The Östgötateatern in Norrköping is Sweden’s largest regional theatre. It sets out to provide high-quality artistic drama for people living outside the main urban conurbations. The distinctive theatre programme regularly includes plays by writers from Sweden and abroad, and children and youth theatre. In addition, over the past 30 years, the Östgötateatern has become renowned for its strong tradition of musical theatre.
The theatre is not only a centre of cultural life in the region, but also prominent on the Swedish theatrical scene. It organises cooperations with schools and other cultural institutions, and promotes independent theatre groups.
The Östgötateatern has three stages. The two main auditoriums in Norrköping and Linköping both date from the early 1900s, while the "Elsas hus", opened in Linköping in autumn 2001, hosts the “ung scen/öst”. The three stages offer around 25 different productions a year and draw an annual audience of approximately 100,000.
The Östgötateatern managing director Lenny Carlsson and theatrical manager Johan Celander are assisted by an advisory management group. The nucleus of the company is an ensemble of 20 actors, regularly supplemented by newly graduated students from the local School of Drama and more experienced and renowned artists.
The regular total staff (including technical and administrative personnel) totals 129 people, but this figure can rise to 350 for some periods during the season.
The Östgötateatern pursues a policy of engaging directors and stage designers for not longer than three years. Such an approach guarantees the renewal of inspiration and new artistic impulses and trends so vital to a living theatre, yet also ensures a proper balance between continuity and creativity.
The “ung scen/öst“ (Young Scene/East) in the "Elsas hus“ venue in Linköping provides a forum for theatre for children and young people. The “ung scen/öst“ under artistic director Måns Lagerlöf performs and regionally tours new plays, often commissioned especially by the theatre. In spring 2006, the Swedish government entrusted the “ung scen/öst“ with the task of coordinating theatre for child and youth people on the national level for the next three years.