Swedish Royal Dramatic Theater

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Swedish Royal Dramatic Theater


opened May 17, 1788, in Stockholm. Until the 1870’s the theater cultivated a declamatory acting style and staged chiefly tragedies by A. von Kot-zebue, bourgeois plays, and French vaudevilles. In the 1870’s the works of B. Bjørnson and H. Ibsen were introduced into the repertoire, but A. Strindberg’s plays were initially banned from the state-supported theater. The staging of Strindberg’s Master Olof in 1908 was followed by the presentation of plays by B. Shaw, P. Lagerkvist, A. Schnitzler, and H. Bergman. From 1933 to 1938 the theater was headed by the director O. Molander, who fostered the intellectual, psychologically subtle style of acting that distinguishes the theater to this day.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, under the direction of A. Sjöberg, the theater staged plays by Shakespeare, F. Garcia Lorca, and Strindberg (Miss Julie, 1949). Its company has included the distinguished players G. Broström, A. Björk, I. Thulin, M. Krook, U. Palme, and M. von Sydow. From 1963 to 1966 the theater was headed by the director I. Bergman, who mounted fine productions of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (1963) and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (1964). The actor E. Josephson was appointed principal director and manager in 1966. Outstanding productions of the 1970’s include Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata (1973) and To Damascus (1974), Erdman’s The Mandate (1974), Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (1974), and Sternheim’s The Burgher Schippel (1976).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Karl Ragnar Gierow of the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theater pared down the rambling manuscript to something resembling a play, but infrequent productions (including a 1967 Broadway version) have usually been met with underwhelming reception.

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