Name: Kári Viðarsson
Programme: BA (Hons.) European Theatre Arts
Current role: Owner and artistic director of The Freezer
I graduated from BA (Hons.) European Theatre Arts (ETA) in 2009. After returning to Iceland in 2010 I started my own theatre and residency, The Freezer, in my hometown of Rif (A small fishing village of 160 people) on the west coast of Iceland. The aim of this venture was to bring culture and theatre back to rural Iceland as well as showing that professional theatre could thrive anywhere with the right kind of connection to its community. In this theatre I’ve now created 9 pieces of new writing as well as collaborated with a plethora of artists, both domestic and international, for my own work as well as visiting projects. Alongside working in The Freezer, I’ve also taken on freelance work here in Iceland for stage, film, commercials and voiceover. My career highlight would be receiving the Eyrarrós Award in 2015. The award is one of the most prestigious culture award in Iceland, awarded by the presidential office to an outstanding cultural project in rural Iceland.
I owe a great deal to ETA and the “no one is going to do it for you” work ethic that was installed in me by the faculty at work there. Before choosing to go to ETA I had the opportunity to pick other more traditional performance courses. I’m happy I didn’t because on ETA I acquired the tools to pursue my dream of working from scratch off my own ideas and being involved in the full process of creation and theatre making. I never got bored. I was always challenged and I always enjoyed it.
The course gave me the opportunity to develop strengths in the areas of performance practice that excited me and I firmly believe that without ETA I would have never found the idea or the belief in the idea of a tiny town professional theatre.
To future ETA students I would say: Keep and open mind, listen and suck in as much as you can, work as hard as you possibly can and in the end find the courage to take away from it those elements that make you continue to burn for performance.