HAMLETSCENEN’S LABORATORY: for professional artists

Conducting experiments are inextricably linked to the risk of failure, but often experiments also promote understanding, push boundaries and form the basis for the breakthrough of new ideas.

At HamletScenen, we believe that daring to go new ways, to challenge tradition and the classics has enormous potential and is an expression of the power and zeal needed to create innovative and relevant performing arts.

That is why we invite you to take part in Shakespearementarium. An open performing arts laboratory, created with the aim to challenge the Danish Shakespeare theatre tradition and thereby develop new artistic approaches, contexts and formats in relation to classical works.

With Shakespearementarium, HamletScenen offers professional artists within performing arts a framework for the development of artistic material as well as spaces for reflection on their own practices and methods in relation to ideas either based directly on one of Shakespeare’s works or otherwise inspired by Shakespeare’s dramatic universe.

Shakespearementarium, as such, is a platform for artists who want to “shakespeariment” within their craft; not to invent new things for the sake of the new, but to sheer the artistic process away from the claws of rational thinking and the power of habit.

In other words, it is the place for crazy ideas, for research and experiments, where artistic ideas can be tested without risk. Knowledge and know-how will subsequently be collected and disseminated in order for it to, hopefully, have an influence on new initiatives, currents and formats within the performing arts in the long run.

A 5-day residency- and laboratory programme
Throughout the year, a series of 5-day laboratory programmes are organised and we have a quarterly application deadline.
The five days at Shakespearementarium focus on work aimed at artistic development and NOT production. This means that, for example, you can apply for:

  • Generation- and exploration of artistic material
  • The narrowing in on an artistic idea
  • Testing artistic ideas in practice
  • Development of a common artistic practice

Prior to the 5-day laboratory, the theatre meets with the selected artists for a short introductory interview. This meeting will, among other things, shed light your artistic practice and the artistic idea to be explored. The meeting should also be seen as an opportunity to match expectations in order to create the most optimal development- and working environment and to ensure that the framework for the process and the final work demonstration are appropriate and rewarding.

The course itself lasts from Monday to Friday, and you will work in HamletScenen’s black box with access to a basic technical package. You are responsible for the planning of your work, but the theatre’s employees will naturally be around to support you on a daily basis when or if needed. If desired, HamletScenen can assist the process with professional artistic back-and-forth in relation to Shakespeare’s drama, themes, etc. This will of course be carried out on your terms, however, we will, lovingly and well-meaningly, try to challenge any limitations, fixed patterns, etc., so that new opportunities, perspectives and ideas arise.

It is not required for you to document your work along the way, but the process ends with a work demonstration and a conversation with the audience. In addition, we ask you to submit a final report of 1-2 pages to document the outcome and conclusions. It is important for us to point out that the work demonstration is not a presentation of a work, nor necessarily of a work in progress. With the work demonstration, we would like to gain insight into how exactly you have explored, played and experimented artistically with Shakespeare’s dramas and themes.

The conversation with the audience is a moderated session structured according to the DAS Theatre feedback method. We know that receiving feedback can cause anxiety and nervousness, but at the same time we believe that opening up about the process in a safe space without judgment is beneficial.  
The invited audience will be thoroughly prepared in advance so that they are able to engage in a structured conversation with an understanding of both your process and the goal of the work demonstration.

After the five days, we will meet for an evaluation and talk about how to proceed with your “shakespeariments” from here.

A 5-day residency- and laboratory programme always consists of:

  • Access to a work area/breakroom, kitchen and Thaliasalen including basic technical equipment Monday – Friday (NB. Black box without vinyl dance floor)
  • Accommodation for 4 nights
  • Per diems for 4 days according to applicable rates
  • A fee of DKK7,000.00 per artist (max. 4 people per group)
  • A production fee of a maximum of DKK3,000.00
  • Opportunity for artistic back-and-forth during the process, if desired
  • The programme ends Friday night with a public work demonstration and subsequent moderated audience conversation structured according to the DAS Theater feedback method.

We expect to be able to open up the first applications in Q3. Stay informed on this page or follow along on Facebook, where we will also announce dates and more.

Please note:
We only receive applications from professional stage artists. Professional performing arts means plays, musical theatre, opera, performance, physical and visual theatre, dance, contemporary/new circus, animation theatre and mergers between these genres, aimed at children, adolescents or adults.