This thesis investigates Mangfoldsåret or “The Year of Cultural Diversity,” the 2008 Norwegian government initiative focused on creating a more inclusive and multicultural arts scene. I examine the year through the lens of the institutional theatres in Oslo, with specific focus on Ibsen performance. Both of these fields possessed enormous potential to make meaningful political statement in Mangfoldsåret, and demonstrate that the government and Norwegian arts scene were truly committed to raising the level of cultural diversity in the arts: theatre is the government’s most heavily subsidized arts sector, with institutional theatres enjoying the majority of these subsidies, and Ibsen is one of Norway’s largest national and cultural icons. How would these national institutions—both the large institutional theatres and the cultural institution of Ibsen—respond to the government’s Mangfoldsåret demands, especially in Oslo, the Norwegian capital and city with the highest proportion of multicultural inhabitants?
Beyond observation and analysis of theatre and Ibsen performance during the cultural diversity year itself, this thesis also dissects the structures behind the Norwegian theatre system, in order to gain better understanding of the reasons behind why culturally-diverse influences and actors face difficulties in penetrating both Norwegian Ibsen performance and the wider Norwegian theatre scene.