Directing at the Theatrestudio

Micke is giving directions at the Theatrestudio

Straight after I graduated from the Theatrestudio, in 1987, and started working with the Studio Ensemble I got the opportunity to work extra as a substitute at the Theatrestudio. It soon became more and more work until 1993 when I started working fulltime. My first assignment was to direct and teach Commedia dell’Arte, but later I also directed other performances and soon I was on the permanent staff. Soon Ulf Ekeram retired and I took over as artistic director.
As artistic director I have above all made sure that the second year students go out on international tours with their final shows, that we have a decent website and, that there is a forum for those students, former students and teachers who want to spread their works. For a while I also tried to give out a paper two or three times a year, but that became to much work.

When I direct at the Theatrestudio the work naturally involves a whole lot of pedagogies. We call our appearance work demonstrations, “shows” or performances. These have all different levels of pedagogy. The first is completely built on exercises and the training we have been doing though the first term. It is, as it sounds, foremost a demonstration of the work of the first term, but also a chance for the students to meet with an audience. In that way they also get to try to be directed. The shows are shown by the end of the first year and at a number of occasions in the second year. They have an artistic result as its ultimate objective. It is certainly the methods- rehearsals, training and those challenges that arises on the way – that is the essential, not the results. For example I cast the parts more to challenge the students than to give them the parts they are best fitted for. When we talk about the performances we mean the second year students final performances. We are here trying to imitate a professional situation as much as possible in a school. It is also these performances that leave for an international tour and they are the only performances we ask for an admission for.

To read more about the performances go to:
JAG DRÖMMER - ALLTSÅ DÖR JAG (I Dream - Therefore I Die)
(The Black Death)
(The System for Perfection)
(Bellman - Music from the Gutter)


Back to
or straight to

Commedia dell'Arte-performances at the Theatrestudio

The reason that I started working fulltime at the Theatrestudio at all was that I would direct and teach Commedia dell’Arte. I was just back from USA where I had finished the last year at Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre where I had studied Commedia dell’Arte.
By the years there has been quite a lot of Commedia dell’Arte performances at the Theatrestudio, most of which are the second years final performances, but in all of them I have worked with the second year students. That is necessary since Commedia dell´Arte is such a technically advanced form of theatre.
The Commedia dell’Arte that I work with is from its earliest tradition, but always with modern references and in a modern context. It is a vulgar, crude and more direct in its form. It is not literary, to the extent that the plot can be seen as ”a bad excuse to act on stage”. Instead it is the theatre of the actors where the impact is not on what is done but on how it is done.

The Theatrestudio in Lattvia 2004.
The humor lies in the physical expression. In my Commedia dell’Arte there is also always a lot of acrobatics and much singing, music and other disciplines.
It is also I who has written or adapted all scenarios and instructed the students on how to make their masks.

"The Neckerchief of Tartaglia" 1995.

Here is a little list of the Commedia dell'Arte performances I have written and directed at the Theatrestudio:

• 2007 – Bombafu
Bombafu was the last Commedia dell’Arte performance at the Theatrestudio, anyway under Kulturama. Also this show was played in grammelot and it may have been made in more of the spirit of the carnival. Our opening was also at the main stage in Piazza San Marco at the Carnival of Venice. The performance then played in Rome where we worked together with International Acting Society of Rome, who we also took to Sweden with their performance ”Le Troiane” (The Trojans). Home again weplayed four shows in Stockholm before we went out on a Sweden tour, playing 10 shows on everything from the Castel of Ulriksdals to Gamleby folk high school.

Click here to see a TRAILER from the show.

• 2005 - KlinePine
This performance had a great focus on the mask acting itself and also music and singing. The performance toured up to the arctic regions of Norway and to Murmansk through Finland and Västerbotten.


Fencing in "Boioioing!!!", Stockholm, 2004.

• 2004 - Boioioing!!!
This show was played without any language, in “grammelot”. That was convenient since the performance went on tour in Eastern Europe after we had played in Stockholm. A lot of the performance focused on disciplines such as acrobatics, improvisation and fencing.

Click here to see a TRAILER from the show.

• 2001 - Raga dagga dang
This was the “fall show” for the second year students that year. I wrote the scenario in order to really challenge each student in the class and it became a very varying show. It was also here my cooperation with Teater Teatropen started since most of its members went to the Theatrestudio that year.

"The Miracle Doctor" in Kiruna town hall, in the very north of Sweden, 2001.

• 2001 - Mirakeldoktorn (The Miracle Doctor)
The scenario is a further adaptation of Adriani di Luccas scenario and also this time it was only girls in the ensemble. The two performances were very different. After playing in Stockholm we were touring the north of Sweden and the north of Norway. It was also with this show we started our collaboration with Joakim Dominique, who since then have been responsible for the music in the Theatrestudio’s final performances.

Click here to see a TRAILER from the show.

Rehearsing "the Slave Gir"l 1999.

• 1999 - Slavinnan (The Slave Girl)
This is the first of the international tours we since then continuously have been out with, this time we went to the south of Sweden and Denmark. The performance was an adaptation from a scenario - ”La Schiava” – from the 16:th century.

• 1998 - La Famiglia - eller Hjälp mej upp (La Famiglia or Help me up)
This was a show played in the fall (consequently it was not a big final show), but it was played for a rather great audience in our premises of that time. The scenario was made out of our own improvisations and exercises.

• 1995 - Äntligen (At Last)
This too was a performance with a very large ensemble, built on two different plots. But in this production we worked with two action lines that never interfered with each other. It was played on two different stages on different levels.

• 1995 - De Sanslösa Komedianterna (The Senseless Comedians)
This is the first Commedia dell’Arte performance that was played as a street theatre show at the Theatrestudio. It was built on two different plots that where interlaced into one.


From "The Neckerchief of Tartaglia" 1995

• 1994 - Tartaglias halsduk (The Neckerchief of Tartaglia)
A performance in collage form with a lot of threads joined together to a performance. It was played by a big class of 16 persons in a small basement.

• 1994 - Pulcinella blir Doktor (Pulcinella becomes Doctor)
That was a performance built upon a scenario adapted from Adriani di Lucca from 1734. The performance was played by a class with only girls.

• 1993 - Commedia dell’Arte
This was the first performance that I directed at the Theatrestudio. It never got a real name. It was a long zealous performance made by in ”The Forced Marriage” by Molière, one carnival show and lots of our own scenes.



The Biblical Adventures

The Israelites are attacking.

A dispute from "The Old Teastament"
The Bible is a fantastic book for theatre. It narrates exactly what happens in its stories, but never how it happens. In that way the Bible is very open for different interpretations. One just has to remove all prejudices and all the pictures that we have been fed with through the centuries in order to be able to concentrate on what the text really says.
I have directed two performances with its texts from the Bible at the Theatrestudio. Both performances were made in the form of a collage. We spent a long time exploring our own prejudices before we started to build the actual shows in both performances. For example, we asked questions like: Would we look different on Jesus if we knew he was ugly, fat, bold and had a bad attitude? Can God be comical /out of balance when he become incensed? How does the donkey look on the story about Donkey of Bilam? These questions take us in a more interesting and more unexpected way in to “the great questions” like: Is God good? In that case what does God mean by good? Where are the boundaries between church/tradition and religion/belief? Why should we pray to a God that is omnipotent ?

BIBELN OCH ANDRA HIMMELSKA ÄVENTYR (The Bible and other Heavenly Adventures)

The first bible performance was made in 1997. It was the first of the performances created from the Bible. The characters we made for the performances was our starting point in our seach for the texts and we used the more concretely told stories in the Bible.
The frame story took place in a mental hospital in uprising. It gave both a good framing and a great freedom in the interpretation.

Unfortunately there are no pictures saved from this show.


In the second performance from the Bible, which was played the spring of 2002; we acted much more free in relation to the text. We used sections of the laws, some of the genealogical tables and the Book of Psalms. We were searching for different ways to say the text, like puppet theatre and ”silent movie scenes”. We also used the fact that the class only had girls and that the Old Testament has an almost complete lack of female characters. And the performance started with the actors washing the audience’s feet.

Rachel and Lea
Click here to see a TRAILER from the show.

Cain and Abel



(I Dream - Therefore I Die)

When I went up to the north of Sweden to work for a month, I got assignment from the class to make a show about death, hell and with evil clowns when I came back. It became another collage performance, this time based on "A Dream play" by Stringberg, but this time the descent goes on level futher – to hell. Other text are from ”The Sermon on the Mount”, ”Master and Margarita” by Bulgakov, our own dreams and nightmares , ”No exit” by Sartre and a lot of other plays and a poetry by Pär Lagerkvist. We also saw ”The Andalusian Dog” by Bunuel an immense number of times for inspiration.
We worked to find the performance through as strong physical expressions as possible. Every movement, every sound, every breath was played to it's extreme. Thereafter we added text and plots and and put the expressions in it's context. The different pieces were together, the chorus got it's place in each scene and songs and dances were rehearsed.

Click here to see a TRAILER from the show.


SVARTA DÖDEN (The Black Death)

This was a show based on anything from the texts of Antonin Artaud about the plague and suicide, ”Singoalla” by Viktor Rydberg and ”Trämålning” by Ingmar Bergman to ”The Great Death” by Dick Harrison and Gabriele de´Mussis’s texts. We worked a lot with music and we mixed different styles of play in the performance. The performance did not lack humour, but it is the throughout darkest show I have made at the Theatrestudio. It started as a search for the plague in drama and literature, but ended up in a performance about our fear of death and our inability to really live life. I put up The Black Death in the spring of 2003.



In the spring of 2000 I made a Shakespeare collage with the first year students at the Theatrestudio. The performance first of all kept hold of many of the least played works of Shakespeare, like ”A Winters tale”, ”Perikles”, ” Titus Andronicus” among others. We played scenes from the great plays also and in order to live up to the Shakespearian spirit every actor had a death scene at the end. The Performance was very much to play with Shakespeare and the tradition.


MÄSTERSKAPSSYSTEMET (The System for Perfection)

The System for Perfection is a course in French from 1912. I made it as a piece of theatre with the first year students in 1998. The idea was born when I sat at a friends home and we started to read the exercise texts from the course and found that it was brilliant drama. It reminded of the Swedish writer Sandro Key-Åberg’s book ”Prator”, but it was much more flexible and could be played with as many actors as one wanted. As a matter of fact I still use the texts in exercises with my students.
The performance was built on characters and “animal etudes”. It was also an exercise in getting a meaning to a seemingly meaningless text and an exploration in the relevance of the text versus the means of expression in the body of the actor.



The performance was a collaboration between me and Ulf Ekeram. It was also the last performance he made at the Theatrestudio before he retired in the summer of 1996.
Remboursez!! was both a performance about the life of Molière built on ”La petit Molière” by Jean Anouillh, selected scenes from the production of Molière and also different Commedia dell’Arte scenes representing the earlier life of Molière before he was introduces to the French court. The performance was played in three different styles and every actor played between three and five different characters

Unfortunately there are no pictures saved from this show.


BELLMAN – MUSIK FRÅN RÄNNSTENEN (Bellman – Music from the Gutter)

This was first of all a musical performance, but it also consists of scenes based on texts. The starting point for the show was naturally the songs, epistles and other texts by Bellman, but we also used parts of ”Haren och Vråken “ by Lars Forsell. The songs in the performance were dramatized, they were split in to lines and we gave the characters a physical body from different animals.
The Performance was played in the spring of 1994, under the eighteen century arches in Hartwigska huset at Södermalm in Stockholm

Unfortunately there are no pictures saved from this show.


ARBETSSREDOVISNINGAR (Work demonstrations)

During the years I have made a whole lot of work demonstrations. Every fall term with the first year students at the Theatrestudio ends with a work demonstration. These work demonstrations answers the question “What is it really you’re doing at the Theatrestudio?”, since it is almost impossible to explain with words in an intelligible way. In that way the work demonstrations also function as a sort of introduction to the Theatrestudio.
The work demonstrations are an extract of the fall’s work. We show the Theatrestudio training, the movement series and their function, different scenes that we have worked, sometimes our work with neutral mask, other exercises and voice work among others. I put it all together in a sort of collage that we then present for the audience.