henning hegland

the theatre work of henning a hegland


Henning Hegland

(Director/Actor and Co-Artistic Director of Scandinavian American Theater Co.)

Henning has been working as an artist, performer, and director since 1997 in New York and Europe.  Henning’s directorial work range from re-imagining classics to collaborating with playwrights on new work, from devised theatre to opera.


His direction on The Threepenny Opera, by B.Brecht was reviewed by Anthony Tommasini in NYT as “cynical and bitterly entertaining...Mr.Hegland, a director from Norway...has staged a fluidly paced production with some intricate ensemble scenes...a dynamic show”.  Some of his other critically notable work include BUSSTOP by W.Inge, Ghosts - thosewhowalkagain and onepeopleenemy (from An Enemy of the People) both by H.Ibsen, and CCLIT by M.I.Swaye; the folk opera Hansel and Gretel by Humperdink with original music by Robert Banghart at Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska, a new adaptation of A Picture of Dorian Gray by O.Wilde at the Kirk Theatre in NYC which The Columbia Spectator reviewed as "The staging of director Henning Hegland is brilliant, and his positioning of the characters highlights their ever-changing hierarchies and attractions."; I Am My Own Moon by Zhu Yi at 3LD, and A.Strindberg’s Miss (frøken) Julie at Scandinavia House, NYC.

Henning has a featured role in UNDERSTUDIES, a mockumentary web series written by Elisabeth Grey and Daniel Zimbler and directed by Daniel Zimbler, where he plays the broadway director Knut Balke.

He performed the role of Robert Swedenborg in Ping Chong’s production Angels of Swedenborg at LaMama ETC ‘s 50th anniversary season which Backstage praised as a “commanding performance”.  Henning is excited to be working with Ping on a new production, in early development.

In April 2012 he directed the English language  premiere of the Royal Danish Theatre’s resident playwright Jokum Rhode’s Pinocchio’s Ashes for SATC (Scandinavian American Theater Co. - www.satcnyc.org)

Henning’s translation of Fredrik Brattberg’s Ibsen Award winning play Tilbakekomstene - The Returning - received an enthusiastic response from the audience at Scandinavia House and at the Theater for the New City.  A fantastically funny play by one of Norway’s up and coming playwrights.

Henning has appeared on television and films as a performer as well as on stages in the US, UK and Europe.  His paintings and etchings have been exhibited in London, Italy and USA.  Henning has an MFA in directing from Columbia University where he trained under the tutelage of Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick.  He holds an MA in devised theatre from Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England, a forefront arts institution and a BA in theatre from Middlebury College in Vermont.   He is an Artistic Director and a Founder of Scandinavian American Theater Company (www.satcnyc.org) in NYC  and is a founding member of Blind Ditch Performance (www.blindditch.org) which has devised and toured work across the UK and Europe since 2000.  Henning is an associate member of the Stage Director’s and Choreographer’s Guild and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.  He is also a member of Network 20/20 following his passion for promoting international understanding and dialogue, which he has been striving for since his Middlebury College days, receiving the Wallenberg Award for his efforts.

Below are photos and posters of select productions: please go to archive for more.

stills from walter rehearsals

April 20, 2011 at 2:00PM

April 21, 2011 at 7:00PM

April 24, 2011 at 7:00PM

All performances at 3LD Art and Technology Center

80 Greenwich Street, New York, NY

Tickets are FREE but seating is limited!

Reserve today by e-mailing NewPlays@ColumbiaStages.org

Everyone is a moon - a beautiful bright ball isolated in the sky.

But as you come closer, the craters appear.

Voyeurism, sexual passion, jealousy, and the ever present search for connection and love.

Following the stories of six characters as they nabigate the complexities of their longings,

the play weaves a poetic and darkly humorous journey into the beauty of our ugly side.

Featuring: Andrew Eisenman*, Victoria Tucci, Austin Mitchell, Yoko Hyun*, Ariel Estrada*, Amanda Broomell, and Chuck McMahon*

Mentored by Chay Yew

Part of the NEW PLAYS NOW Columbia University MFA Playwriting Thesis Festival

For more information, please visit columbiastages.org 

(*Artists appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association)


Henning Hegland had a successful run in the LaMama 50th anniversary production of Ping Chong’s

Angels of Swedenborg in the role of Robert Swedenborg. 


For Angels of Swedenborg promotional video:


Henning Hegland is currently developing Ping Chong’s latest production, BinLaden is Dead.

stills from various early productions

Pinocchio’s Ashes by Jokum Rhode

presented Spring 2012

Backstage Review by Karl Levett:

Pinocchio’s Ashes...a roller-coaster ride that is an odd combination of the horrific and the comic.  In this dark "Alice in Wonderland" world reversal is the norm: The innocent become guilty, the guilty seek redemption, and we witness crimes that include child murder and public suicide.

Under the firm direction of Henning Hegland, the cast does battle with the material with remarkable success. There's not a weak link in the chain, from Pettersson's almost-normal mother to Moeller's oily attorney and Mandell's mysterious sideshow oracle. The two leading roles, Gingold's agonized judge and James' guileless artist, are very well done.  Both men are strong performers we'd like to see more of.


Latest News:

Henning was nominated for the best director at the 1st Irish Theater Festival for his work on The Big Apple’s With Love From...


Understudies won the Best Acting Award at the Independent TV and Film Festival in Dover Vermont in which Henning plays a leading role as Norwegian director Knut Balke, the arch-nemesis of the lead Astoria Bagg played by Elisabeth Gray.  The mockumentary series is directed by Daniel Zimbler and co-created by Elisabeth and Daniel.



Judge Wolff:                                Alfred Gingold*

Prosecutor Alexander Trocchi:       Neal Moeller*

Werner Brown:                                 Mike James

Miranda:                                 Sue-Ellen Mandell

Mary:                              Izzy Hanson-Johnston*

Carola:                                        Lisa Pettersson

Dutroux:                                         Albert Bendix

Waiter:                                             Tiago Castro

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity.  

This is an Equity approved showcase.

Production Team:

Henning Hegland - director (norway)

Julia Przedmojska - set designer (sweden)

Dasha Martikainen - costume designer (finland)

Gertjan Houben - Lightingdesigner (Holland)

Jay Spriggs - Sound Designer (USA)

Nina Hobert - Composer, original music (sweden)

Vigdis Hentze Olsen - movement director (Faroe Islands)

Andrew K. Moss - fight and sex choreographer

Brendan Padgett - Dramaturg (USA)

Andrew O'Kane - Assistant Director (USA)

Sarah Tickal - Stage Manager (USA)

Frode Hegland - poster/postcard design (norway)

Francesco Sapienza - marketing, photography

Kendra Lohmann - marketing, photography

Sebastian Agdur Nyman - Producer (Sweden)

Anette Norgaard - Production Manager (denmark)

Blake Zidell - Press (USA)

"I love the smell of burning classics in the morning," declares Judge Wolff in the first line of Jokum Rohde's philosophical thriller Pinocchio's Ashes. The Danish playwright's award-winning work is an expressionistic noir drama about the role of art in our times and the demonic streak in human nature. The play tells a gripping story filled with melancholy, poetry and dark humor.  Set In the city of Kongstad, where a national ban has been imposed on art and culture, a crime wave has begun and revolution is in the air, something is about to happen....

Henning performed (May 19/20) in Giacomo Rocchini’s Departures at the École Internationale in a workshop production.

Henning attended the Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab where the  focus was on Comedy.  His area was Commedia Dell’Arte.

He also presented a workshop on theater in Norway.

Scandinavian American Theatre Company presented

Henning’s translation of The Returning (Tilbakekomstene) by Fredrik Brattberg at the Theater for the New City as a part of our Norway Festival Fall 2013



NYT Review by Isherwood:

...All four plays have their intriguing aspects, although, for me, the most engaging was Ms. Morisseau’s “High Powered,” directed by Henning Hegland, which moves furthest from the source material and doesn’t even include the character of Julie. Nevertheless, her presence hangs heavily in the air as Mya (Zenzele Cooper), Julie’s dog walker, and Mya’s boyfriend, Darrin (Kwasi Osei), the chauffeur to Julie and her rich father, pack up her belongings in boxes for Julie’s move across the country.

Stage and Cinema Review by Dmitry Zvonkov:

Lina Ekdahl’s whimsical and self-referential Midsummer at Tyrolen takes place in a coffee shop and features the delightful Rikke Lylloff as Julie, the insomniac daughter of the shop’s wealthy owner. Whether out of boredom or from lack of ideas, Julie takes a liking to Jean (an entertaining Albert Bendix), a local truck-driving slob who is engaged to the coffee shop waitress, Kristen (Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz). Under Henning Hegland’s capable direction, Midsummer is entertaining from beginning to end.

theasy.com review:

What is most successful about Bastards of Strindberg, the Scandinavian American Theater Company’s final production of it’s 5th anniversary season, is the way it embraces and extends the spirit of Strindberg’s work. In the preface to Miss Julie, Strindberg encourages intimacy and a move away from outdated formalism. The four plays featured in SATC’s production react to Strindberg’s work with a similar attitude....Bastards celebrates the richness of Strindberg’s storytelling and reveals new ways of understanding the complexities of Julie, John and Kristin.

Review of With Love From ...

The Big Green Apple  -  5 short plays presented at the 1st Irish Theater Festival in NYC

"Each short play touches on various topics: death, love, marriage, strangers, friendship, ambition and regret.  Til The Ocean is Hung Out to Dry by Paul Kennedy centers around a pugnacious couple who host a stoic Irishman.  Waiting for Ebbets by Aisling McLaughlin delves into issues surrounding immigration as three NY construction workers of different nationalities sit on a crossbeam in the 1930s. Kitchen by Orla McGovern tackles drinking and destruction within a family. In Where Have All The Roses Gone by Karl O'Neil, a smart, retired English teacher and a hot-mess American bond over Shakespeare and more.

Six actors make up the cast, Sean Mahon, Rachael Jenison, Jerzy Gwiazdowski, Reuben Barksy, Orlagh Cassidy and Penny O'Brien. Each gives a resplendent performance, although Irish accents do peek out a time or two behind American ones. Henning Hegland's directing is quite luminous as well; each scene is rich without any props or scenery but boxes.