Studying at KHiO 2019: Academy of Theatre

Name Thea Lambrechts Vaulen
Programme Bachelor’s in acting, the Academy of Theatre
Age 24

Tell us about your graduation project.

Well, it was certainly a special process! We put on The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller, as staged by a German artist duo, with Silvia Rieger directing and set designs and costumes by Laurent Pellissier. That was something completely different than anything else we had previously done during the programme. We didn’t have read-throughs and analyses, we just started working on the floor from the get go. The rehearsals were mostly about the director showing us how we should say or “do” the text. It was very physical, and we repeated the actions in accordance with her lead to the best of our abilities. This sounds like a straight-jacket, but I liked that she instructed us so clearly, it helped me to discover spaces in myself I didn’t know existed. It was educational to do something so completely different, and I’m grateful for having been able to experience and work under such discipline. She is stern and critical and let’s you know things straight up. It can be tough when someone is so strict and direct, but at the same time, when she was so critical, I didn’t have to be so hard on myself – she kind of took care of that. I felt just like an elite-level athlete: scared to death of getting sick. Because if my voice faltered or I was in bad shape, it would be hard to perform. It was exhausting, but we were prepared.

Why did you apply to the Academy?

Well, it was because I wanted to become an actor – that was my goal, basically. I had heard so many good things about the programme, but of course I really didn’t have a clue about what I was going to. I was studying drama and theatre communication at Oslo Metropolitan when I was accepted by the Academy, and I’m glad for what I learned there as well.

What is the most important thing you’re taking with you?

What springs to mind is all the experiences I’ve had, above all with the people here. A lot of the education is about exploring yourself in depth and searching for who you are, both as a person and as an artist. It can really wear you down sometimes, but it’s necessary. The friends I’ve made in class – they’re for life. We’ve listened to each other, given each other space and pushed each other forwards, both as a group and as individuals. Encounters with internal and external instructors, and with other students, have also inspired me. I’ve met so many clever people, and I’ve grown and changed. Your outlook and who you are as a person can’t help but be affected during such a powerful process.

What happens now?

I’m heading off to the Teatret Vårt theatre in Molde! I’ve been given a role there in Romeo and Juliet, which is going to be staged by Simen Formo Hay, who graduated from the Academy as a director two years ago. Alva Brosten is designing the costumes – she also graduated from the Academy two years ago – so I’m looking forward to this. I’m both nervous and excited. For three years now I’ve been part of an enjoyable and caring group – I’ve been a student, which of course is a somewhat different role than being employed somewhere. It’s going to be nice to begin all over again, in a new city, with a new group. I’ll continue exploring, working, making mistakes, hanging on to the free space you have as a student – you can do that during rehearsal time as well.