (The northernmost county of Norway) 1944-1945. The Second World War is approaching its end. The Russians are on their way. Hitler orders the use of the Scorched Earth tactics in the North of Norway. Seven voices tell their stories from this period in time.

Premiered at the Norwegian Drama Festival in 2015.

YOUNG GIRL
Now the windows are crushed, and Mum pulls me back when I try to go into the apartment, no, no, Dad yells, get the girl away, and I make myself scarce, and I am a fly, flying away, but not entirely, and then, when they aren’t blocking the way, I fly in after them, and I see the broken glass on the floor, and the fallen bookshelves and the sofa cut in two, and the cloth coming out of it looks like moss. There is my teddy bear, there it’s lying, its body, I can’t see the head, and I fly away and I lose my wings and I fall, and I hit the floor and I smash my forehead in the soft plush. It’s sticking out, it’s sticking out of it, all that was inside is sticking out.