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“Theater can help treat patients.”

“Theater can help treat patients.”

The Pummla Theater Company consists of Marie Stenvall Rylander, John Anderberg, Matilda Björkman, and Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo. Photo: Sarah Hulvey.

Bumla Theater They call themselves “Bumla” mostly because it sounds funny. The group consists of Marie Stenvall Rylander, Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo, John Anderberg, and Matilda Björkman.

It was with Läkartidningen one evening when they met to rehearse their play “Origo – A Study in Doubt,” which is being performed at the Stadsteatern for a week in December. This is the third time the play has been performed. Previously, they played on smaller stages where they did everything themselves – direction, lighting, sound, PR and posters.

– The first time we played the play, a lot of people came and loved it. Even the second time the house was full, says Mary Stenvall Rylander.

The second time there was also a producer of Stadsteatern in the audience, who wanted to see Pumla there. So it will be different now: they get help with light and sound and they also have an outside director and musician. The fact that the entire production has become more professional makes Matilda Björkman feel more nervous, but the others disagree.

-I never get nervous about our acting, just because someone won’t have time to put on their pants or the light will go out. Now I feel very calm, and it’s nice to have someone who does this kind of thing every day by controlling and fixing the light, says Marie Stenvall Rylander.

They’ve also linked two “real” actors themselves, whom they found through auditioning.

“There were 16 people who knew the play by heart, and it was very nice,” says Sarah Fletcher Sandersio.

The play addresses questions such as: Is this the right partner for me? What do I want to do with my life? John Anderberg and Marie Stenvall Rylander rehearse the scene. Photo: Sarah Hulvey

The play is a relationship drama, in which the audience follows three couples in what they call a “dialogue play” with a cinematic flair. They wrote everything themselves based on their experiences and “reflections.”

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– It’s about friendship and how it can develop over time, and how difficult it is to live in a relationship: how much are you willing to give up on yourself? And what space should my friendships take up when I invest in a love relationship?, says Matilda Björkman.

Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo adds:

Female friendship is the common denominator in the play. Here are Marie Stenvall Rylander, Matilda Bjorkman and Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo in “Tinderscenen.” Photo: Sarah Hulvey

– Sometimes we get the question, “What do you want to say?”, but we may not want to say much, but rather we may want to raise questions. The best thing is that almost everyone who has seen the play says “Oh my God, how do I know myself.” It’s like an observational study! You look at the characters and see what’s going on, and maybe you see a little of yourself.

All four point out that the play also contains a lot of humour.

-We like to entertain, it’s a comedy-drama with rap dialogue and we tried to make it a lot of fun. Stage show! John Anderberg says.

He is the only one of the four who has worked as an actor before, and also composed the music, and all four sing in the play. Matilda Björkman describes the play as a “delicious” experience:

– It is good relational, good visual and good for the ear.

Finding enough time is a challenge. Marie Stenvall Rylander and Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo, both doctors at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, will be on call the week they play at the Stadsteatern. Matilda Björkman, who works as a psychiatrist, has taken a leave of absence, and John Anderberg, who is in his final year of medical school, are “just mysteries.” Everyone says they want to continue doing theater on the side, and there are also thoughts about stepping down in time from caring professions.

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– It is difficult to work full time in our professions, they are very fun but very demanding and sometimes take place at all hours of the day. The insight that care often requires doesn’t always resonate with lay people, so it’s puzzling, clever and sometimes challenging, but worth it, says Sarah Fletcher Sandersio.

They also believe that they benefit greatly from their clinical work in acting, and vice versa.

– We don’t tell patients’ stories when we play, but all the strange and difficult things we are involved in in care, and the feelings you have there, can be vented through theatre. Theater can also help a lot in treating patients. You are often involved in situations where you are supposed to appear calm, but in reality you are stressed or anxious and have to put yourself in someone else’s position. So what you bring with you from the theater can be very helpful, says Sarah Fletcher-Sandersjoe.

Before entering the medical program, Marie Stenvall Rylander had some thoughts about becoming an actress, but she chose to become a doctor:

– I thought you would achieve deep happiness by helping others, not by having fun and being on stage. But then I realized, “Why should we keep saving people’s lives if there is no culture?” Why should we live then, there is no point in it?

They explain the success they have achieved so far by the fact that they are not only good at the “cultural part”, but also at the administrative part.

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– Many people in the culture love creativity and ingenuity, but not the slightly more boring business side: looking for money, holding meetings, drafting business contracts. But we’re very good at it, and that might set us apart a little from other free groups, says Matilda Björkman.

Sarah Fletcher Sandersjo continues:

– In addition to having this academic structure, we also have a limited number of hours in the day, so we have to be efficient. We did it our way and I think that’s part of our recipe for success.

– We are very conscientious! “We all want to work, that’s why we’re at Stadsteatern now,” adds John Anderberg.

But above all, they describe themselves as a good team, a good squad, which is partly to do with their profession.

– Care, ultimately, is an exercise in “together play,” as well as theater — and depends on the ability to work together. What you can practice a lot in healthcare: complimenting and consulting each other, daring to stand up to each other, having an open mind because someone else might have a better idea – I think that’s one of the reasons it works so well between us, as John Anderberg says.

Bumla Theater Group:

Marie Stenvall Rylander: ST is a pediatrician at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital in Solna.

John Anderberg: In the last semester of the medical program and got a job as a surgeon at Capio St. Goran Hospital after graduation.

Matilda Björkman: Psychologist at Wemind Haninge.

Sarah Fletcher Sandersio: ST is a pediatrician at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital in Solna.