REYKJAVÍK ENSEMBLE International Theatre Company is founded and artistically directed by Pálína Jónsdóttir, theatre and opera director, together with her collaborator Ewa Marcinek, project manager and writer. Reykjavík Ensemble is a new entity within the Icelandic theatre scene—a professional theatre platform enabling artistic participation of professional artists of all languages and backgrounds, who are marginalized in the cultural sector and hence absent from the current Icelandic theatre scene / reality.
“Shortly after my homecoming from New York, where I lived, studied and worked with international theatre artists, I realized that the town of Reykjavík was full of foreign born artists. Finally, I thought to myself, Iceland is becoming a multinational and multicultural society. However, these talents were invisible from the theatrical scene,” said Pálína Jónsdóttir.
Pálína Jónsdóttir is a theatre and opera director. A graduate of the Columbia University MFA Theatre Directing program (2017), Pálína was awarded a Student Fellowship in Directing for her outstanding directorial achievement. Pálína directed the box office hit Ég heiti Guðrún by Rikke Wölch at the National Theatre, Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein, Darkside by Tom Stoppard and Pink Floyd. She assistant directed The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner for Opera San Jose and Mata Hari, opera theatre for Prototype Festival in NYC. Her thesis production Babette’s Feast, ran at The Connelly Theater in NYC. She served as directing candidate with Robert Lepage for L’ Amour de Loin at The Metropolitan Opera. Her production Völva at the National Theatre earned a Gríma, Icelandic Performing Arts Award. Pálína began her career in the performing arts as a dancer and actor and has performed numerous roles both on stage and in films.
“The concept of establishing international theatre had been an old dream of mine. At the point of being back and feeling a bit like an immigrant myself, without a solid theatre community, it became an inescapable necessity to venture into creating Reykjavik Ensemble and embrace the human wealth, found in these foreign born artists and Icelandic artists that have no or minute standing within the official theatre establishments.”
The Ensemble Is Born
Pálína shared with Ewa Marcinek her idea of starting an international theatre company and the couple hit it off immediately. Ewa Marcinek is an emerging writer with a long experience of managing cultural projects. Ewa is one of the founding members of Ós Pressan, a multilingual writing collective, a poet at bilingual cabaret Poetry Brothel and author collaborating with Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature.
“We applied to the art residency program at IÐNÓ. We got an access to the office and event space. IÐNÓ gave us a home and a base to start. The next step was to apply for all the local grants and map the opportunities at home and abroad,” said Ewa.
Through the past months Pálína and Ewa have been meeting artists, activists and local cultural institutions interested in making the project happen. They’ve applied for support at Icelandic and foreign funds.
“We wait with great anticipation for the conclusions from the art and culture funds that we have appealed to and we welcome individual sponsors and supporters,” said Ewa.
The next important step in creating an international theatre was meeting the crowd, the professional artist living in Iceland that would like to join forces with Reykjavík Ensemble. In the autumn Pálína and Ewa hosted three panel meetings and organized two open auditions for actors and performers in IÐNÓ and Tjarnarbíó.
"We plan to cluster and nurture the international community of professional theatre artists living in Reykjavik," Pálína explained. "We want to give them a real opportunity to collaborate with creating jobs for them according to their education and work experience and support their artistic growth.”
For more information, please contact:
International Theatre Company
International Theatre Company