Araby takes centre stage in new theatre play
Along Västergatan in central Växjö you’ll find Sweden’s first permanent public stage, where new voices will get a chance to be heard. The stage will host anything from dialogues and panel debates to screenings and workshops.
– The public stage is meant for everyone. The purpose is to promote the inhabitant’s own stories, says Andreas Dahl, drama teacher and director at the regional theatre in Blekinge Kronoberg.
This will also be, directed by the regional theatre, where the play about Araby will take place.
– The premier is in November, but the endeavour is already underway.
The idea came to be when Andreas Dahl met Joel Käll-Karlsson who works as a “cultural coordinator” at Araby Park Arena. They were discussing how to draw the inhabitants of Araby to the regional theatre but also how they would get a chance to share their stories with a new audience.
– There’s a lot of preconceived notions regarding Araby, however we want to do a show about the people of Araby and their stories. We don’t want to show what the media is reporting instead we want to show Araby from the inhabitant’s point of view.
The performance won’t be classical theatre but rather a documentary on stage. The stories will be real and performed by people who hasn’t necessarily been on stage before. The crowd will also get to take part of film and photos of Araby. Nevertheless, there are still details that haven’t been decided yet, such as who we will see on stage.
– The task of finding people and stories is set to begin in the end of March. We are looking for groups that aren’t usually given the same exposure. We want to find people that can share what it’s like to live in a place with such stigma and how it affects them. A lot of people that I’ve talked to who reside in Araby have said that the picture that’s being portrayed by the media doesn’t coincide with their own experiences.
In what way?
– Almost everyone uses the word community. Everyone knows everyone. They talk of a neighbourhood with a pulse where people greet each other in the streets. A pleasant place, but that won’t be reported.
The area itself will be the shows red thread and as the summer arrives the work ahead of the premier will intensify. At which point Andreas Dahl, among others, will interview locals and search for people to take part in the show. Rehearsals is set to take place roughly two months ahead of the premier, and in November it’s showtime.
– It will be one of the falls main shows and it will run at the regional theatre for roughly a month.
The concept of the public stage was created last fall and the theatre has previously set up major productions such as “Lust” and “Att se”. Another part of this venture is “Varje torsdag” which is a half-hour performance.
– A while back we had a show under “Varje torsdag” which was called “Mitt Araby”, which was a sort of a taste of the show that’s taking place this fall.
What are you looking forward to ahead of the show this fall?
– I’m happy that the theatre manager Therese Willstedt supported the idea and I look forward to creating art together with the people of Araby.