The (Ir)replaceable Master Director – Considering the Case of the Odin Teatret

Daria S. Skjoldager-Nielsen


In 2019, a call for a new director for Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium – Odin Teatret, based in the Danish town of Holsterbro, was published. This, however, did not mean that Eugenio Barba, the artistic leader of the Odin Teatret theatre group, was to be replaced – in this organisation, the laboratory and the theatre are two separate domains. Yet, when we heard this announcement, we wondered: “Would it be possible to replace the artistic leader as well?” In this paper, we explore the problem of how theatre groups such as Odin Teatret pass on legacy and traditions from generation to generation. Despite Barba’s explicit and repeated wish not to continue the work of the theatre after his resignation, we pose the following queries: (1) How could the business be further cultivated once the famous visionary director retires? and (2) Would the next step be the continuation or something new?

Based on various leadership theories, we discuss the history, methods, and dramatic productions of Odin Teatret and Barba as well as the process of generational change in the laboratory.

Słowa kluczowe: Eugenio Barba, Odin Teatret, przywództwo transformacyjne, zmiana pokoleniowa, zmiana dyrektora

Kwartalnik "Zarządzanie w Kulturze" ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.

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