Theatre Director, Deceased Person
1875 – 1963
Who was Agnes Mowinckel?
Agnes Mowinckel was a Norwegian actress and theatre director. Born in Bergen into a distinguished family, she became Norway's first professional stage director. A pioneer in bringing painters to the theatre, she used light as an artistic element, and engaged contemporary composers. She took part in theatrical experiments, worked at small stages in Oslo, and founded her own theatre.
Her first stage production was an adaptation of Wedekind's play Spring Awakening at Intimteatret in 1922; subsequently she worked as stage director for Det Norske Teatret. From 1927 to 1928 she led the avant-garde theatre Balkongen in Oslo. In 1929 she staged the first production at Det Nye Teater. During the 1930s she directed a series of performances at Nationaltheatret and Det Norske Teatret. After World War II, when she was in her seventies, she was involved with the establishment of Studioteatret and Folketeatret; she produced plays for Trøndelag Teater, and a number of plays for Nationaltheatret. She had a masterful and spirited personality, and has been called the mare of Norwegian theatre.
As an actress she was often used in protagonist roles, but rarely had long-term assignments. She made her stage début at the Bergen theatre Den Nationale Scene in 1899, and joined Sekondteatret in its first season, until she got married. After ten years she made a comeback as actress, touring one year with Nationalturneen, and played one season with Trondhjems nationale Scene. She participated in Danish films in the mid-1910s, appeared regularly at Centralteatret from 1916 to 1921, and had a three years assignment as actress for Det Nye Teater from 1928.
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