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Västerbottensteatern – A regional theatre in the north of Sweden

As a regional theatre with national, regional and local funding we have a clearly formulated commission: Västerbottensteatern produces theatrical performances for all inhabitants in the county. This of course makes us a travelling theatre. Västerbotten is a sparsely populated county. Most of the population lives by the coast in the two cities Skellefteå and Umeå or in smaller villages. It is relatively easy to reach a large audience whilst travelling along the coast.
Then there is also the inland region, which is almost as big as Denmark but with only 40,000 inhabitants spread out in small villages and towns. The theatre has always worked hard to perform also in these smaller places. We believe that even if you live in a small village in a sparsely populated inland area you still have the right to share the experience of theatre.

When it comes to larger performances, we do both classics and newly written Swedish plays. The classics give the
audience an insight into theatrical history. It is an appealing combination to use theatre as adult education and at the same time give the audience an artistic emotional experience. When producing newly written Swedish drama, we try to choose highly topical plays about today’s society. Theatre as a forum for discussion, where the debate is open, is a vital part of a democracy.

Every summer we produce an outdoor performance in Skellefteå. The people love their summer theatre and it is by and large always sold out. We cooperate with local amateurs and therefore also have the economic possibility of giving relatively large performances.

Another important part of our work is school theatre. Children are our next audience and if they have the opportunity to visit the theatre with their school, it will hopefully be easier to visit the theatre again as a grown up.
School theatre is also the most democratic part of our work. Every child is given the same performance, no matter what kind of background they have concerning class, ethnical background and so on. We know that a visit to the theatre can mean a lot for a child’s development when it comes to language and vocabulary. Not to mention a positive influence when it comes to feelings and a belief in the future, self-esteem, concept of one’s self and empathy. We claim that theatre opens new worlds, not least for children.

Total annual turnover: € 3,5 Million
Average number of employees: 48
Number of performances annually: 450
Average annual audience: 30 000

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