Nordophile heard about the Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC) in New York, who were not only producing top quality theatre productions which were truly making an impact and creating a buzz, but were also strengthening ties between the Scandinavian and American communities. We spoke with Albert Bendix to find out more.
Scandinavian American Theater Company SATC is a New York City-based not-for-profit theater company founded on April 14th 2009 to provide Scandinavian perspectives that examine and challenge the cultural status quo through a new generation of Scandinavian playwrights and theater artists. They present contemporary plays and inventive takes on the classics from the Nordic region, including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. In 2012, the company was awarded the American Scandinavian Society’s Honorary Grant for their “very ambitious work to promote Scandinavian culture in New York”.
They are committed to strengthening the relationship between Scandinavia and the United States through collaborations and interdisciplinary artistic exchange. We have accomplished an unparalleled engagement with over 250 theater artists including playwrights, translators, directors, actors, designers, composers, stage managers and more. As of June 2014, 43% of these artists were Scandinavians, 49% were Americans and 8% from the rest of the world.
SATC has grown at a rate few other independent theater companies in New York could only dream. As a small company with limited financial resources, they have managed to present 8 new plays and more than 25 readings in their first 5 seasons. They believe that SATC brings something unique and vital to New York City: A new cultural theater hybrid that speaks to the audience of the 21st century and which takes the forefront in the development of the Nordic performing arts in the United States.
In an exciting development, SATC moved from Off-Off-Broadway to Off-Broadway in celebrating their 5th-year anniversary with the critically acclaimed Bastards of Strindberg at Theatre Row on 42nd Street. The show was an important step for them in offering a true fusion of Swedish and American playwrights inspired by a classic piece of modern theater. SATC’s next Off-Broadway production will premiere winter 2015/16
THE PLAY CLUB
The Play Club is SATC’s most recent venture into creating a community of theater lovers and creators: An online forum for people with a shared passion for new Scandinavian plays to exchange thoughts and opinions. Every other month a translated contemporary Scandinavian play will be available as a free download for the Play Club Members. They hope the Play Club will engage the SATC community to become more actively involved in the SATContemporary Reading Series, and give the playwrights a chance to showcase their work and expand on their international following. To become a member of the Play Club, please email your full name and city/country of residence to: email@example.com
SATC ON TOUR
SATC would like to expand on the bridge we have created between American and Nordic culture. They will continue to produce Off-Broadway productions in New York City but at the same time strive to get these productions on tour in Scandinavia and the rest of the United States. In order to achieve this vision, SATC wishes to partner with organizations and companies that share the same passion for intercultural exchange. If you would like to collaborate with and/or invite SATC to perform at your theater, please contact SATC’s co-artistic director Albert Bendix firstname.lastname@example.org
A NORDIC THEATER IN NEW YORK
One of SATC’s long term goals is a theater to call home in New York City: A residency at an established theater, or financial assistance to run a building as our own. A Nordic theater would be financially practical as we would save on costly production expenses. Additionally, SATC would be able to host Nordic theaters from abroad where together we can build our community and serve as a cultural platform, producing the best of Nordic culture for audiences from all over the world.
SATContemporary Reading Series consists of five staged readings that take place throughout the year. One contemporary play is chosen from each Scandinavian country, introducing our audience to a new generation of Nordic playwrights. The reading series is co-presented by Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, where the readings also take place. The plays are read in English and the readings are free to the public. SATContemporary Reading Series has continued to grow with more than 450 audience members attending the 4th season. If you wish to submit or suggest a play for the reading series please email SATC’s literary director Vanessa Johansson: email@example.com.
Playwrights presented in the reading series: Alexander Bodin Saphir, Andreas Boonstra, Anna Krogerus, Arne Lygre, Bjarni Jónsson, David Bar Katz, Dominique Morisseau, Fredrik Brattberg, Hávar Sigurjónsson, Jacob Hirdwall, Jokum Rohde, Jón Atli Jónasson, Jon Fosse, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Juha Lehtola, Kari Hotakainen, Laura Ruohonen, Lina Ekdahl, Maria Tryti Vennerød, Minna Nurmelin, Pasi Lampela, Petter S. Rosenlund, Rhea Leman, Richard Hobert, Sofia Fredén, Thomas Markmann, Thor Bjørn Krebs, Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson and Vera Näsström