Unga Klara hires the entire mime acting graduating class

This year’s graduation performance in mime acting means a step into a professional career for the students. They are guided there by a group of experienced SKH alumni – and in the autumn, they will be employed as proper actors.
The graduating class of the bachelor’s programme in mime acting
The graduating class of the bachelor’s programme in mime acting will perform all the roles in the production together with three external actors. Photo: Märta Thisner/Unga Klara

The acting programme’s first degree performance after the formation of SKH in 2014 was the show X, a collaboration with Unga Klara that attracted a lot of attention and toured around Sweden. It was also one of the first performances under Unga Klara’s then completely new artistic directors Farnaz Arbabi and Gustav Deinoff, who, like SKH, are celebrating their personal tenth anniversary this year.

When SKH now returns to Unga Klara, it is to substantially more seasoned artistic directors. Unga Klara has gone from an uncertain existence as an independent theatre group to becoming Sweden's national stage for children and youth, and Farnaz and Gustav are in a way bringing everything full circle by directing a show together for the first time. The two-part performance Mitt hjärta siger: Lev, skrik, andas is performed on the Lagret stage at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern and is the degree performance for the bachelor’s programme in mime acting at SKH.

“We mentioned in a discussion last year that we would like to work with the kind of aesthetics Farnaz and Gustav stand for,” says Fabian Lexner, who is in the graduating class. “But we never thought we'd get to work with them like this, it's very cool.”

After that discussion, course coordinator Åsa Johannisson took a chance and called Unga Klara, receiving a positive response. Farnaz, Gustav and dramatist Erik Uddenberg came and did a workshop with the students, and they clicked immediately.

“It's such an attentive, ambitious and generous group,” says Farnaz. “They are very good at internalising and solving tasks together.”

“At Unga Klara we create theatre together, we are very collective in our processes,” says Gustav. “This is also something that this class is interested in, they really want to work as an ensemble.  It is also great that the graduating class at SKH chooses to focus on children's and youth theatre, which does not always have an obvious place. It increases our standing that they choose to make a graduation performance for children.”

Eight alumni are involved

In addition to the mime acting students, three students from the bachelor’s programme in performing arts are also doing their degree projects in the performance. In addition, no less than eight people who have received their education at SKH or its predecessors are involved backstage. Gustav, Farnaz and Erik have all graduated from here. So have Unga Klara's CEO Stefan Hansen, set designer Jenny Kronberg, costume designer Matilda Hyttsten, producer Sara Fors and choreographer BamBam Frost.

“Many of us have a personal relationship with SKH,” says Stefan Hansen. “The people I studied with here are a cross-section of my generation in the performing arts – during my years in the theatre world I have worked with many of the people I studied with. We know what the students are going through right now, we have our own experience of what you get when you attend this type of programme.”

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On Monday, a read-through was held at SKH, that is, a first major meeting with everyone who will work on the production. Photo: Johan Palme/SKH

Doing your degree show at an established theater, with all the functions and roles of a real production, is like a kind of internship, and a gentle transition into working life, Farnaz explains.

“When you graduate, you are filled with emotions,” says Gustav. “Working in the arts is always a risk in terms of where you end up, and you go out into the world with a sense of excitement and trepidation. It is so exciting to be able to offer a bridge out there.”

And it is going to become a gateway to the professional world in more ways than one. When the graduation performances in May are over, the play will become a regular production, to be performed through the autumn, and the newly graduated actors will get real jobs during the performance period.

“We are really proud to be able to offer employment to the whole group, says Farnaz. “They will get their first job together! In an uncertain theatre world, being able to do this is also a political position for the sector, which is important to us.”

Mitt hjärta säger:, written and directed by Farnaz Arbabi, and Lev, skrik, andas, written by Erik Uddenberg and directed by Gustav Deinoff, will be premiering together in May.

SKH is turning ten

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SKH is celebrating ten years as a university college in 2024, and we'll be filling the year with retrospection, foresight, articles and events that connect to the decennial in various ways.

Read about the anniversary and our history on our website

Mitt hjärta säger: Lev, skrik, andas

Premieres: 11 May

Location: Unga Klara, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern

Other: Duration: 45 min per individual act. As a suite 1 hour and 55 minutes including intermission. Suitable for ages 8 and up.

Read more and book tickets

Stacey Sacks, Head of Subject Area for acting, talks about how the degree show fits into the course. Photo: Magdalena Marklund/SKH

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Fabian Lexner. Photo: Johan Palme/SKH

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Farnaz Arbabi, Erik Uddenberg and Gustav Deinoff. Photo: Johan Palme/SKH

Stefan Hansen.jpg
Stefan Hansen. Photo: Johan Palme/SKH

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