What will happen with Black Box teater in the future?

Our lease in Marstrandgata 8 expires in January 2024. What happens next with Black Box teater?

Fasaden i Marstrandgata
Photo: Anna Penkova

This article was updated Friday July 2nd 2021

The most important thing is to ensure that we still have a building – so that artists from the free performing arts field have a good place to work, and that the audience still feel at home when visiting the theater.

Our current building is planned to be demolished. This means that Black Box teater will move out of the current premises in the fall of 2023.

In January 2021, the property developers Oslo House took over our current house in Marstrandgata 8. Oslo House has developed and implemented several award-winning projects in recent years. The owners have background from Aspelin Ramm, who stood behind the area at Vulkan including Dansens Hus (the House of Dance). Oslo House has the following plans for the property in Marstrandgata: To build a  completely new building with Black Box teater on the first floors, and four floors with apartments on top of this.

As of today, Black Box teater is facing two scenarios:

  1. to move into the new premises at the same address in 2026, after two years of construction work. The drawing for the new building is not finished, so we do not yet know the details. Due to volume limitations, we will still have to think differently. This will be expressed in two ways:
    1. The theater will go from the current solution with two stages, to having one larger stage in Marstrandgata 8. This solution is the most appropriate given the possibilities that exist in the new building.
    2. In that case, the theater will work to establish a satellite stage elsewhere in the city, in order to increase capacity. Here it will be a smaller stage, in size somewhere between today's Lille scene and Store scene – ideally as large as Store scene. In addition, we will have a rehearsal stage.

      This solution also means that Black Box theater must have a temporary location in the period 2024–2026. We work to ensure this as soon as possible. One alternative is to move into the former premises of Joh. Johansson (the so-called Ali Kaffe building) on the pier of Filipstad, together with several artists from the free performing arts field – if the City of Oslo is interested in this project.
  2. Move into brand new premises somewhere else in the city. We are looking at existing as well as new buildings, at public buildings as well as privately owned ones. Ideally, Black Box teater wants a place with two larger stages and one rehearsal stage, centrally located in the city – preferably in Eastern Oslo, so that we keep our connection with this area.  As of today, there are no concrete alternatives to Marstrandgata 8.

    A current alternative to Marstrandgata 8 was Lokomotivverkstedet in Middelalderparken (the Medieval Park). This is a building that satisfies all the requirements for Black Box theater and which is also regulated for cultural purposes. Unfortunately, the project is highly uncertain: the City of Oslo does not yet know what the building will be used for, and it will not be ready for occupancy until many years from now. Investing in this project could mean losing the continuity of operations, and in the worst case, being left without a building. Examples of other buildings that have been considered are the old Munch Museum, Botsen and the old Deichman main library.

We will include the free performing arts field in discussions about needs and expectations as soon as the project and the progress plans have taken more shape.

We are facing exciting years, and we hope to find a building that is as suitable for the theater as possible!