About the theatre

The Reykjavik City Theatre

ranks among Iceland’s oldest and most prestigious cultural institutions. The theatre’s history reaches back across a century and more to when the playhouse was forged in 1897. It is now, alongside the National Theatre of Iceland, one of the two eminent dramatic stages in the nation. Reykjavik City Theatre, as the name suggests, is the municipal theatre of Iceland’s capital city.

In 1989, after 90 years of playing in an old wooden house in the city centre, the company inaugurated a new, modern theatre complex. The vast new building (11,000 square meters in total), comparable to Europe’s best e orts, boasts state of the art facilities and four highly technical and adaptable stages. The main stage seats 560 people, the black box holds 240, the globe stage 220, and a café-theatre has room for 120 at full capacity.

The Reykjavik City Theatre employs up to 200 people at any given time. Amongst the permanent team of artists, technicians and craftsmen are some of Iceland’s most desired talents. The company also contracts prestigious international talents for a selection of projects. All elements of production take place within the theatre itself, which has its own lighting, sound and multimedia departments, set and props workshops, costume and make-up departments as well as an experienced technical stage crew.

Our season runs from the September through June eash year. The RCT stages 10 to 12 new productions annually, in addition to hosting a variety of collaborations with other theatre companies. Our audience tallies range from 180 – 220,000 per annum, making RCT the most popular theatre in Iceland. The Reykjavik City Theatre is subsidised by the City of Reykjavik and is fortunate to enjoy corporate sponsorship while maintaining a healthy independent balance sheet.

The company draws on a richly varied repertoire of international and domestic works.
We break new ground even as we produce classics. Under the artistic direction of Kristín Eysteinsdóttir, the company prides itself on a strong ensemble dedicated to emancipating young writers and discovering talented new directors. Clearly, artistic vision and strong presentations are needed to maintain our record breaking attendance. Furthermore, the RTC promotes a wide range of outside events varying from philosophical debates to rock concerts. Furthermore, it is our great honour and privilege to be the resident theatre of Id, the Icelandic Dance Company.

In order to maintain an edge in competitive innovation, RTC also promotes productions
by independent theatre groups. Each year the theatre also hosts international guest performances while exporting progressive Icelandic theatre to the international theatre and performance scenes abroad. The Reykjavik City Theatre has successfully collaborated with many leading international companies such as the Barbican Centre and Young Vic in London and Het Muziek Theater in Amsterdam, The City Theatre Malmö, Sweden, Theatre Får 304, Copenhagen, Denmark. We are proud too to be the principal collaborators of the innovative and acclaimed Vesturport theatre group, with whom we have produced the international hits Romeo and Juliet, Woyzeck and Faust.

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page4image656Primary Purpose

Our objective is to o er a highly diverse theatre of ambitious calibre. Our aim is to
capture imaginations and enchant our audiences with unforgettable performances
of quality, character, and spirit. We wish to create a forum wherein contemporary social realities are brought to light and discussed. The Reykjavik City Theatre shall be a venue where the creation and promotion of new art goes hand in hand with the innovative staging of classics. We seek to weld a mutually giving and rewarding relationship with emerging ideas on the international theatre scene.

Our policy can be summed up in these four cardinal points:

  • Researching and interpreting our lives and times.

  • Creating and presenting drama of the highest calibre.

  • Capturing the interest and attention of children and youth.

  • Fostering relationships with our valued audience.

    Projects

    We present a wide range of projects.

    RCT pledges to create cutting-edge theatre that is rich in content and poses a de nitive relevance to our audience and contemporary life, be it comically or dramatically. We aim to present a richly contrasting and colourful body of work that is carefully constructed leaves a lasting impression on our audience. Let each piece be engaging and original in its own right, and let us insure that audience members of all ages will be entertained with local and international works of force and ingenuity.

    Our four technically pro cient stages help to make this possible. The Big Stage, as the name suggests, has room enough for large productions of vision and scope. The New Stage is reserved for more immediate projects, while the Small Stage is designed for intimacy between the audience and actors. (and the fourth stage?)

    Our recent productions have included The Seagull (Anton Chekhov), A Dollshouse (Henrik Ibsen), Bull (Mike Bartlett), Who ́s Afraid of Virgina Woolf (Edward Albee), Mamma mía (ABBA/ Catherine Johnson) and Njala (Halldor Laxness/Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson/Mikael Torfason), Blasted (Sarah Kane), The Visit (Friedrich Dürrenmatt), How I Learned to Drive (Paula Vogel), The Pigeons (David Gieselmann), Woyzeck (Georg Büchner), Sound of Music (Rodgers & Hammerstein), Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller), The Lonesome West (Martin McDonagh), Of Mice and Man (John Steinbeck), The Tempest and Hamlet (William Shakespeare),
    Mary Poppins (Disney and Cameron Machintosh) Mein Kampf (George Tabori), The Vagina Monologues (Eve Ensler), Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi), Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett), Ronia the Robber’s Daughter (Astrid Lindgren), An House of Bernharda Alba (Federico Garcia Lorca) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Simon Stephens)

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International Collaborations

Recently we have seen a surge in international collaborations, and we are dedicated
to fostering further ties and relations with our renowned colleagues abroad. We have
also been successful in promoting promoted our own Vesturport theatre group in England, Finland, Holland, Spain, Korea, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, the USA, and beyond. We encourage visiting artists, and we work closely with the annual Reykjavik Arts Festival and most recently the acclaimed theatre director Yana Ross whose production of The Seagull has been invited to international theatre festivals such as The Kontakt festival in Poland and The Tampere Theatre Festival in Finland

Our international collaborators have included: The Barbican Centre, United Kingdom;
Het Muziek Theater, Netherlands; BAT Festival, USA; Ruhrfestspiele, Germany; Tampere Teaterfestival, Finland; The Young Vic Theatre, United Kingdom, ILT09 Teaterfestival, Germany; Oscaras Korsunovas Theatre, Lithuania.

The House

The Reykjavik City Theatre is a formidable edi ce. It spans 11,000 square meters and is equipped with state of the art technology. The building is full of nooks and crannies from the underground car park to the ies under the roof. The house can be divided into three general sections: theatres, backstage areas, and open areas for audience. 

The Stages

The RCT houses three major stages, in addition to other more impromptu staging possibilities. The Big Stage has a generous capacity for 550 guests, and sports auxiliary
back and wing stages, an air control tower, hydraulic full-motion capabilities, and an orchestral pit for fty musicians. The wings contain ample room and equipment for
stage management, set changes, props and sundry, while the back of the house holds a command bridge for computer-aided lighting and sound systems. The Little Stage with a 220 audience capacity is an amphitheatre with a versatile stage and balconies, while the New Stage is an ever evolving black box seating 250. Our facilities have made it possible to host
- in addition to our drama schedule - diverse performances of cultural programs, concerts, dance, and opera.

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Foyer

The RCT houses a generous central foyer for all stages, providing our guests with ample refreshments and service.

Backstage and Production Areas

Central to our backstage facilities is a general service area for actors and other personnel. Here we nd spacious changing rooms leading to the make-up department and social spaces for chatting, waiting between scenes, and having cups of co ee before going
on stage.

Workshops

Our facilities also provide ample rehearsal spaces, workshops for set design and construction, props, tailoring, and costume departments, carpentry and metal workshops, art and paint shops, a recording studio, an electricians and lighting workshop, a canteen,
a conference room, technically pro cient ies under the ceiling, a gym, an underground car park, a powerhouse for ventilation systems, and docks with elevators under the stages.

Offices

Our offices are located on the ground floor next to the Reception area. The Theatre Director, the Manager, marketing executives, artistic directors, public relations, production managers, and lighting directors all have their offices here. Additional space is allotted as needed, including conference rooms and production spaces.

Contact / Questions / Comments:
Tel +354 5685500 Fax +354 5680383
Mail borgarleikhus@borgarleikhus.is
The Reykjavik City Theatre Listabraut 3 IS-103 Reykjavík ICELAND Tel: (+ 354) 568 55 00 Fax: (+ 354) 568 03 83