WASHINGTON, D.C. — In association with the U.S. debut of Backa Theatre of Sweden at the Nordic Cool 2013 Festival at the Kennedy Center in D.C., Randy Gener, Filipino American editor, writer, curator and artist, is collaborating with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., on a lively seminar about the growing genre of documentary theater.
Entitled “Can documentary theater attract new groups of audiences?: A Swedish and American Theater Dialogue,” the seminar takes place Monday March 11, 2013 between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon at the House of Sweden, located at 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 467-2600).
Swedish playwright and artistic director of Backa theatre Mattias Andersson, who specializes in creating and staging theatrical projects grounded in sociological research methods, will discuss this hot topic with Robert McNamara, artistic director of SCENA theatre; and Otis Ramsey-Zöe, Lecturer of Theatre Arts at Howard University.
Gener, who will moderate the talk, observes in American Theatre Magazine that “in Sweden theatrical works geared for young people are viewed not just as equal to adult-oriented theatre but in many cases as surpassingly livelier. Documentary innovations and experimentations in dramaturgy—strong themes (such as divorce, death, politics), bolder forms, openness to outside influences—have made it possible for youth-oriented dramas to shatter conventions and overturn orthodoxies in liberating ways.”
The only Asian American recipient of George Jean Nathan Award the highest award for dramatic criticism in the U.S., Gener is a specialist of Nordic performing arts, which includes work from Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland. In 2011, Gener participated in the Swedish Theatre Biennial. He lectured on “Global Sweden: Swedish Theatre in the World,” focusing on instances and productions of Swedish theater in the United States. Gener also led a seminar on “Theater and Democracy: Voices From the Theatres in the World,” featuring theater artists from South Africa, Uganda, Tunisian, Cameroon and the Ukraine.
Gener has interviewed Mattias Andersson of Backa Teater for Critical Stages. In addition to Backa theater, Andersson’s own plays have been performed at Stockholm City Theatre, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Stockholm, Göteborg City Theatre, Malmö Dramatic Theatre and in Norway, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Romania and Serbia.
Gener is presently at work on the first English-language book survey of the plays of Swedish dramatist Lars Noren, which will be published by MESTC Press.