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In the sultry summer 2018, I often thought of Marguerite Duras’ novel “Little Horses of Tarquinia” (1953). Set in Italy, during a scorching summer, against a backdrop of landscape threatened by a fire, lethargic days slide slowly by, until tragedy strikes: an explosion in a mine kills a young man and plunges the village into mourning. I read this novel 25 years ago and the memory and sensations it evoked remain. The sense of torpor, dry heat, time stretching endlessly, waiting for the evening breeze and rain, love and the inevitability of loss. It is wonderfully powerful to be transported by a work of art that settles, intellectually, that one carries inside for years. It becomes an essential part of our being.

Art uniquely has the capacity to bring us closer to an understanding of humanity. Art allows us to consider and reconsider our relationship with the world, making the experience of an artwork an existential and transformative experience. I am looking for this sense of transformation when composing the season; I want to suggest sensations and experiences that slither under the skin and mind – that leave traces, that summon a different sense of time to the everyday – stretched, exploded, condensed, intense.

The coming season is full of nuance and aesthetic experiences. With some performances it is enough to simply be here, in the moment and to surrender to the experience. Others might puzzle or challenge you. Some may take you for a mesmerizing, epic, confrontational or uncomfortable journey. And each person’s experience will be quite unique; an opportunity to be part of a collective space, in a live and fragile moment, where the subjectivity of each audience member is conveyed, and where personal and singular journeys can take place. It is to be closer to oneself in the midst of others.

This autumn’s program unfolds outside the walls of Black Box teater: in different districts of Oslo, by the harbour and also beyond, in Nesodden and Otta. Whether they transform a park, a school, a shore, an abandoned quarry, a culture house in a high valley, the stages or foyer of Black Box teater, the artists create a context that is relevant and necessary for their work.

Beyond its adventurous artistic program, seminars, roundtable and debates, Black Box teater is at the heart of this work; it houses the soul. Located in the peaceful and contrasting Rodeløkka, Black Box teater is a place that brings people together, accessible, open, friendly and welcoming. A place where artists and audiences meet, where conversations are weaved and dissected, where it is good to debate or just be; where it is possible to forget the passing of time, overcome by the spirit of the place.

We hope that our audacity, the excitement of unique experiences and the joy of being together are contagious. We look forward to welcoming you and hope you will carry these memories with you.

See you soon!

Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland
Artistic and General Director