History

Since the beginning in 1989 with the play 'Treet mellom hav og land ('The tree between sea and land') Fusentast has gained recognition in Norway and abroad, not only for its irreverent treatment of classics such as 'Peer Gynt', 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Don Quixote' and 'A Doll's House', as theatre or in musical form, but also for its contemporary involvement in these and other shows. Besides our own productions, we have from time to time made time for other theatre work:

* 'Gift i øret' ('Poison in the ear') (based on "Hamlet") was made at a special school where youngsters who somehow ended up outside the regular school system, get a "second chance" to get started with their education.

* For many years we were also behind puppetry projects with youths in psychiatric hospitals, where the youngsters along with their teachers participated in all stages of the creative process.
We were pleased when the work led to significant improvements in students' mental health. The work gained much interest and recognition from therapists, teachers and puppetry colleagues.

* Coby wrote and instructed 'Fly away, or An Evening at Ragnar's' for Studio Theatre.

* In 2002 we were invited by Teatras Raganiukes in Vilnius, to lead a 3 day conference about our work for Lithuania's children's and youth workers: The use of classics in theatre for today's children and youth, theatre in the work with troubled youth, puppetry techniques and open performing style, theatre policy in Norway and Lithuania etc. We held a gala performance and an exhibition of Jaap den Hertog and Coby Omvlee's puppets.

* Since 1992, we have been in regular contact with colleagues in Burkina Faso. This has led to an exchange of performances and artistic collaboration. Thus Coby Omvlee became (supported by NORAD) the initiator, co-producer and puppet-maker/puppeteer for 'Les Co-EPOUSE' (aired in the award-winning documentary on NRK).
We are committed to continued cooperation in the future.
In 2005, Coby went back and gave courses in puppetry, and she is preparing the performance 'Frozen Angels', based on African and Norwegian childhood stories.

* Jaap den Hertog has given workshops, mostly in theatre with puppets, has been used as lecturer in many different contexts, and he wrote the text for his role as the god Loki, the "compère" In Bertil Palmar Johansen symphony 'Thor's Hammer' with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra (2003).

Such projects enrich us artistically, but performances have higher priority.

Teater Fusentast has participated in numerous festivals in Scandinavia, Europe, Russia and Africa with 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Peer Gynt', 'Menopas Magic Railroad Show', 'Les Co-EPOUSE', 'Katitzi', 'Nora', 'Titranic' and 'Sand between your toes' and has consistently received enthusiastic reception and great reviews.

* Since 1996, we have participated yearly at 'Markedet for Scenekunst' (market for performing arts) in Sandefjord, resulting in extensive touring for 'Norsk Scenekunstbruk' (Norwegian Performing Arts Intermediary), including Akershus Theatre Workshop, the Touring Organisation in Hedmark, Kulturnista etc.

* Europe's leading Puppetry Festival in Charleville-Mézières (Fr) bought 11 performances of 'Menopas Magic Railroad Show', which all sold out (1997), as well as a well-attended showing of 'Doña Quixota' in 2000.

* In 1997, we rediscovered an, until then forgotten, ancient theatrical instrument: the Peepshow Box, or 'Panopticum', where 4 spectators experience a miniature theatre performance in 6 minutes. We made '1000 years in a Box ',' Nora - the moving picture show '- e.g. shown at the National Theatre's Ibsen Festival - and, in 2000: 'Titranic I & II', which is performed at museums, markets, parties, festivals, and at children's wards at hospitals across the country.

* In 1999 the theatre celebrated its 10th anniversary and Coby Omvlee's 25th anniversary as an actor, with a "surprise-festival" Hitra & Frøya & Mausundvær: 13 performances from home and abroad of international quality. 0ver 1000 spectators from the small island kingdom celebrated with us.

* Our 3rd release in 2000, a collaboration with Teater Visuell, 'Stories for Josette', is mainly played in Nordland for Figurteateret i Nordland (Nordland Puppety Theatre) who was also the producer.

* 2000/2001 was spent on preparatory work for 'Mami Wata' and 'Sand between your toes'. We gave life to the clown duo 1the Conductors', and revived the monologue 'Obsessions' by Karl Valentin.

* The dual plane crash into the Twin Towers in New York in 2001, with the ensuing hateful international politics characterized by deceptive arguments, got us to embark on Ad de Bont's youth classic 'Mirad - a boy from Bosnia', and 'Sand between your toes '.
Both opened in 2002. In both, the spectators experience the sadness, joy, sorrow and fear of refugees (from Bosnia in 1994 and the Netherlands in 1942). 'Mirad' is a dialogue or two actors and a chair.
For 'Sand between your toes', we began using another forgotten tradition from medieval market entertainments: 'the curiosity cabinet'. With this technique, up to 90 spectators can experience a miniature theatre for 45 minutes in a cabaret-like form.

* In 2003 we were back in Vilnius on Raganiukes' festival to perform 'Sleeping Beauty - as seen through the eyes of the frog', our musical classic from 1993, in English with simultaneous translation into Lithuanian.

* Also in 2003, Jaap performed with his Panopticum in the music video for Folk Metal band 'Lumsk'.
'Katta og Andre Strofer' ('Nonsense and Other Senses') opened in 2005.
In 2005, we also toured the former concentration camps in the Netherlands with 'Sand between your toes', in connection with the 60th anniversary of the end of the War.

* We strive constantly to stimulate the appetite for Norwegian theatre abroad with tours and festival participation.

Several of our highly visual theatre pieces have been adapted for performing for the deaf and hard of hearing in collaboration with a signer/interpreter.

Fusentast thrive in collaboration with other theatres, actors, visual artists, writers and musicians. From Norway and other countries. International contact keeps us sharp.

We have room under our roof for interns for mutual enrichment.

Teater Fusentast is a member of Dance and Theatre Centre, the Norwegian Theatre Union/ITI, Assitej Norway and Norwegian Unima/Norwegian Association of Puppetry.