By Eugenio Barba, Francesco Galli and Julia Varley
Genius Loci. La Casa del Odin Teatret
Odin Teatrets Forlag, Holstebro (Denmark) 2020, 223 pages, illus. In Spanish ISBN 978-87-87292-28-3
We were five in 1964, myself and four youngsters rejected by the State Theatre School in Oslo, Norway, including Torgeir Wethal and Else Marie Laukvik who have remained at my side. We founded a joint-stock company and divided the shares among ourselves because the earth belongs to those who till it. We gave our theatre the name of Odin, a Nordic god who unleashes his dark forces to destroy or give insight. We were a tiny curious and naive amateur group. We loved travelling in the realm of the dead – the history of theatre. We were convinced that we had to pay from our own pocket for the theatre we wanted to make. In silence, with trappist rigour, we took our first steps as autodidacts towards a knowledge that also became the conquest of our difference.
In 1966 our theatre group moved to Holstebro in Denmark. Its politicians welcomed these young unknown foreign actors and – as an exception in the history of Europe – generation after generation supported them even in the early years when the population was hostile to their strange way of doing theatre. Holstebro became our homeland, here our children were born, here some of us are buried, here our wings grew.