Activities, History and museums
Hålogaland Teater is a regional theatre serving the region of Nord-Norge, the northernmost of Norway. When established in 1971, it was the first regional theatre in Norway, and the first professional theatre in Nord-Norge. Many of its productions are staged in the regional Norwegian dialects. Although based in Tromsø in the Arctic Circle, where it occupies a modern purpose-built building, the theatre also tours the surrounding rural areas. The varied schedule includes a mixture of genres, contemporary and classic drama, and musical and children's theatre.
Lars Berg, a local teacher and writer, had campaigned for a regional theatre since the 1940s. He intended it to bring drama in local dialects into the farflung communities of the region. His vision was realised when the theatre began work, on 15 August 1971. While the first production, The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, received positive critical reviews, only 16 people attended the premiere. At the time, the theatre consisted of only 8 actors and two technicians, and lacked a permanent home.
Early productions tended to highlight political and social issues, but this radical edge faded as the theatre diversified. Originally it operated across all three counties in the region, but since the foundation of the Nordland Teater, it has focused mainly on Troms and Finnmark.
Its first permanent theatre space was found in 1984, at the new arts centre (Kulturhuset) in Tromsø. In 2005, it moved into a purpose-built theatre building, officially opened by Queen Sonja of Norway on November 5. This building includes three theatres, as well as dressing rooms, workshops and public spaces, a vast improvement on previous homes, which have included a disused margarine factory. As of 2005, the theatre has around 50 employees, including technical, administrative and artistic workers, and a mixture of young and established actors.