Behind The Scenes: Hallfridur Tryggvadottir, Theatre Producer
A series of articles that feature Theatre Makers from the other side of the stage.
Hallfridur Tryggvadottir '19, known simply as Halla, is a New York-based Icelandic producer and director of theatre and film. Halla has produced plays, immersive theatre, dance, films, events and international festivals. Before moving to New York, Halla was a board member and marketing director of Tjarnarbio Theatre, the center of the independent theatre scene in Iceland, and manager of events and PR of Reykjavik International Film Festival. Alongside studying towards her MFA in Theatre Management and Producing at Columbia, she has interned for Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More and is now the head marketing fellow of Columbia’s theatre department, producer for the international artist collective Source Material Collective and the co-founder of GERVI Productions.
Why did you decide to become a theatre producer?
It just happened. I remember being an advocate for theatre when I was 14, and I went to my principal and told him about the importance of teaching theatre. He was convinced. That was just the beginning. I have always had an urge to tell stories, to open people’s eyes to important issues, and to create a space where they can forget about their everyday worries. I also love turning small ideas into something bigger, and for that reason I became a producer.
What's the role of a theatre producer? What are the challenges of that role?
A theatre producer is the captain, the person who steers a ship of creativity through all the storms that you go through from the birth to the death of a show. From securing the story, hiring talent and following the creative process, to raising money, creating awareness and just running the show, the producer’s role can be highly challenging, since a producer needs to juggle countless different things.
What are you working on right now?
I am producing a performance called A Thousand Tongues, a hybrid of a music concert and theatre. It is a multinational project by Danish Performer Nini Julia Bang, directed by an American director Samantha Shay. Its world premiere was at the Grotowski Institute in Poland, as part of the Theatre Olympics, and the Icelandic premiere was last week. My other major project at the moment is a short film called I. The film was shot in August by an all-female crew and is currently in post-production. It is written, directed and produced by Vala Omarsdottir and me, through our company, GERVI Productions.
What would you like to be doing in 10 years?
I would like to be working internationally as a producer and creator in theatre and film. I see myself exploring new ways of storytelling and building bridges between different cultures.