Hallo from Norway!

NDSU Theatre Arts major Seth Eberle is interning in Norway this spring as a scenography intern for the European touring production of the opera Teskjekjerringa og prinsesse Pompadur (Mrs. Pepperpot and Princess Pompadour), based on the stories of Alf Prøysen.  Seth is in his third year at NDSU and is a native of Bismarck, ND.

Q: I understand this internship was create through Pavel Dobrusky, assistant professor with NDSU Theatre.  Could you please explain what interested you in applying for this internship?

Seth: Pavel did create the internship and I applied.  I applied because I am interested in puppetry.  There is one large-scale puppet in this production.  However, I also applied because, as a puppeteer, I am interested in how all aspects of a production work together in order to tell a complete story.  Since Pavel is a scenographer and designs all parts of a production, I am interested in how he works, thinks, and creates the designs to work with each other.  I am also interested in his views as a theatre artist.  Therefore, I wanted to be his assistant on this production.

Q: What has been the most exciting experience so far?

Seth: The most exciting experience thus far has been getting a compliment from the director, Stein Winge, after we painted a bunch of props with UV reflective paint so that they would shine under black light and being called carrot or gulrot by him.  Another exciting experience has been creating small crafts and costume constructions for Pavel in order to help him carry out his designs under the supervision of a Norwegian costumer.  It is good to know that the craft skills taught in the theatre and art department at NDSU are applicable outside of it.

Q. What is the most challenging part of this internship?

Seth:  The most challenging part of the internship is attempting to communicate with young children in another language in order to keep them safe and quiet backstage.

Q: What do you feel you will take away from this experience?

Seth:  I think that I will be able to take away several things.  One of them is an appreciation for how people are the same no matter where you go.  Human nature is always similar which is really quite a comfort.  Another thing that I can take away from this experience is that I have been able to see the collaborative process amongst theatre professionals.  I have been able to see the differences between European and American theatre as well as look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.  Finally, I will be able to make connections in Europe that I may be able to keep throughout my professional career.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?  People (puppets?) you’ve met?  Thoughts on traveling to Norway?

Seth:  I have been able to touch the headpiece for a puppet for the London production of The Lion King because one of the craftspeople was touring a show through the same theatre at which we were working, which was very excellent.  I got to hear her views on working with Julie Taymor, the stage and film director.

I also met several people from the European Voluntary Service, which is an organization sponsored by the European Union.  It allows people from other countries to volunteer in a completely other country for nine months.  Living expenses are paid by the European Union.  The hope is that young people will learn about the culture and languages of other countries.  They will also be able to network with other people in order to establish connections.  They have been great people and very useful for learning words in Norwegian.

I also met Hannah who is from Idaho and assisting on this production.  We have been able to lean on each other and help each other adjust to the new environment as well as learn design ideas, theatre, and ideas on life from her.

Traveling to Norway was less of a culture shock than I expected.  This is because most people speak English.  However, they speak it in the exact same way that people in Fargo do.  American culture is also everywhere.  However, it is slightly different or warped in a European way.

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