“Munch and his Mentor” is a play about Edvard Munch and his bohemian years. It investigates his influences and how Munch found his style. It circles around events shared by Munch and his mentor Hans Jaeger – events that enhanced Munch's quest to find himself and “paint his life”; events that gave Munch the courage to keep going, events that shows why Munch valued Jaeger and the bohemian experience.
About The Play
Kristiania (Oslo), Norway, around 1890: Edvard Munch is approaching thirty years of age and is truly a struggling artist. The establishment criticizes his experiments in form and content and calls him a fraud. Sales are so low Munch has to exchange paintings for a meal, and he has great doubts about his quest as an artist. On top of this is his personal life on a low – his father just died without Edvard being there to say goodbye, every woman he meets seems to steal him away from his work and he ends up running away – and with the ending of the bohemian era, his social life is dramatically reduced and many of his friends are long gone. Munch especially misses his mentor, Hans Jaeger, the chief bohemian of Kristiania.
Munch’s sensitive nature did not go well with the bohemian’s quest for “free love” but he still cherished the bohemian ideas throughout his long life. The bohemians inspired each other to “jump onto life’s pages in full color”, gave each other the courage to describe life as they saw it, and moved each other from being critical of the establishment to make their own original creations, from being copycats and followers to originals, to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
“Munch & his Mentor” circles around events shared by Munch and Jaeger – events that enhanced Munch’s quest to find himself and “paint his life”; events that gave Munch the courage to keep going, events that shows why Munch valued Jaeger and the bohemian experience.
The bohemian movement was international and raised the same questions all over the western world, and the play also investigates two hypotheses:
- The bohemian era is the cradle of the modern sentiment.
- Several writers and artists were successful because of being part of the bohemian movement.
The play also has underlying arguments that should be of inspiration to anyone today:
- “Finding oneself” requires continuously introspection
- The most common form of despair is not being true to yourself
- For the world to move forward every new generation has to look critically at the establishment, the ruling generation
- Life’s greatest aspects cannot be measured nor calculated
About the Creators
Mr. Gunnar Germundson, has over the last twenty years written film scripts, radio- and stage plays and has been produced by the biggest theaters in Norway. “Munch & his Mentor” is Mr. Germundson’s first play to be shown in the US. Mr. Germundson has had numerous representational positions within arts and culture in his homeland and was president of the Writers‘ Guild of Norway from 2006 – 2012.
David L. Yen
David has been active in theater for over three decades. He attended UC Irvine, then worked in New York City as well as the north bay. A versatile artist, he has acted in film, television, and on stage in contemporary and classical drama as well as in musicals and even standup comedy. He has also worked nearly every aspect of production.
David has been nominated for several local awards--including Marquee Journalists' Theatre Awards and Theatre Bay Area Awards--on both the acting and production side, and has won the Bay Area Theater Critics' Circle award twice for his work as an actor. You can follow him at davidlyen.com
The producer of the play is Mr. Lars Richardson. Mr. Richardson is born and raised in Norway and is residing at Valgalder Gaard outside Sebastopol, one hour north of San Francisco. The last years he has hosted Norwegian playwrights, singer-songwriters, painters, poets and filmmakers – some have stayed as artists in residence, others for shorter engagements.
Mr. Richardson wants to implement more live performances, and has recently built a stage that seats more than a hundred guests. His goal is to make this a venue to benefit both Norwegian artists looking for exposure towards the U.S and the West Coast, and vice versa.
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