Fulbright scholar leaves the Ibsen Centre : I have received a lot here, says Kyle Korynta
Scholars from all over come to use the Ibsen Centre -- some from the floor above to check a footnote, others from the other side of the globe to stay for months. Kyle Korynta, Fulbright scholar arrived last August.
Photo: Ram Gupta (ILN)
-- In 2007 I attended a summer course at the University of Bergen. At that time I was also writing my Master’s thesis on Hedda Gabler and on Asbjørn Aarseth’s advice I went on to the Ibsen Centre. I conducted research for my master’s thesis there for a month. Thanks to that contact I was invited to come here on my Fulbright scholarship, says Kyle Korynta.
We catch him on the last day of his stay in Oslo--just in time for summing up. Kyle is a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington in Seattle, writing his thesis on Ibsen and Jon Fosse.
He has divided his Fulbright months between Oslo and Bergen, and through his contacts at both universities he has been able not only to see several performances of both his subjects' plays, he even had the good fortune to meet one of them.
-- I was encouraged by my advisor in Bergen, Lars Sætre, to contact Jon Fosse, who had recently moved into the honorary residence Grotten. We exchanged emails, and then, on Thanksgiving, I met him. We talked about many things, and he gave me a tour of Grotten. I regret not taking pictures--I was too starstruck, Kyle smiles.
-- I also went to a workshop performance at Dramatikkens hus with him, and attended a panel discussion with Fosse, Ramin Gray and Simon Stephens led by Kai Johnsen. So I actually spent about seven hours with Fosse altogether that day.
The Ibsen Centre could not deliver a live dramatist; the closest we can come is Ibsen's Ghosts. But through our contacts in the theatres Kyle met dramaturge Ola Bø at the Norwegian Theatre and got to watch videos of several Fosse performances from their archives.
-- I also met dramaturge Ba Clemetsen at the National Theatre and had a very useful conversation with her, says Kyle, who saw the National theatre's performance of Hedda Gabler as well as the Norwegian theatre's Namnet.
One of the courses taught in the fall semester at the Ibsen centre is Ibsen in Performance. Kyle attended the class and joined the students on their excursion to Skien International Ibsen Conference and visit to Ibsen's childhood home at Venstøp.
-- It was good for me to see drama not only as text but in the perspective of performance, he says. -- It was also very nice to get to know the master students. Since we all lived in student housing we would meet on the tram and discuss Ibsen. Being further along in my studies I could give them tips and suggestions, says Kyle.
-- I’ve received a lot here at the Ibsen Centre. It’s is a good place to conduct research. You have the books close at hand and can browse the shelves and the many binders with articles on all aspects of Ibsen’s life and work. Just to look through the binders can spark fresh ideas and suggest new angles, says Kyle Korynta, who leaves us-- for now-- to join his wife and baby daughter in Seattle.