History

The road to the Tyst Teater of today, which is a home of dramatic art in Swedish Sign Language, has been a long and winding one. From working for years as an independent group, to becoming part of Riksteatern and a source of inspiration in many parts of the world. The fight for everyone’s right to express themselves has been the inspiration for our work since the very beginning.

Tyst Teater was formed in 1970 in connection to a course at the Västanvik folk high school where some of the students started a theatre group. After several successful sign language productions, Tyst Teater became the obvious choice of a faithful audience around Sweden.

In 1977 the Government decided that the Tyst Teater ensemble would become part of Riksteatern. This gave us an opportunity to reach a broader audience and to benefit from years of experience in theatre production. After many years of hard work to disseminate knowledge about sign language and deaf community needs, the rest of the world also became aware of Tyst Teater.

In 1989 Tyst Teater participated in the large international culture festival for deaf people, Deaf Way I, in Washington DC, USA. The production performed was Lars Norén’s Modet att döda (The courage to kill).

In1993 the Theatre Academy in Stockholm started its first sign language programme after lobbying from Tyst Teater. After three years, the programme produced three graduates.

In 1997 Tyst Teater received the prestigious Swedish Theatre Critics Award for its “innovative or otherwise significant contribution to Swedish theatre.” One of the plays performed that year was MIRAD – en pojke från Bosnien (Mirad – a boy from Bosnia) by Ad De Bont.

In 2007 Tyst Teater put on the Odyssey in collaboration with the Norwegian Teater Manu and Cirkus Cirkör. The cast of international deaf actors and circus artists performed the show through circus art, film and sign language.

In 2008the project Unga Tyst Teater (the young silent theatre) funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund is born. Over three years, the project worked to give young deaf people opportunities to practice culture activities on their own terms. Through productions, seminars, camps, courses and dialogue, a platform was created for the future.

In 2010 Riksteatern’s Tyst Teater launches itself as a centre for deaf dramatic art. The doors are opened to a theatre that more clearly than ever wants to be a meeting place for everyone who wants to come into contact with dramatic art in sign language. In Sweden as well as internationally.

In 2014 seven students from the Nordic countries graduated after three years’ studies at the Swedish Sign Language acting programme, twenty years after the first graduating class.

In 2015 Tyst Teater celebrated 45 years of dramatic art performed in Swedish Sign Language.