Scena Theatre to present U.S. premiere of Jon Fosse’s ‘Strong Wind’

The haunting and surreal drama is a new work by Europe's most-performed living playwright.

The directors of Scena Theatre continue their 35th season in Washington, DC, with the U.S. premiere of a new surreal drama, Strong Wind. The playwright is Jon Fosse of Norway, Europe’s most-performed living writer and the distinguished winner of the International Ibsen Award in 2010.

Strong Wind is a haunting and surreal play. This tragicomic one-act play centers on a MAN, who has been away a long time and returns. He peers out the window of the flat he shares with his wife. But is this still his home? Is this existence still his life? Or does he merely belong to the past—a spectator of his own abyss? And, did a different, younger man take his place? Strong Wind tells the tale of a man’s attempt to return to a life where nothing is certain. Playwright Jon Fosse returns to the stage, himself, after a long hiatus with this surreal play that he has described as “a haunted man’s scenic poem.”

‘Strong Wind’ promotional graphic courtesy of Scena Theatre.

Scena Artistic Director Robert McNamara is excited to produce another Fosse play: “Jon is a fascinating writer who is not widely known in the U.S. But he is a major voice of surrealism. Now, audiences in DC will get to see why Fosse was a recipient of the Ibsen Award.” Scena has produced two other plays by Jon Fosse. In October 2019, Scena presented the U.S. premiere of Fosse’s surreal play about shipwrecked survivors, SEA, at the DC Arts Center. Also in 2017, Scena produced the drama about a troubled and paranoid couple, Someone Is Going to Come.

Scena has a rich history of staging world, U.S., and regional premieres of bold plays by renowned and up-and-coming writers. In the past 15 years alone, Scena has staged 10 such premieres. In 2018, Scena presented the world premiere of GUILT at the ATLAS by John Shand from Australia. In 2015, Scena staged the regional premiere of The Norwegians by C. Denny Swanson. In 2014, Scena presented the DC-area premiere of Handbag by Mark Ravenhill of England.

Further, in 2013, Scena staged the regional premiere of The Marriage of Maria Braun by Rainer Werner Fassbinder of Germany. In 2012, Scena staged the East Coast premiere of Mein Kampf by George Tabori of Hungary. In 2011, Scena staged the regional premiere of Purge by Sofi Oksanen of Finland at the old H Street Playhouse. And in 2010, Scena staged the DC-area premiere of Sink the Belgrano! by Steven Berkoff.

Strong Wind by Jon Fosse, plays November 3 to 26, 2023, presented by Scena Theatre at The DC Arts Center in Adams Morgan2438 18th St NW, Washington, DC. Performances are 7:30 PM Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2:30 PM on Sundays. Tickets are $45 and are available on Eventbrite here. Use code FOSSE15 for 15% off.

MAN:  Stas Wronka
WOMAN:  Sissel Bakken
YOUNG MAN:  Robert Sheire

Director: Robert McNamara, Set Designer: Carl Gudenius, Costume Designer: Sigrid Johannesdottir, Sound Designer: Denise Rose, Lighting Designer: Marianne Meadows, Videos/Projections: Kirk Kristlibas, Assistant Director: Anne Nottage, Stage Manager: Laura Schlachtmeyer

Jon Fosse (b. 1959) is widely considered one of the most important writers of our time. Born in Strandebarm, western Norway, he now lives in The Grotto in Oslo, in Hainburg, Austria, as well as in Frekhaug, Vestland. Fosse’s prolific career began in 1983 with his first novel Red, Black, and since then he has published numerous novels, stories, books of poetry, children’s books, and essay collections. His first play in 1993 was Someone Is Going to Come. Since then, he has written nearly 30 plays, including A Summer’s Day, Dream of AutumnDeath Variations, Sleep, and I Am the Wind. Since the mid-90s, his plays have had unparalleled success, having been performed more than 1,000 times, globally. Fosse continues to write novels, stories, and poetry of great quality. In 2015, he received the Nordic Council Literature Prize for his work Trilogy, consisting of WakefulnessOlav’s Dreams, and Weariness. His earlier novels Melancholy I and IIMorning and Evening, and Aliss at the Fire also received critical acclaim. Fosse has been awarded numerous prizes both in Norway and abroad and is often been mentioned as a frontrunner for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

SCENA Theatre brings the best international theater to Washington, DC and stimulates cultural exchange between theater artists, locally and worldwide. Founded in 1987 under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, SCENA produces an annual season of plays, seasonally staged readings, as well as a Workshop Series aimed at developing new works from around the globe.


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