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Best of NH 2013


Peer & Per: The Peer Gynt Project

When do you know you have found what you are looking for?

Continuing its commitment to the development of new work, over the next two years, theatre KAPOW will develop an original exploration of Norway’s most performed play, Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 verse drama Peer Gynt. The reckless and egotistical Peer seeks a life full of adventure and success, so embarks on an epic journey, to find what he is looking for.

Our exploration will begin in 1941 in a small cell at the Grini Prison Camp just outside Baerum Norway where one of Norway’s most prominent painters, Per Krohg, along with many notable artists of the day, was captured by the Nazis during the German occupation of Norway. His means of expression and survival was to sketch, draw, and paint to cover the walls of his cell with images from his favorite folktale. Krohg’s images of Peer Gynt were published in a 1955 edition of Ibsen’s play.  tKAPOW’s Peer/Per: The Peer Gynt Project will look at the already woven stories of Per Krohg and Peer Gynt to explore their longing for freedom and undeniable air of resistance.

Much like our format for Raining Aluminum, this yet-to-be-named project, will interweave two storylines:  Ibsen’s iconic play and Krohg’s life and art. While we are at the very beginning of our exploration of this work, we have already identified some collaborators.  Bonnie Stein and Vit Horejs from the Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre will be returning to help us create some of the magic of Peer’s adventures with the trolls and other mythical beasts.  And, Ailis Ni Rian, an Irish composer and playwright, will be using Edvard Grieg’s score for Peer Gynt as a basis for a new composition to accompany our piece. We have also had early conversations with dramaturgs, dancers, researchers, and playwrights all of whom will be brought under the tent to create a new piece that we will premiere in June of 2020.  We hope that this process will include a number of workshops and other opportunities for artist and audience feedback so please stay tuned for more information on how you can help shape this exciting new piece of theatre.

Stay tuned for more information.