Mind Games Up-and-coming theater artists at Momentum

Mind Games
Theatre | Friday d. 3. Jan. - Sunday d. 5. Jan. 2020 | Ny Vestergade 18, Odense C | Price: 0 Kr. | Buy tickets here | This week’s guest recommendation is wirtten by: Anders Skovgaard | Translated by: Malte Joe Frid-Nielsen

Location: Teater Momentum
Organizer: Teater Momentum

“Jeg og Mig” is what you can call ‘up-and-coming’ theater. Or perhaps ambitious amateur theater, to be more precise. Often it is written, created, and produced by the young people, themselves. In this case, it is made by Emma Kamille Hougaard Andkjær and Bøje Bo Max Andersen, who also appear on stage.

I haven’t seen the show, myself, but the ambitions and motivations are generally at peak levels when the young talents take the stage at Den Røvsmalle Biograf at Momentum. This is their world, they’re writing about. It’s about the things that interest them and the ways in which they understand them, which can be a fresh contrast to a trained artist’s more formally polished (and somewhat boring) performance. That’s a pretty bold generalization, but judging by audience reactions (and age), the ambitious amateur shows have their rightful place on a professional stage. Luckily, this is a thing Momentum has always understood and prioritized.

The group writes that “Jeg og Mig” springs from the realm of thought, where different sides of the same person appear with their own agendas and manipulations. The focus is on the stream of thought, running through your head, and the voices and impulses you may sometimes be gripped by. You can read more and order tickets here:   https://www.facebook.com/events/2572309389526615/

When I started working in Odense’s theater scene about 10 years ago, there almost wasn’t even the shadow of a scene for up-and-coming theater. In Aarhus there was the festival ‘Quonga’ and in Copenhagen, ‘Vildskud’, each of which were built by and around students from the dramaturgy and theater studies departments at the Universities, and the simple fact that both cities are markedly bigger than Odense. This wasn’t the case here, where there weren’t the same educational institutions, nor a strong theater tradition besides Christmas shows at Odense Teater in December. In reality, there wasn’t anything aside from theater sports (which was pretty good) and the classical amateur offerings like musicals and pageants for kids of all ages. Socially established, but extremely fluffy and unambitious. And terrible to watch unless you were tone deaf and had a close relation in the cast. This still goes on, of course, and I suppose that’s fine. But luckily more and higher ambitions have arisen through the years.

The first was probably Jeppe Sand with ‘Det Skrå Teater’ and the establishment of ‘Den Røvsmalle Biograf’ at Momentum as an alternative theater space, which I was a part of opening. Later there was U-Teater (unfortunately short-lived), HF Flow and the accompanying artistic lines, the cultural development program ‘Kulturcamp’ by Kulturregion Fyn, the theater festival ‘Scenoskop’, which was to be a local equivalent of ‘Quonga’ and ‘Vildskud’, as well as Ryslinge Theater School. And now Dynamo has arrived, as a great alternative for the wild and wooly theater heads. A lot of different initiatives, which together over a longer period changed the attitudes, ambitions and not least, the possibilities for the growing theater talents in Odense. Now it was no longer a must to go to Copenhagen if you wanted to work somewhat seriously with theater as an artistic expression on the level with music and film, where Odense has often been comparable to the other cities.

Today it’s not unusual to see 3-4 different local theater groups set up their own shows and draw crowds. Or to see groups from Copenhagen and Aarhus actively choose Odense as a part of their tours. The stages and will are there, and the interest in young, unpolished theater is still on the rise among audiences. I can see that the year will also bring us ‘Pynt’ by Josefine Hartvig and a new performance by the local group SJAKAL.

Aside from the fact that it’s great to see what the young people are doing, both thematically and in terms of content, it’s also often a step on the way to becoming professional. Perhaps they’re playing amateur theater on small stages now, but in 10 years, you may see them on screen or behind the big proscenium arches. There are many who are on their way, here and now, who were just small sprouts at Momentum 5 years ago. It’s a pretty wonderful thing to follow here from the sidelines.

Link to the event

Written by Anders Skovgaard

For mig er Odense et forsøg. En åben by, hvor jeg kan skabe mig selv ind i. En mulighed for at gøre noget tingene på en anden måde. Eller det er det hvert fald blevet. Personlig tiltrækkes jeg af f...

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