Mnouchkine wins The 2009 International Ibsen Award

Liv Ullmann (left) presented the award to Ariane Mnouchkine in Oslo on Sept. 11. Photo:

Ariane Mnouchkine was presented the award by committee chair woman Liv Ullmann. The award ceremony took place in the National Theatre in Oslo on September 10.

Awarded yearly to honor an individual, organisation or institution within the arts that has demonstrated extraordinary achievements in the spirit of Henrik Ibsen, The International Ibsen Award aims to stimulate critical debate on significant social and existential questions.

Headed by Ariane Mnouchkine since its foundation in 1964, the Théatre du Soleil in Paris is an ensemble that renews theatre and uses it as an arena of social criticism. Typical of the performances of the Théatre du Soleil are improvisation and the involvement of the audience in the productions, which are created collectively by the ensemble. Mnouchkine’s role is more than that of a director – she heads a theatre she claims must embody the art of cooperation, involving all participants, on stage, backstage and in the audience itself. In this way, the Théatre du Soleil radicalises the function of the theatre in society; making it a focal point for people’s self-awareness. Thus, the theatre becomes both society and a mirror of society.

Ariane Mnouchkine is a brave champion for human rights and a passionate participant in debates on social affairs. The productions of the Théatre du Soleils express solidarity with the oppressed, expose propaganda and undermine simplified images of reality. At the same time, the company’s performances are travels into another world, strengthening the participants’ courage, compassion and joy. That is artistic work in the spirit of Ibsen.

More information on The International Ibsen Award can be found at

Source: Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs

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