Webtheatre Room 408 is an online theatre venue based in Reykjavík Iceland. Room 408 is one of the first theatre´s worldwide that focuses on digital performance and has specialized on exploring the web as a place for performance and performance making.
Room 408 is a web theatre founded in the spring 2009. The company uses the internet as a performance venue using the medium as a vehicle for performance, a channel between performance places and inspiration for new writing. Each performance allows the audience to experience theatre events in the virtual space of the web and/or in the physical space of the where the performances take place. Room 408 investigates the behavior of people on the internet and allows the virtual world of the web to affect both form and content of the its pieces letting the stories unfold in multiple layers. Room 408 was nominated for Prix Europa in Berlin 2010 and 2011 in the “Emerging Media” category.
The opening piece also called Room 408 was launched in october 2009, a comical road story about a family of three on an escape from a fallen world. Room 408 is an interactive sound piece on the web that incorporated a live performance between Helsinki and Reykjavik through the internet and broadcasted live at the online venue. Since then the theatre group has launched four pieces on its website, 2010, Glaciers, The School of Transformation and The School of Transformation Correspondence.
The founders and artistic leaders of Room 408 are playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín and Theatre maker Steinunn Knútsdóttir.
Hrafnhildur Hagalín is an Icelandic playwright living and working in Reykjavík. She graduated from the Reykjavík College of Music as a classical guitarist and later studied Literature and Theatre at the University of Sorbonne, Paris-IV. Her first play, “I am the Maestro” (Icelandic Critics´ Award 1991, Nordic Theatre Prize 1992)has been translated into twelve languages and produced in many countries around the world. Among Hrafnhildur´s other plays are “Easy now, Electre”(nominated for the Icelandic Theatre Prize “Gríman” and the Nordic Theatre Prize 2001) “North”, “Salka Valka” (an adaption of Laxness´ novel), a television play, and “Loners”(2009) – a cycle of six short radio plays broadcast by the Icelandic State Broadcasting Company in 2011. Hrafnhildur lives and works in Reykjavík.
Steinunn Knútsdóttir originally graduated with a BA i Theology from the University of Iceland. She later trained as an actor in Denmark, and studied theatre direction in the UK and Russia. Steinunn has worked with various theatre groups as a director and a performer in Denmark, England and Iceland. Steinunn has mainly focused on progressive, cutting edge theatre, crossing the borders between disiplines, participating in many research projects. Steinunn is based in Iceland where she works as a theatre maker. Her work has played in Reykjavik, Copenhagen, New York and Vienna. Steinunn is currently the dean of the Theatre and Dance department at Iceland Academy of the Arts.