On the Same Stage. The Co-operation between Amateurs and Professionals. The Huskvarna Example

Kristina Nero

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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On the same stage is a case study showing the co-operation between amateurs and professionals in a play called Bara tusen korta år (Just a Thousand Short Years) by Alf Henrikson (1905-1995). Performances were given in the summers of 1994 ? 1998 in Huskvarna. The amateurs were from Huskvarna while the professionals were employed by the regional theatre in Jönköping. When investigating this project my main aspect has been to capture the attitudes of the two categories of actors towards one another and their working methods. It has been carried out through oral interviews with both amateurs and professionals.

Apart from this I have studied other aspects surrounding the project. One example is the issue of which group gained

the most economically ? amateurs or professionals? Yet another aspect is judicial. Theatre projects of this kind are influenced by cultural politics. My discussion on all of these points is based on written documents. When dealing with the different aspects of this project, I have used two concepts from Pierre Bourdieu, namely field and capital. In a struggle for space, both parties use their assets and resources available to gain more.

After the introduction, a chapter is dedicated to the background of this project. The regional theatre has a history going back to 1978 when it started as a consequence of Swedish cultural politics stating that each region should have its own theatre. Before the project started the amateurs were not yet an existing theatre group. A few people in Huskvarna met to talk about how to form their own play. They wanted to make the place known to visitors. Someone knew Alf Henrikson personally. It is of importance to note that the initiative to the project came from the amateurs. With his manuscript ready, they contacted the regional theatre, asking for co-operation.

Next, the author is introduced along with his background as a journalist, author, poet and playwright. He was born in

Huskvarna and was familiar with the local culture. This chapter also contains a summary as well as an analysis of the play.

The following chapters describe how the amateurs gathered in Huskvarna and how the regional theatre was organized. During the early rehearsals the director worked separately with amateurs and professionals. Splitting up the ensemble into categories at an early stage put stress on the different group dynamics. During later rehearsals, however, all of the actors gathered in the open-air theatre in Huskvarna Folkets Park.

Chapter six describes the reactions from various groups of spectators, among them young people and proud relatives to

the amateurs. Critics gave their expert opinions in newspapers and magazines.

The final chapters discuss surrounding aspects of the co-operation. Economy is a powerful means when managing a project. In this case, resources were not distributed on equal terms, the regional theatre being the strongest part. When starting the project, the amateurs had the ambition of forming a tradition of their own. Swedish law made this more or less impossible. It turned out to be their opponent, because its priority was to protect the professionals. From a political point of view this case study makes one wonder if it really is possible to ask for co-operation between amateurs and regional theatres.
Translated title of the contributionOn the Same Stage. The Co-operation between Amateurs and Professionals. The Huskvarna Example
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • Wirmark, Margareta, Supervisor, External person
Award date2005 Nov 3
Print ISBNs91-7844-681-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2005-11-03
Time: 10:15
Place: Hörsalen, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12

External reviewer(s)

Name: Eliaeson, Viveka
Title: Professor emerita
Affiliation: NTNU, Trondheim


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature


  • cultural politics.
  • law
  • economy
  • professionals
  • regional theatre
  • amateurs
  • Theater theory and history
  • Teatervetenskap


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