Actress and director Mariken Lauvstad graduated from the physical performance theatre School of Stage Arts in Denmark in 2006. Since then, she has gradually worked more towards teaching, directing and writing for, and about, theatre. Mariken took her 1-year Honors in Practic-Pedagogical Teaching at the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo (2013). She is currently doing an MA in International Dramaturgy at the University of Cape Town, while working alongside her studies.
In 2007, at the age of 24, Mariken established Teater Polkadot with college Yvonne Wiche Levinsen. They premiéred with the corporeal mime theatre performance TRANSIT in 2008, directed by French choreographer Yves Marc. Mariken has later worked for KATMA Productions, and – among many other things- worked as a voice actress, singer and High School drama- and theatre history teacher. She has directed around fifteen plays, most of them devised.
In February 2016, Mariken moved to Cape Town and started working on the crime preventive theatre program «Help, I’m Free» in Pollsmoor and Goodwood Prison, with rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders and ex-offenders. She directed the deviced piece The Making of a Criminal with twelve inmates from Pollsmoor, and independently produced the performance Phefumla with four young ex-offenders, a play that was directed by acclaimed Thando Doni, premiéred at the international ASSITEJ festival Cradle of Creativity (April 2017) and travelled to Norway September the same year.
Mariken is particularily interested in deviced theatre with non-actors, and work with groups or minorities whos perspective and voice is usually undermined in society. She is currently researching democrating dramaturgical frames in theatre with non-actors representing the so-called Other.