ITA International Ibsen Fellowship

The International Ibsen Fellowship honours the name of one of the world’s greatest and most influential dramatists.

Henrik Ibsen

The International Ibsen Fellowship honours the name of one of the world’s greatest and most influential dramatists.  It is awarded by the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) to a promising young theatre talent in years when the Ibsen Artist in Residence is not awarded.  Under the mentorship of ITA’s Artistic Director- Ivo van Hove- the Ibsen Fellow has the opportunity to evolve in the art of directing plays, to study the complex operations of a theatre company, to explore connections and networks among the wider theatre community; thereby acquiring experience for an international career.  In addition, during the course of the Fellowship, the Fellow is charged with creating two new theatre productions.


Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam and Toneelgroep Amsterdam merged on 1 January 2018, and from the 18|19 season onwards the organisation operates under the name Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA). The company acts as a beacon for contemporary theatre and caters to audiences from Amsterdam and around the world, leading the way at the national and international levels. ITA produces a high-quality programme with 600 pluriform national and international theatre and dance performances every year, and social programmes that appeal to a wide range of audiences, bringing them new ways of understanding and seeing the world.

ITA is one of the leading lights in Dutch theatre, with a large ensemble of world famous actors and a pioneering team of directors. Performances are held by the ITA-ensemble not only at the Amsterdam venue, but also at around 100 other venues around the world. The new theatre is also a major Talent Center focusing on education, development and collaboration. At ITA, tradition and innovation go hand in hand. They are the pillars of a company that is constantly in motion and presents itself explicitly at the heart of Amsterdam, at Leidseplein.

With an average of 350 performances and 20 productions each season of the ensemble, ITA is a leading and innovative repertory company of international renown, led by Ivo van Hove.  Since he was appointed in 2001, he has paved the way for an urban company with international allure by creating a series of sensational shows and by attracting different directors from the Netherlands, as well as from other countries. The core of the company consists of 22 quality actors, making it possible to keep shows in their repertoire. Together with designer Jan Versweyveld, he breaks through the restrictions of the large theatre, and steps out of the frame if the performance calls for it. The playhouse as a location where the natural distance between actor and audience is removed and the relationship between fiction and reality is defined in a new way. 

ITA produces reinterpretations of classic repertoire, new texts and crossovers with music, video and design. By frequently teaming up with other companies, such Toneelhuis, artistic cross connections are created. Apart from Ivo van Hove, ITA also works with prominent guest directors from various countries, such as Katie Michell, Luk Perceval, Simon Stone, Guy Cassiers, Sam Gold, Robert Icke, Thomas Ostermeier and Simon McBurney. What connects these internationally renowned directors is their belief that theatre is essential within a society that is more disparate and diverse than ever. They all share a concern about the place of man in this continually changing society. Well-known productions are e.g. Angels in America, Roman Tragedies, The Fountainhead and Kings of war. ITA Productions have toured to France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Russia, Argentina, Poland, Turkey, China, Lithuania, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil, Croatia, Australia, Chile, Ireland & Japan


Maren E. Bjørseth

Maren E. Bjørseth studied Directing at the Theaterschool Amsterdam and presented her own style with her thesis directing of A Doll’s House in 2012: a radical, playful and form-conscious reinterpretation of Ibsen’s classic. Immediately after, she directed the intriguing The Slope (Carl Frode Tiller), the rugged Ten Liefde (Ko van den Bosch), the cheerful yet macabre Faith Love Hope (Ödon von Horváth) and Ibsen’s The wild duck at Frascati Producties. She chooses plays about small people in an absurd and confusing world. She uses an absurd acting style and an abstract form that are just an inch away from realism. Bjørseth directs in her home country as well as in the Netherlands, because it provides her with the greatest possible freedom to ‘optimally explore the advantages of both theatrical cultures’.


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In Norway, she directed e.g. La Ronde (Arthur Schnitzler), An enemy of the people (Henrik Ibsen) and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which earned her a nomination for the Heddaprisen for best director. In October 2016, there will be the premiere of Agota Kristof’s The Notebook in Trondheim. Her directing of Hugo Claus’s A bride in the morning at TA-2 – Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s platform for the development of young directorial talent – was selected for the National Dutch Theatre Festival in 2015. ‘She delivers a spotless, slightly absurdist performance, in which the actors manage to let each and every one of Claus’s characters shine in all their hope and despair,’ according to the Nederlandse Toneeljury.