The Kennedy Center


After The Rehearsal & Persona, part of the Bergman 100 Celebration

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - Sunday, April 22, 2018


Two Ingmar Bergman screenplays are brilliantly reimagined for the stage by celebrated director Ivo van Hove. This theatrical double-bill delving into the messy lives of theater artists features searing performances to match the layered psychological drama of Bergman’s texts.

Search for Current Events


“Ingmar Bergman’s close-ups are now spectacular stage vistas.”—The Washington Post

After the Rehearsal and Persona
Presented by Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Directed by Ivo van Hove

Two screenplays by legendary Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman are brilliantly reimagined for the stage by Tony Award®–winning Belgian director Ivo van Hove (the recent Broadway revival of A View from The Bridge) and his acclaimed ensemble Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Delving into the messy lives of theater artists, both plays feature deeply emotional and physical performances to match the layered psychological drama of Bergman’s texts.

After the Rehearsal centers on director Hendrik Vogler, a man who organizes his life within the confines of the theater. His work is his life: rehearsals are like notes in his diary, performances are his autobiography. All emotions are submitted to his control. Yet as the women in his life begin to intrude, he learns that life and reality cannot be kept at bay.

In Persona, an actress falls mute during a performance of Electra and has not spoken since. But does she have a condition or is she merely assuming another role? The star-struck nurse who cares for her idolizes the actress at first, but then develops a deep resentment toward her charge. As tensions build between the two, manipulation and emotional attacks trade back and forth, and their two personalities seem to slowly meld together.

Performed in Dutch with projected English titles. Recommended for age 16 and up. The performance of Persona contains brief nudity.

“You won’t want to miss this evening. It is bliss. 5 Stars!”—DC Theatre Scene
“Resonant and rich. Book a ticket and then get to work tracking down old Bergman films to complete a proper centennial.”—Broadway World

Part of the Bergman 100 Celebration
Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007) is considered one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of all time. The legendary Swedish artist directed more than 60 films and documentaries, most of which he also wrote, and directed more than 170 plays. His creations constantly navigated the boundaries of the human psyche, while at the same time exploring love, beauty, and the meaning of life in ravishing and astounding ways. We invite you to celebrate this groundbreaking artist’s centennial with exclusive opportunities to experience some of his most eminent work reimagined for the stage.

Expand your Ingmar Bergman experience at the House of Sweden:

Ingmar Bergman Moods: Costumes & Images
(also on display in the Eisenhower Theater Lobby)

The exhibit explores the creation of a Bergman atmosphere through costumes and imagery. Legendary Swedish costume designer Nina Sandström displays historic and contemporary garments, including original costumes used in Bergman productions and new designs created for films like Bergmans Reliquarium, in which classic Bergman scenes are reimagined and reinterpreted by contemporary Swedish actors. The costumes are paired with Magnus Länje’s large scale photos reimagining iconic Bergman roles as well as the milieus that shaped Bergman as a storyteller. Curated by: Nina Sandström, Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and Magnus Länje.

A Never-Ending Whispering ConversationThe Fanny and Alexander Process
Of the more than 60 films and 170 plays that the iconic Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman directed, Fanny and Alexander (1982) is one of his most renowned. Bergman wrote Fanny and Alexander in a matter of months, yet his preparations started in early childhood. Bergman wrote the first scenes when he was a boy, and decades later, he directed and produced the film, recreating his childhood memories of a home filled with mythical secrets, the furniture conducting “a never-ending whispering conversation.” Curated by: Ingmar Bergman Foundation and Swedish Film Institute.

Exhibitions in conjunction with the Ingmar Bergman Centennial Jubilee #Bergman100. On display in House of Sweden until June 24.

Opening hours:
House of Sweden, 2900 K Street, NW
Saturdays & Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm
FREE admission and guide on site.
Learn more about this and other events at the House of Sweden! 

Watch and Listen