Plays by Lene Therese Teigen
MATER NEXUS13 female parts – suitable for 9 actors, 137 pages
Translated into english, french, japanese, swedish and finnish.
All nine characters are interesting parts for excellent female actors from the age of 20 to 55.
A story about nine women and their experiences in life, their memories, longings, feelings and choices. The play is devided into three specific parts. From short scenes in a cabaret-structure, to the big bourgois living room-action, and finally a modern theaterspace with the use of videoprojections and the actors staged as musicians in an orchestra.
What makes a person take part in life, what makes her not? This play is about how we choose to be concerned about how changes in life affect us. The theme of death starts the reflections of what life is. Strong relations between mothers and children/daughters rise questions on control and integrity, guilt and conscience. More stories weaved together also makes the tragic more concrete. Each individual reacts differently to the story of her life. The parallell life-stories focus on the similarities and the differences in ways of living and ways of reacting.
The prologue is a short scene with all nine women on stage in a park, sitting on benches and moving between them, talking about the past and how they remember their mutual childhood.
In the first part of Mater Nexus we meet different women in seven different situations, often connected to a time in life when change occurs. Each of these scenes are not more than 5 minutes, often less. We meet a violinist short before her concert, a writer at a party, a mother who just got her first baby, two nuns at a convent, a woman who gets to know she has cancer, etc.
In the second part it is revealed that almost all the ladies presented in part one has one thing in common: They all know Ingrid, the one who got to know about her breast-cancer. Ingrid throws a dinner-party, because she thinks she will die. She invites her two sisters, her daughter, stepdaughter, two childhood friends, her medician and her rival from the schooldays. Berit’s daughter won’t come to the party. All the other women get to know one another there. She realizes that they don’t think about her all the time, and they find out that their lives reflect one another. They are weaved together in a mutual story of love, death and bitterness.
What is the worst: To loose one’s 4-year old child in an accident, or to die of breast-cancer at the age of 50? Nothing is more important than anything else, and they all must deal with their choices on their own. By the end of the party, Ingrid experiences that the other women’s anger is headed towards her, instead of love and affection, which she was sure she would get.
In part three, eight years later, we understand that the violinist, Anna, has commited suicide and that Ingrid is not yet dead, but she has now gotten cancer again, and this time she will die. Ingrid visits her daughter, admits her failure as a mother, and wants to start all over again. At last, Alina, her daughter, accepts. She asks Ingrid to tell all that is important, and makes her sit down and do it. One by one all the women come in to the room, and tell some of their inner thoughts – what they are most concerned with. In the end Ingrid dies, and Alina is on her own.
TWO DAYS IN ROMEby Lene Therese Teigen, 2002, in translation to english
2 female parts, 3 male parts, 118 pages
What happens when a happy couple meet an unhappy couple and it turns out that the woman from the happy couple and the unhappy man have had their two days in Rome together, before the present relationships were established?
In Two Days in Rome Agnes’ and Philips’ past in Rome more and more become a nightmare for all of them; What did really happen? What can happen now? The four main characters have all their own versions of how the two days went by. It does not get better when these impressions gets coloured by what is said in the present. What happened and what did it actually mean?
The two couples meet at an idyllic holiday-site in the southern part of Europe, and is waited upon by a waiter who is always prepared when needed. The four meet accidently in the hotel-garden, and the situations which occur become more and more intense as the sun shines from a clear blue sky.
Two Days in Rome sweep you away into a reality which is partly poetic and partly concrete. The ideas of our time of what a relationship based on love is supposed to be, is put in focus. How honest are you supposed to be? And is it possible to trust one another? Because in the end this is what matters: Do we believe our lover when he or she tells us: It means nothing, it is you I love. Two Days in Rome is an erotic theatretext from the modern european reality.
not transated by november 03
By Lene Therese Teigen, 2003
6 female parts, suitable for 3 actors. 81 pages
The story of three women who all experience great losses in life. They are not happy, not pretty, not rich, nothing exciting is happening in their lives.
Nevertheless, this is a story about how to come to terms with things and at the same time come to terms with one another. It is about accepting something and never giving up, on the other hand.
We meet the two extremely different sisters Ellen and Johanne, Ellen who has lost her lover in a car accident, Johanne who has lost contact with her own daughter. They get to know Liv, an elder women who, it turns out, once had a very special influence on their lives. Livs husband is dying, and that is what she is hoping for – nevertheless, life is what she has lost, and suddenly they all realize that Ellen and Johanne has had something to do with her terrible faith.
Lene Teigen 11.nov. 2003
Life Machinetranslated by Charlotte Barslund 2009
Elisabeth a divorced photographer (35), her mother Eva (60), Eva’s partner over the last 25 years (and Elisabeth’s stepfather) Joachim (70), Elisabeth’s lover – the saxophone player Magnus (45), his wife (soon to be ex-wife) Vera (45), their daughter Julie (20) and her soon to be boyfriend Bjørn (34), who also is Elisabeth’s colleague and good friend.
Joachim’s estranged wife (to whom he later returns) Siv (70) (played by the Eva-actress)
Structure; the text consists of four parts, as well as a prologue of 3 pages:PART 1: “IN MOTION” (40 pages, 27 scenes) PART 2: “WEDDING” (16 pages, 1 scene)
PART 3: “IN MOTION” (47 pages, 26 scenes) PART 4: “FUNERAL” (14 pages, 1 scene)
Life Machine is a play about the chaotic consequences of love and hate on family life and relationships as modern society accepts divorce and new family constellations arise. It is a contemporary theatre text, which gives the audience a grim and naked picture of our time, while still offering them the opportunity to laugh when the situations become strained.
The text is composed in part as a film with sharp cuts. Several short sequences tell the stories of eight characters, which span love and hate, death and illness, marriage and divorce. Life Machine is dynamic and surprising because the short passages are intersected by two longer scenes that bring together all the characters. In a comical and absurd way we get acquainted with the people who inhabit the story, their lives and choices, in a style varying between profundity and humour. The story reveals a pattern of tragicomic repetitions. When will they ever learn?
The plot: Elisabeth is a freelance photographer who meets Magnus, a saxophone player, when she is shooting the cover for his first solo-album. They fall in love and Magnus decides to leave his wife, Vera, and their daughter Julie, a 19-year-old student. Magnus moves in with Elisabeth. Vera cannot accept being left for another woman and becomes a victim with no will to change her life. Eva, Elisabeth’s mother, tries to convince Elisabeth that she must watch out for herself in a relationship with a man who is still married; there are bound to be problems … Eva should know, she has been living with Joachim for the past 25 years and he is not yet divorced from his ex-wife. Elisabeth’s colleague, Bjørn, has turned 34 and is starting to feel desperate: He wants to have a family and is tired of playing the field. He tries to convince Elisabeth that she will be better off with him, but Elisabeth wants Magnus and tells Bjørn that one day he will meet the right girl for him. Vera, Magnus ex-wife, uses Julie in her efforts to hurt Magnus and she becomes a malignant force in the lives of Elisabeth and Magnus. Her secret is the Elisabeth-doll which she stabs when she is frustrated and sad.
Bjørn meets Julie, now 20, at Elisabeth’s and Magnus’ wedding, and falls in love with her. At the wedding Joachim leaves Eva and Eva later discovers that he has gone back to his wife. But Elisabeth and Magnus are happy! Julie agrees to move in with Bjørn, and thus avoids having to deal with her distraught mother. Magnus and Elisabeth are furious with Bjørn, who is convinced that Julie and he are well-suited and claims that he has changed his ways. Eva becomes depressed, but feels she has every right to be because Joachim has gone back to his wife. Eva develops heart problems.
Both parents are happy when Julie falls in love with a fellow student and leaves Bjørn. Bjørn is very depressed. Soon Julie finds herself pregnant by her new boyfriend, who unfortunately leaves her. Julie decides to raise the child alone. Despite a health scare Elisabeth is now also pregnant and Magnus is delighted. Julie and Elisabeth make their peace. Joachim is no happier than he was before, but everything has calmed down, which is what he wants now, having turned 70. Eva dies. The final image: Everyone drinks brandy – alone and together at the same time.The settings for this text are: the terrace of Joachim’s summer house, Elisabeth’s living-room, Vera’s bedroom and outdoor locations on the way to and from these places. Parts 1 and 3 are written so that each scene takes place in a new environment – and always with one new character entering and one staying on from the previous scene. There is a change to place and time, and every time at least one character will move from one scene to the next.First performance at Oslo Nye Centralteatret, March 3rd 2005.