Since 2002, Den Nationale Scene (DNS), Bergen, Norway, has collaborated with the Afghan National Theatre. In 2009, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), funded the three year project ”Continued Cooperation with Afghan National Theatre”. The objective was to improve the quality of the Afghan National Theatre (ANT) by building competence within the theatre, with a special focus on female actors. The project aimed to contribute to a separate education of female actors, to make the Afghan National Theatre more attractive to women, to increase the number and quality of new Afghan plays, to strengthen the dramaturgy section, and to continue capacity building in different parts of the theatre.

This report documents and reviews activities until mid 2011 and assesses to what extent the activities have met the programme objectives. It assesses potential changes/improvements and suggests a possible extension/future direction of the programme.

The main conclusion is that ”Continued Cooperation with Afghan National Theatre” in general is a success, and that the activities correspond well with the objectives of the project. The collaboration has generated an Afghan National Theatre holding a professional standard in a well functioning theatre building that the staff take great pride in. Yet, there have been challenges. Recruitment of female actors has proven difficult due to salary levels and cultural challenges.

Arne Strand

Deputy Director, Research Director, U4 Director