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Ellen Horn

Ellen Horn and the dream of expansion

Winge stayed on until 1992, when Ellen Horn took over – this time by herself. This was the first time a woman was the sole Artistic Director.

She was a trained actor, and many thought she had the qualities an Artistic Director needs. She was initially hired for a period of two years, but stayed on for eight. With Ellen Horn in charge, the Torshov Theatre reopened in 1993, with small, actor-run teams choosing their own repertory.

The National Theatre building was getting crowded. The communications department hired offices in Universitetsgaten – which was impractical. Then the financial department needed more room, both departments moving across the street, to Stortingsgaten 22. The workshops had been located in Heimdalsgata, in old and cramped facilities. The theatre needed more square metres, and plans were drawn up to build underground, the dream being to open a newly expanded theatre upon the theatre’s centenary in 1999. It did not work out that way.

Ellen Horn’s period as Artistic Director lasted until 2000. When she left the National Theatre, she became Minister of Culture in the Stoltenberg cabinet.