"Finally a place where students are treated as individually thinking grown-ups" Jo Strømgren (choreographer)
NTA (Norwegian Theatre Academy) offers a unique undergraduate education in theatre under the auspices of the University College of Østfold in Fredrikstad. The teaching language is English.
We welcome aspiring performing artists and scenographers who wish to explore the interaction between visual art and theatre, between theatre and society, and between theory and practice. Through a program that emphasizes collaboration between our two degree programs - scenography and acting - we provide students with training that combines the skills, knowledge and methods from conceptual visual art with the skills, techniques and methods of classical and contemporary theatre. Particular focus is placed on physical theatre, devised performance, and multi-disciplinary work. We offer students the chance to study with international guest artists and teachers in an intimate setting that allows close individual attention in both independent projects and directed productions. Our goals are to challenge students to think about performance and scenography in innovative ways, to help them develop their own artistic practice, and to prepare them to meet the professional demands of working with directors, choreographers, film-makers, composers, playwrights and other artists in both traditional and experimental genres. We are a meeting place for students and artists from around the world who are a vital part of creating tomorrow's artistic expression.
In perspective of the ongoing debate of how gender is represented in the Nordic acting educations, NTA wishes to say a few words about where we stand in relation to gender issues.
NTA is an interdisciplinary and experimental education. It investigates new methods within pedagogy, aesthetics, and the development of new artistic expressions. Our ambition includes questioning established ideas and norms at all levels, NTA works across genres, experimenting with a range of gender representations. We ask, why and how conventions have been established, and try to find other perspectives and ways to represent and challenge reality. This also means that we are critical towards ideas and conceptions of how gender is represented on stage and in society at large. Our critique works within areas such as aesthetics, dramaturgy, as well as gender representations. For us ”gender” is not an issue in itself but is problematized alongside many other conventions. One of our students has remarked that NTA is the first place within the performing arts where she has experienced being treated as a ”human being” and not only as a ”woman”. This reflects our attitude to normativity in general.
NTA is the first performing arts education in Norway to teach critical theory. Students, among other things, are given an overview of the development of feminist theory from the 1970s onward, which has also influenced the development of queer theory and post- colonial theory. Our pedagogical position thus incorporates theories of performativity. NTA teaches critical theory because school educates artists; in addition to the skill classes, students must learn to see their artistic work in relation to society at large. Students receive insight into philosophical and societal movements and currents which influence the development of culture, in order to find an engagement that can fill their art with content.