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Social mission

Throughout history, the theatre has had an important mission. The National Theatre values ethics and social responsibility highly.

It may be easy to forget that theatre evolved in ancient Greece, at the same time and in the same place as democracy, but it did, and for a reason. Theatre played an important part in creating a shared cultural identity, and through theatre festivals citizens could enjoy a new, free space and another mode of being. And so the theatre became one of the building blocks in the DNA of democracy.

The theatre has always mirrored its time. When Europe was cast into darkness by the middle ages, so were the stages. And rarely has theatre flourished as it did during the Renaissance. When Norway became a free nation with its own constitution, it was decided that a National Theatre would be built, as the main stage for the whole of the nation. It would be placed within the heart of the nation – between the Parliament and the palace, the university and the city hall. This building – and what goes on inside – are crucial to our national identity.

During times of war and occupation, art and culture have been censored, as the National Theatre was censored during the Second World War.

The National Theatre values ethics and social responsibility highly. The theatre must perform its work in a manner that is fair and ethical to individuals, society, and the environment affected by our activities.