The Beckett Trio

Nanna Ingvarsson is so phenomenal in these three harrowing short plays by Samuel Beckett that one can easily imagine the Nobel Prize-winning minimalist notoriously persnickety about his stage directions rising from the grave (center stage, a six-by-two rectangular hole, in nearly no light) and exclaiming (in a hoarse whisper): Yes, yes, that’s precisely what I meant. And then (brushing dust from his cadaverous face): If only I were still alive, I could write another playlet for her.(Whereupon, woebegone, he slowly disappears into the hole. Ten-second pause. Fade to black.)

Two-time Helen Hayes Award winner Ingvarsson has secured a reputation as one of the best actors in town, but were she still casting about for a calling in life, deciphering the distilled texts of Beckett would be a mission with her name on it.

Mouth’s monologue goes on like that for nearly eight pages, and I could not help wondering during this epic logorrhea, How in the world did Ingvarsson learn it? And how in the world did she then make it so piteous and hilarious at the same time?

DC Metro Theatre Arts
March 21, 2018, By John Stoltenberg

The Beckett Trio. Brilliant performances by Nanna Ingvarsson

…Ingvarsson, who grabs our attention with the first quiet rattle of words and holds us in a death-grip until she is done. Every syllable seems like a spontaneous utterance, compelled from her in the way that the salmon is compelled to swim upstream. She could be the Ancient Mariner, if her narrative had more and clearer intention.

DC Theater Scene
March 21, 2018, by Tim Treanor

Nanna Ingvarsson commands the stage in Scena Theatre’s ˜The Beckett Trio”

Who needs such accoutrements as a torso, limbs, eyes and ears? To capture the oppressive nature of memory and human consciousness, actress Nanna Ingvarsson needs just her mouth. Ingvarsson is the only visible figure in “The Beckett Trio,” an aptly intense showcase of three bleak, minimalist Samuel Beckett playlets directed by Robert McNamara for Scena Theatre.

Over the course of the brief piece, Ingvarsson is hidden behind a dark wall, with an aperture revealing her frenetically moving mouth. It’s a tour de force by the actress, who generates welcome bursts of humor with her squawks and scoffs, even as her agitated speech evokes a disquieting vision of awareness.

The Washington Post
March 21, 2018, by Celia Wren


As DeBrou seeks revenge, Soeur Jeanne, the abbess of the Ursuline convent in town, reveals in lascivious detail her ardor for Priest Urbain. Nanna Ingvarsson’s Soeur Jeanne vibrates at a high frequency veering between lunacy and lust. Her task lending credibility to the demonic possession and controlling Brigitte and, by extension, the whole convent is not easy, but Ingvarsson’s energy and verve make it look almost fun.

The Hill is Home
January 19, 2018, by Maria Helena Carey

Scena Theatre’s production of Guilt soars beyond big-emotion melodrama (and without the beauty and power of operatic music) whenever Nanna Ingvarsson (as a cloistered, tough-minded, seemingly sexually-repressed nun) and Danielle Davy (an at-first naïve, fragile young woman cast aside by her own father) appear. Ingvarsson and Davy turn what could have been an over-the-top, time-period specific melodrama into a potent production about women finding their way clear through a maelstrom of spiritual, secular, and personal conflicts. With total abandon, both Ingvarsson and Davy explore the inner worlds of characters who live in a time when women had no agency and were objects to be closeted away. Ingvarsson and Davy portray characters, who each in her own way wants to be loved and touched. But oh, the language Shand provides his characters. Here are some words that had me gasp when spoken by Ingvarsson in her role as a nun. How could there ever be chaste kisses after hearing these words spoken by a voice from God, like Ingvarsson’s?

I could eat his voice, and chew on every word;…

DC Metro Theatre Arts
January 10, 2018, by David Siegel

Fear Eats the Soul

There are thirty-five characters in Scena Theatre’s production of Fear Eats the Soul, and thirteen actors to play them, but as it is a love story it is really only about two people. One of them is Ali (or Salem), a Moroccan guest worker in Germany (Oscar Ceville). The other is Emmi (the astonishing Nanna Ingvarsson) a much older woman. They are human together for one hundred five minutes on the stage, thus turning something which might have been more commentary than art into a redemptive act.

But the performance which holds the production together is Ingvarsson’s. Great stage roles – Hamlet, Lear, Willie Loman, Winnie, Blanche DuBois, Hedda Gabler – are usually extraordinary people with gigantic virtues and flaws. But here Ingvarsson takes a perfectly ordinary person – intelligent, certainly, but weighed down by a life of mediocrity – and turns her into someone we can love and support. Ingvarsson does so many little things with Emmi which engage our attention that by the end you might walk away feeling that this is a true story about your favorite aunt.

DC Theatre Scene
May 18, 2017 by Tim Treanor

Emmi (Nanna Ingvarsson, heartbreaking and true) meets Ali (Oscar Ceville, mercurial and compelling) after ducking into an unfamiliar café on a rainy evening. He’s middle-aged, she’s somewhat older, and they’re both so lonely that the need for connection practically radiates off them.

Brightest Young Things
May 18, 2017 by Tristan Lejeune

When Emmi meets Salem, their pairing, in 70s Germany, seems unlikely and odd. Nanna Ingvarsson, a 30-year veteran of Scena, brought a full bouquet of attitudes and moods to her character, Emmi. Oscar Ceville was top-notch as Salem aka Ali, Emmi’s younger lover, who was a somber-acting, somewhat lost individual. As Salem struggled to find his footing in a strange land (where guest worker immigrants were known to live six men to a room), the attitude he was subjected to was “German master, Arab dog.” Together, Ingvarsson’s and Ceville’s scenes were ripe with a bonded chemistry.

DC Metro Theater Arts
May 19, 2017 by William Powell

Someone is Going to Come

Making it such a quietly unsettling theater experience are the meticulously incisive performances by seasoned actors David Bryan Jackson, Nanna Ingvarsson, and Joseph Carlson.

The work of the three-member cast, whether singly or as a small ensemble, is a master class into the geography of the mind. Together they provide an introspective trip accomplished with short bursts of dialogue spoken with both nuance and flair. An added bonus are their almost minuscule physical suggestions and poses that silently emphasize any number of spoken words….

The couple is HE (David Bryan Jackson as a tight, anxious, but initially confident older man who slowly loses his confidence, control, and place) and SHE (Nanna Ingvarsson with such infinitesimal actions) collapsing into a fearful unsure state one moment or a sly smile of acceptance for an unexpected offer the next. Watching Ingvarsson at work is like watching the exquisite beauty of someone thoroughly skilled at Tai-Chi.

DC Metro Theater Arts
January 10, 2017 by David Siegel on

“She” is Nanna Ingvarsson with a face so expressive that she shifts one moment to the next between girlish rapture to sagging, scowling middle-aged disappointment in her partner and life. She captures her character most strongly in the woman’s awkward, self-conscious posing. One moment she freezes in fear of some nameless horror that may or may not be there and she hunches over, listening. Next, she stands at the window feet planted strongly and her hips and chin thrust slightly forward in defiance, masking both intrigue and terror at the menacing stranger who has entered her house.

The characterizations are spot on. The three actors navigate this complicated, repetitive text, without getting caught in the looping, and the acting is fine.

DC Theatre Scene
January 11, 2017 by Susan Galbraith

You find yourself marveling at the powers of memorization as David Bryan Jackson and Nanna Ingvarsson keep telling each other that someone is going to come, over and over with small variations, like waves hitting rocks. The dream of He and She’s blissful isolation (alone, together) rapidly goes to the dogs, with Jackson’s brooding man, paralyzed by jealousy, curled fetally on the couch while Ingvarsson silently brings masterful levels of ambiguity to the woman as the smirking stranger drinks his beer and makes clear there’s nobody around for her to ‘visit’ but him.

The Washington Post
January 10, 2017 by Nelson Pressley

Thanks to excellent acting and attention to detail, the experience is tense, at times grating, and interesting to witness. Ingvarsson’s ambiguous facial expressions and meaningful shifts in vocal tone make her character believable but fluid, keeping her loyalties in question. At one point, her exaggerated elation at hearing a knock on the door contrasts brilliantly with Jackson’s reaction of sheer terror.

Broadway World
January 11, 2017 by Barbara Johnson  Link to complete review

Little Thing, Big Thing

A cast of two (the hilarious Sasha Olinick and the divine Nanna Ingvarsson, respectively) portray a dozen characters each during the course of this crackerjack crime thriller. Olinick and Ingvarsson’s spotless delivery, combined with O’Kelly’s funny and surprisingly heartwarming script, make for a show that delivers plenty of belly laughs, much needed in DC right now.

Ingvarsson and Olinick are superb at differentiating their multiple roles, each of which spans gender, age, and body type. As their main characters, the two have sparkling chemistry on stage, and it’s as much fun to follow the surprising course of their relationship as it is the caper itself. One of the quirks of O’Kelly’s script is that the characters often narrate out loud what is going on (Boots in the hallway are coming closer, I tiptoe across the floor, etc.). Olinick and Ingvarsson do this without it seeming odd or inorganic; on the contrary, it greatly aids in the storytelling.

DC Metro Theater Arts
November 13, 2016 by Michael Poandl

Nanna Ingvarsson and Sasha Olinick make a wonderfully entertaining odd couple – they are a joy to watch as they skillfully exploit the play’s clever wit with a rare level of onstage chemistry.  Both also excel at taking on the multiple, distinctive characterizations required in the play.

DC Theatre Scene
November 15, 2016 by Steven McKnight

Nanna Ingvarsson and Sasha Olinick shine in Solas Nua’s latest.

The show’s other source of pleasure is the grace and ease of Ingvarsson and Olinick’s quick-changes between characters. At one point, Ingvarsson transubstantiates from a dozing nun into a policeman who questions Larry on suspicion of drunk driving while trying not to wake the nun in the passenger seat.

Washington City paper
November 18, 2016 by Chris Klimek

The Cripple of Inishmaan

A handful of outstanding performances repeatedly levitate Scena Theatre’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan” from workmanlike to sublime. That uplift may be intermittent, but it is worth the price of a ticket.

There’s more than a dollop of Samuel Beckett-style absurdism in Martin McDonagh’s 1996 play, set in the remote Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland in 1934. Every character we meet is nuttier than the last. And two of them, played by top Washington actors Jennifer Mendenhall and Nanna Ingvarsson, provide some of the aforementioned sublimity right off the bat.

The Washington Post
November 4 by Jane Horwitz

It’s the kind of place where the only thing that moves on is time, and the dry humorous repartee of the two women who mind the store, beautifully played by Nanna Ingvarsson and Jennifer Mendenhall, continues while they age in place.

DC Metro Theatre Arts
October 31, 2015 by Jeanette Quick

The play earns its “dark comedy” status purely through dialogue and character choices, not for any actual levity within the story. For this reason, Nanna Ingvarsson and Jennifer Mendenhall deserve particular praise as Billy’s eccentric aunts. Together, these two actors feed off one another’s anxious energy, magnifying each tic and every perfectly timed sniff. Aunts Eileen and Kate are totally, earnestly batshit, but so playfully that, under all the crazy, we see two humans who love their nephew.

November 13, 2015 by Anya van Wagtendonk

First and hilariously foremost are Billy’s doting foster aunties, the shopkeepers Kate and Eileen Osbourne, a pair of clucking busybodies that in their grievous glances and gobsmack setups are a wonder. Helen Hayes Award Winners Nanna Ingvarsson as Eileen and Jennifer Mendenhall as Kate man their stations while keeping up with the local goings on, supplied by the huckstering, walking newspaper of gab, Johnnypateenmike.

MD Theatre Guide
November 02, 2015 by Brian Bochicchio

The Importance of Being Earnest

Though the text treats in this production are plentiful, what puts it over the top are the performances. Notable among them is Nanna Ingvarsson, who plays the deceitful lady-killer Jack aka John aka Earnest. Written as a bit of a fop, Jack in Ingvarsson’s portrayal becomes more of a swaggering dude, as when she (as he) sits and totally nails manspreading.

DC Metro Theater Arts
August 23, 2015 by John Stoltenberg

Earnest is certainly the play to pick to dive into identity politics, given its central story of two cads given to taking false identities to blend into various high social circles to escape the perceived drudgery of their lives. It’s a lot of fun to watch great DC actor Nanna Ingvarsson have the opportunity to dig into social-climber Jack, who’s web of lies and alter egos largely drives the story.

DC Theatre Scene
August 24, 2015 by Ryan Taylor

And it’s a real treat to watch Nanna Ingvarsson swagger – that’s right, swagger – onstage as Jack, Bracknell’s prospective son-in-law. Ingvarsson has mastered the tics and vanity of the male of the species, which makes their scenes together well worth the trip to wild and woolly H Street, NE.

MD Theater Guide
September 01, 2015 by Andrew White

Three cheers for the starring women (the actual women) of this show. NANNA INGVARSSON is scowling, insecure and needy as Jack, constantly invoking the hunched over, bitter nature that makes him funny.

Broadway World
August 27, 2015 by Heather Nadolny

The Norwegians

Olive bonds with her new companion Betty (Nanna Ingvarsson) about men who have done them wrong. Betty grew up in Kentucky but five long, lonely winters in Minnesota have helped turn her into a meaner and more cynical image of herself. She is prone to venting with rants about others, including one about Norwegians that earned a separate (and well-deserved) round of applause.

Yet the brilliant acting makes the most out of every comic opportunity. In a lesser production any one of the four performances could be described as a scene-stealer. The actors all fully commit to the oddball characters with wonderful results. It’s tempting to go see The Norwegians a second time – even if you know the punchlines, the comic character contortions are endearingly pleasurable.

 DC Theater Scene
March 21, 2015 by Steven McKnight

…the idiosyncratic flow of the show is almost always kept afloat, and that thanks to a marvelous four-person cast.

But make no mistake: the true star of this show is Nanna Ingvarsson. From the very beginning, her bitter, love struck, conniving, co dependent, possibly alcoholic Betty is a terrible, wonderful character to behold. Betty’s occasional diatribes about Minnesota, men, and, of course, Norwegians, are hilarious and oddly moving.

DC Metro Theater Arts
March 20, 2015 by Michael Poandl

The plot is a suitable platform for Swanson’s clever dialogue, sprinkled liberally with irony and topped off by a priceless rant from Nanna Ingvarsson’s Betty about the utter weirdness of Scandinavian food (I’ve got just three words for you:  fish, lye, and ashes).  It’s all delivered with impeccable comic timing, and embellished with clever fantasy-movement sequences choreographed by Kim Curtis (to see Brian Hemmingsen pirouette with a baseball bat is, alone, worth the price of admission).

Maryland Theater Guide
March 24, 2015 by Andrew White

As brilliant as the men are, they are outshined by Nora Achrati as Olive and Nanna Ingvarsson as Betty. Their chemistry is undeniable, and it is easy to be in their corner, cheering them on as they seek revenge on the men who have hurt them. It’s also impossible to avoid laughing as their increasingly bizarre plans come to fruition. Ingvarsson is truly magnificent and brings down the house with a few perfectly bitter monologues on the fickleness of the Norwegians.
March 24, 2015 by Hannah Landsberger


Composed of whirls of language at once eloquent and grotesque, the text tells of the catastrophic events of a single night in Dublin when three forsaken souls (literally and figuratively) are swept up in collisions of violence, violation, and tenderness.

There is Character A, a teacher and crisis-line volunteer long estranged by her own “bad mother behavior” from her adult daughter. Recognizing the voice of a former student one night on the hotline, and, learning that the young woman is about to undergo a late-term, back-alley abortion, the teacher impulsively springs into action, searching out the former student to save her from the horrors of a botched termination. Played with earthy, riotous grit and deep, moving maternal sorrow by Nanna Ingvarsson, Character A follows a perilous, circuitous trail into the violent underworld of a kind of Dublin lesbian warlord to whom the former student is inexplicably bound.

Maryland Theater Guide
December 16, 2014 by Elizabeth Bruceon

Speaking in urgent tones that are sometimes wondering, sometimes brooding and sometimes elated, the performers do a terrific job conjuring up the play’s grim, marvel-filled world. Ingvarsson reveals the desperate loneliness behind A’s risky altruistic mission; Ryan gives B a vulnerability and feisty charm. And Myers’s C, with his sometimes crazed eyes and twitching fingers, is creepy and intriguing.

The Washington Post
December 16, 2014 by Celia Wren

The brilliance of the work and the performances are so intense that even though we wrestle with attempting to see what O’Rowe is saying, we can’t turn away no matter how grotesque the unrelated stories become. There is the question of what this is and where is it going?…

The actors, Nanna Ingvarsson (A), Katie Ryan (B), and Dylan Myers (C) perform the enticingly written rhyming like ancient bards. All three are masterful artists: Ingvarsson as (A), a former school teacher obsessively attempting to rescue a former student from a back street abortion; Ryan as (B), her estranged, desperately lonely daughter who falls from a crane and is rescued by the Angel of Death; and, Dylan Myers (C), a shy, serial murderer who sells his soul to the devil for a beautiful singing voice.

Washington Life Magazine
December 18, 2014, by Chuck Conconi

The Irish playwright O’Rowe has forged a formidable verbal score. Three virtuoso actors voice it, delivering three interlocking and intersecting monologues in Dublinesque inflection.

Nanna Ingvarsson makes this mother’s anguish achingly vivid, and then horrifying as the character’s vengeful violence emerges.

I was struck by how distinctly Ingvarsson, Ryan, and Meyers each bring O’Rowe’s rich text to life with character-defining specificity. So compelling is the narrative world that each actor creates, in fact, that I found the transitions between monologues abrupt, as if each long speech was over too soon.

Magic Time
December 16, 2014 by John Stoltenberg

The Amish Project

Performed with arrestingly versatile conviction by Nanna Ingvarsson, Jessica Dickey’s one-hander is a dramatic imagining of a 2006 incident in Nickel Mines, PA, when the local milkman entered an Amish schoolhouse with intent to sexually molest the little girls there but instead shot them and then himself. By the end The Amish Project jolts with a transformational viewpoint that is nearly as unthinkable and inconceivable as the crime itself.

The play is woven of a rich texture of the stories of several characters, all poignantly portrayed by Ingvarsson. Two of them are little girls, sisters, who were among the five slain in the shooting. Another is the widow of the gunman, a wife unaware of the extent of her husband’s darkness. Another is a non-Amish scholar of Amish ways who offers expositional context. Another is the inscrutable gunman himself. I especially enjoyed Ingvarsson’s vibrant portrait of a young Hispanic girl who touchingly figures in the forgiveness story arc. Ingvarsson, though clothed throughout in a typical Amish dress, bonnet, and apron by Costume Designer Scott Hammer, makes us believe each of these people exists onstage in the moment. With the specificity of her characterizations and her swift switching between them, Ingvarsson’s performance is extraordinary to behold.

DC Metro Theater Arts
April 27, 2014 by John Stoltenberg

Nanna Ingvarsson alone makes THE AMISH PROJECT worth seeing… Ingvarsson, who time and again has proven herself one of DC’s most commanding performers, is now proving her stellar range, portraying 7 different characters in a show directed by another one of DC’s finest actresses, Holly Twyford.

Metro Weekly
May 9, 2014

It’s a strikingly moving production and much of this has to do with the one-woman show’s sole cast member, Nanna Ingvarsson, who, under Holly Twyford’s adroit direction, gives a remarkable multi-character performance in which she plays seven parts.

Dressed in Amish girl garb (cotton blue dress, pinafore, bonnet, black tights and clunky shoe), Ingvarsson brings believability to each portrayal whether it’s a schoolgirl with crinkly eyes and a toothy grin or the gunman’s widow whose mouth is turned downward with anger and grief. Throughout 90 compelling minutes, Ingvarsson – without a costume change – seamlessly morphs into each of the finely drawn and very different characters. She even convincingly plays the killer, a milkman whose picturesque route included the country schoolhouse.

Washington Blade
May 1, 2014 by Patrick Folliard

Twyford is an actor’s director, putting as little as possible between us and Ingvarsson, apart from the bouncy lighting cues that signal shifts in perspective. Ingvarsson meets Twyford’s challenge. She toggles from an exuberant child to a hysterical widow to a stately professor, often taking on several voices in the span of one minute (or midsentence), yet her personalities still feel instantly lived-in.

Washington City Paper
May 2, 2014 by Andrew Lapin

Ingvarsson delivers focused, impeccable transitions from character to character – an endearing presentation of an innocent child drawing her friends on the chalkboard and playground asphalt; a charming 16-year-old Hispanic American fantasizing by aligning her lifestyle with her passions for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and a heart-wrenching portrayal of the gunman’s fragile wife, post-shooting, making daily light-heartedness out of a merciless situation as she deals with public encounters shopping at the local grocery store. Her obsessive thoughts of how to morally cope with the struggles as the gunman’s former wife are carefully transitioned between split-second moment-to-moment stages with the gunman.

Ingvarsson’s ability to display a more multi-dimensional, realistic side to the gunman’s interpretation of the shootings is breathtaking.

Maryland Theater Guide
April 29, 2014 by Tina Ghandchilar

The X-Men and other morphers have nothing on Nanna Ingvarsson, the local actress fluidly shape-shifting into seven characters that form a community united by tragedy in the one-woman show The Amish Project.

What began as a New York Fringe Festival work for playwright Jessica Dickey has now become a showcase for the talents of Ingvarsson, who has shined in supporting roles for years on Washington stages. She commands your attention at the Anacostia Arts Center, a sun-dappled space that is a welcoming howdy-do to the Anacostia neighborhood, in a Factory 449 production under the unstinting direction of Holly Twyford, no slouch in the thespian arts herself.

Ingvarsson and Twyford bring much specificity and an overall air of generosity to The Amish Project, admirable given the stubbly, desolate premise of the piece.

DC Theater Scene
April 29, 2014 by Jayne Blanchard

What this production by Factory 449 – in residence in a little space in the Anacostia Arts Center – does have going for it is the rewardingly protean actress Nanna Ingvarsson, embodying all of the characters in The Amish Project from the young murder victims to the scandalized citizenry. She’s riveting, in particular, as the killer’s traumatized wife, who can’t quite find it in her heart to hate him even as the community heaps its own revulsion on her.

The Amish Project begins and ends with evocations of the powerful life force of one of the girls in the schoolhouse who, in the guise of Ingvarsson, draws sweetly in chalk on the blackboard and slate floor images of her Amish family and of Jesus. Contrastingly, the actress transforms herself into uncomprehending neighbors of the Amish: an outraged woman, talking venomously of the killer’s widow; a teenage clerk at a local big box store, who’s bearing her boyfriend’s child; and the widow herself, reacting with shock to the visit by Amish elders, who in a gesture of incredible benevolence come to her home to console her.

The Washington Post
May 8, 2014 by Peter Marks

Richard III

… and Nanna Ingvarsson who smolders with quiet fury as Richard’s righteously aggrieved mother, the Duchess of York.

The Washington Blade
By Patrick Folliard, February 5, 2014

The Marriage of Maria Braun

Nanna Ingvarsson’s approach to the role is a more nuanced one and seizes on the intimate theater experience to connect with the audience. The accessible interpretation of her character, expressed with knowing looks, moments of humor, and the use of telling physicality are exceptional; the memorable storytelling methods expose all of Maria Braun’s layers.

Ingvarsson excels at illuminating a three-dimensional view of this woman, providing a realism and authenticity to the Maria Braun character. Ingvarsson enlivens the humanity of Maria Braun, making her more than a cliche or philosophical voice piece. She delivers a line that perfectly encapsulates her portrayal, “Great love is a great emotion and great truth.”
by Sydney-Chanele Dawkins, October 11, 2013

Ingvarsson is masterful in her portrayal of the ambitious and ruthless Maria. Indeed, the character’s use and disposal of the men around her, and her seemingly illogical actions, are baffling to the audience. But Ingvarsson is also able to capture the critical dichotomy that is Maria – a woman doing what she can and what she must to navigate a man’s world and adapt quickly in this new society.
by Emily Cao, September 17, 2013

In the role of Maria, Nanna Ingvarsson carried the show with brains and backbone.  Maria becomes increasingly calculating as the play wears on, and Ms. Ingvarsson had a remarkable way of revealing her thoughts to the audience while hiding them from the other characters. Ingvarsson gave us a dynamic character who wore many different faces in her relationships….And one significant thing that happened on stage that would be impossible on screen was how Maria engaged so candidly with the audience during her monologues. In these intimate moments, Ingvarsson established a live wire between herself and the spectator, and no matter what her character did, we were on her side.
By J. Robert Williams, September 17, 2013

Boeing Boeing

But it’s Nanna Ingvarsson, her French accent as musical as Chopin and richer than creme brulee, who first unlocks the show’s laughter. As Berthe, Bernard’s grouchy maid and reluctant accomplice, Ingvarsson slouches on and offstage with an expression so sour she looks like she might spit.

The Washington Post
By Nelson Pressley, April 24, 2013

Nanna Ingvarsson plays the maid, Berthe, with a hand-on-hip slouch, a disdainful curl of the lip, the disgusted shrug of a shoulder and the dismissive gesture of a hand. The audience liked it when she muttered whole phrases in French, like “My God, these people!” Every time she came out from the kitchen, I found myself gleefully anticipating her humor.
By Yvonne French, April 21, 2013

Six Characters in Search of an Author

…when Ingvarsson’s Mother erupts in anger and frustration, her anguish fills the stage, and the audience reels with her pain.  Through her and her silent, damaged children, we understand the difficulty any troupe of actors would have recreating this family’s lives on stage.
By Robert Michael Oliver, November 17, 2012 

I don’t know which of the principals to praise more: Bruce Alan Rauscher as the director (I saw him recently in Marathon 33, marvelous there too), the great Brian Hemmingsen as the father, the truly perfect (such an off-putting word but it’s accurate) acting of Nanna Ingvarsson who is pitch perfect down to the way she walks so lightly at one point as she moves over to the older son she is grieving for.
By ellenandjim, November 14, 2012

The Illusion

In addition to the directing, part of the magic comes from the exquisite casting.  First of all, there is simply no one like the inimitable Nanna Ingvarsson, who, with a penetrating gaze  can hold a scene in the palm of her hand and leave you breathless.

As sorcerer, she commandeers extraordinary moments, bringing visions to life for the weary well-heeled lawyer.  Attended to by her muted man-servant nicely played by Aaron Bliden, Ingvarsson barks orders, conjures up visions, stalks unsuspecting minions and approaches each segment with a razor sharp stroke.

DC Theater Scene
By Debbie Jackson, May 29, 2012

This used to be the not-so-secret strength of our major repertory companies – the play might be unfamiliar, but a regular stable of actors ensured the experience of watching it would not be. These days, with standing rep companies a thing of the past, this brand of continuity is more often honored by our smaller troupes than our more established ones. When hulking Brian Hemmingsen arrives on stage in Forum Theatre’s The Illusion, making his way by glow of cellphone and growling that he seeks a sorcerer, and Nanna Ingvarsson emerges barefoot and wild-eyed from behind a scarlet curtain to help him find the son he drove away, they trail all sorts of associations: Beckett, Ionesco, Chekhov, dozens of roles in more than 30 years they’ve performed both in tandem (they’re married offstage) and apart.

Does their presence ground a show that’s about to get all hifalutin about love, magic, and theater? For sure….

Director Mitchell Hebert has given the young lovers some clever business – wait’ll you see the staging fillip with which he sets up a line beginning – on the other hand – but nothing he’s done is more apt to rivet you than the fact of these two sitting on the sidelines.

The raptness of their attention turns out to be central to what you’d have to call the play’s trick ending. But it’s also fun in its own right, whether Hemmingsen’s interrupting the action to protest that it makes no sense, or Ingvarsson’s orchestrating the ticking passage of time (Aaron Bliden, giving his tongue a workout).

Washington City Paper
By Bob Mondello, June 1, 2012

The cast is practically musical, with different clusters of the ensemble working in distinctive keys. Brian Hemmingsen and Nanna Ingvarsson sound tragic notes: Hemmingsen has a brooding quality as the gruff Pridamant, watching scenes of his son’s life summoned by Alcan­dre, the magician played with weary wonder by the barefoot, sad-eyed, commanding Ingvarsson. You can sense both actors peering through layers of time as they observe what happens within the circus ring or what pops out from behind the heavy red curtain of Daniel Pinha’s scenic design.

The Washington Post
By Nelson Pressley, May 31, 2012

The Language Archive

…in Mary [Cho has] created a character whose suffocating sorrow feels deeper than what in some plays becomes tiresome. The playwright is aided here by Ingvarsson, for whom “misstep” remains an utterly alien concept and who slowly, impressively builds a harder and harder shell around Mary’s disappointment.

Washington Post
By Peter Marks, February 24, 2012

The Language Archive is an elegant, graceful confection of a play… And Ingvarsson is, as she has been in every production I’ve seen her in, absolutely convincing.
By Tim Treanor, February 20, 2012


Director Robert McNamara ensures that the play has its full life.   He has cast phenomenal actors, and their timing is perfect…. Nanna Ingvarsson, as Eddie’s wife, is spectacular, riveting and charismatic. To see such quality acting is a treat.
By Pat Davis, October 22, 2011,

Nanna Ingvarsson admirably infuses a hint of vulnerability into her portrait of Eddy’s wife, though she also goes full-throttle when spoofing the character’s lusts.

Washington Post
By Celia Wren, Oct. 25, 2011

Davy and Ingvarsson are also a thrill, tapping into a sort of macabre melodrama that gives Greek its strange flair.
By Hunter Styles, October 25, 2011

David Bryan Jackson, brilliant and consistently hilarious as Eddy’s dad; Nanna Ingvarsson, sensual and scene-stealing as Eddy’s wife; and Danielle Davy, eye-poppingly adaptive as Eddy’s mom and the Sphinx – does a great job, both in their roles, and as the ridiculous, mugging, silent Greek chorus pantomiming in the background to illustrate Eddy’s speeches.  Ingvarsson delivers one speech in particular that made be squirm and blush, and Davy’s defiant putdown of manhood as the Sphinx is hilarious.
October, 2011

The cast does excellent work with a fiendishly difficult text – the ladies in particular. Nanna Ingvarsson and Danielle Davy are each mesmerizing in their own ways; Berkoff’s script is rife with monologues that require herculean strength and command of phrasing from the actor, and both women offer up showstoppers by the end of the night.
October 2011

Nanna Ingvarsson, who played Eddy’s wife, had one of the most scintillating performances with a scene that wouldn’t be out of place in The Vagina Monologues.
by Christian Barclay, October, 2011

The Green Bird

The old queen gets her comeuppance in the end, of course – in no small part thanks to the titular, magical Green Bird (Rex Daugherty), a former, and future, king himself. But before her day of reckoning, Ingvarsson gets to ham it up, playing Tartagliona as a sort of sexpot Cruella de Vil, or an evil Liza Minnelli: She’s sultry, strong-willed, solipsistic, utterly show-stopping. It’s the kind of performance gay men in particular relish and would normally pay two or three times Constellation’s ticket prices to see.

Metro Weekly
by Doug Rule, May 19, 2011

A flamboyant splicing of fairground clowning and once-upon-a-time narrative tropes, with a little social satire tossed in for good measure, “The Green Bird” tells of orphaned twins, singing apples, a dysfunctional monarchy, a lascivious sausage seller, talking statues and a lovesick green bird — and that’s just for starters.… the delectably villainous Queen Tartagliona (Nanna Ingvarsson) vamps and smirks like a Cruella de Vil who happens to have studied hand-to-hand combat and pole dancing.

Washington Post
By Celia Wren, May 12, 2011

A surrealist romp would be nothing without elaborate costumes, here mashed up by designer Kendra Ra.…They’re absolutely deliciously absurd, with some hysterically vulgar touches that embolden the actor’s choices. Watch as Nanna Ingvarsson’s evil queen caresses her sagging tit corset like a beloved kitten, or as Katy Carkuff, encased in tree branch camouflage, makes apple puppets sing with a Sesame Street poignancy.
By Jenn Larsen, May 10, 2011

As the evil queen, Nanna Ingvarsson plays the delicious role for all it’s worth, doing everything but twirl a Snidely Whiplash mustache and, at one point lapsing nasally into Brooklyn housewife-ese as she dryly repeats the two incantations she must recite without error to cast the spells.

DC Theatre Scene
Leslie Weisman, May 10, 2011

The acting star of the show is by far Nanna Ingvarsson as the mean old queen with her hanging bossom who reaches a pinnacle of success as her dramatic and comedic interactions are most profound. She also does a neat job as one of the talking statues in the production.

Bob Anthony, May 13, 2011

One Flea Spare

One Flea Spare is a play about a month spent in Hell; it is a hell of a play, and Forum plays the hell out of it… Strain also did a great job casting the piece… And as for Ingvarsson, she is good in everything she does.

DC Theater Scene February 28, 2011
By Tim Treanor

Ingvarsson is always a pleasure to watch, and here she invests Darcy with an affecting humility.

Washington Post, February 23, 2011
By Peter Marks

His wife (Nanna Ingvarsson, tightly controlling volcanoes of pent-up anger and loss) keeps her distance…. Masks come off; pasts are revealed; lust comes out of the shadows to frolic among the damned.

Washington City Paper, February 25, 2011
By Trey Graham

Sink the Belgrano!

As the vile Maggot Scratcher, Nanna Ingvarsson dazzles the audience with a complex cocktail of ruthless ambition, seductive charm, and carefully concealed insecurity. Despite her character’s monstrous nature, Ingvarsson maintains an undeniable likeability, due to her razor-tongued wit and dominant stage presence.

DC Theater Scene  August 31, 2010
Ben Demers

Nanna Ingvarsson, who played Maggot Scratcher, did a phenomenal job as the haughty, entitled, ambitious politician. In her blue suit, pearls and one black glove, she kept the action charging forward.

Washington Life Magazine, August 27, 2010
Julie LaPorte

Three Sisters

Of the eponymous heroines, Nanna Ingvarsson is particularly heart-wrenching as the schoolteacher Olga, whose face grows ever more wan and careworn.

Washington Post, January 28, 2010
Celia Wren

…and a few graceful performances—chief among them Nanna Ingvarsson’s wistfully understated eldest sister

Washington City Paper, January 29, 2010
Bob Mondello on

Nanna Ingvarsson as older sister Olga is a marvel to watch as pseudo matriarch of the family.  She is the underlying strength that holds the family together even when she feels close to unraveling herself.

DC Theater Scene, January 27, 2010
Debbie Jackson

Woman and Scarecrow

Scarecrow, played with ethereal distance by Nanna Ingvarsson….The actors are all good, especially Ingvarsson walking a fine line while giving Scarecrow so many potential meanings.

Potomac Stages, May 8 2009
David Siegel

This is a play that requires the most confident of actors if it is to have a chance of earning the audience’s interest. Director Des Kennedy has those actors…Nanna Ingvarsson (Scarecrow) is arresting; her full lips and strong features and constant activity such a contrast to the thin lipped and slighter, bed-ridden Mendenhall. Ingvarsson’s mere presence gives a strength to the production as she feverishly struggles with Mendenhall … pushing her to not go soft. When the final black-out draws near, her brutal actions, wicked appearance and the ensuing carnage do not seem out of the realm of possibility at all.

The Sentinel, May 27, 2009
By David Cannon

The Marriage of Figaro

Nanna Ingvarsson, a woman scorned, is a delightfully forceful presence that takes over each scene she is in. She provides critical feminine gravitas to the production.

Potomac Stages, January 24, 2009
David Siegel

The Oresteia

Nanna Ingvarsson (Clytemnestra) can be subtle, outrageous, clever, nuanced and right in-your-face direct as well as cloying …Hemmingsen and Ingvarsson especially are adept at rendering outward smiles and joviality that hide their core craftiness and deceit.

…verbally masterful and cunning …Ingvarsson, as the spurned wife, shows absolute malice as she speaks coyly, yet insincerely

Potomac Stages, May 17 2008
David Siegel

Nanna Ingvarsson portrays Clytaemnestra with a calculating, shrewd veneer.  She strides across the large set with the sure steps of a huntress, stands with the backbone strength of men twice her size, plots her course and delivers, no matter how long it takes.  She sets out to get whatever she has her sights on, gods be damned.  While others cower in fear and trepidation, she doesn’t wait for an entity or fate to make things right and Ingvarsson portrays her “bring it on” approach with just the right seething intensity.

DC Theater Scene, May 19, 2008
Debbie Jackson

…there’s a distinct frisson each time Nanna Ingvarsson’s bloodthirsty Clytemnestra stalks onto A.J. Guban’s sprawling, raked amphitheater of a set.

Washington City Paper, May 16, 2008
Trey Graham

Scenes From The Big Picture

If one were forced to identify just a few of the sterling actors, the standouts would include Nanna Ingvarsson as an office clerk waiting by the phone for news of her missing son.

Washington Post, May 21, 2007
Peter Marks

The Maids

extremely well-acted …the production expertly captures their quiet desperation. The acting has a furtive, low-key quality, … Deal and Ingvarsson each register enough hot bitterness and grim anger to give the scenario a plausible sense of danger. But it’s an admirable paradox that while playing characters engaged in histrionics, Deal and Ingvarsson never remotely go over the top. The grievances come across in their nuanced deliveries of Genet’s seething speeches and in facial expressions that you’re close enough to read in the small theater.

And as Deal and Ingvarsson cuddle and abuse each other on this one-way trip down, the production captures a rare theatrical quality: It breathes.

The Washington Post, November 15, 2007
Nelson Pressley

Jenifer Deal and Nanna Ingvarsson are astonishingly insightful in their shifting roles as sisters and maids….You may leave the theater in awe of the talents of Deal and Ingvarsson …Jakobi casts as the maids two actresses who are able to effortlessly transform themselves without camp extremes over the course of the evening as ritual dominance and submission roles shift between the sisters and between Madame and them. Deal and Ingvarrson are able to project both the visible despair of submission and the arrogance of dominance….Lit as a messenger angel she delivers a defining monologue flawlessly.

Potomac Stages, Nov 15 2007
David Siegel

Heady stuff, and the three actors in Scena’s production – Jenifer Deal, Nanna Ingarvasson, and Danielle Davy – are giving top-notch, truthful performances that strongly deserve to be seen.

Metblogs, December 13th, 2007
Jenn Larsen

Ingvarsson lets us see how Solange’s imperturbable countenance is a sham, and when she finally lets the malice spill out in a lengthy speech near the end, we know what she knows—namely, that her hate is all she needs to sustain her.

Washington City Paper, November 22, 2007
Glen Weldon

The Skriker

Nanna Ingvarsson executes a star turn in the title role of one of Caryl Churchill’s more demanding texts,

Potomac Stages, 23 December 2006
David Gorsline

Her many transformations, from ragged-looking woman in a raincoat to a young child, are impressive and show Ingvarasson’s range.

Dcist, December 12, 2006
Nicole Berckes

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Ingvarsson, with her flashing eyes, smacking lips and extravagant gestures, is reminiscent of Bette Midler at her most flamboyantly self-mocking., July 2006
Maya Cantu

Wonderful, artless cheesiness melts through this production like a mother’s love on valium. Ingvarsson and Hammerley, neither particularly vampirish nor discernibly lesbian, ramp it up and camp it up for seventy giddy minutes.

DC Theater Scene, July 17, 2006
Tim Treanor

His fellow vampire, played by Nanna Ingvarsson, delivers her own standout performance. It’s striking how easily these two very gifted actors play so outrageously large on such a very small stage.

MetroWeekly, July 20, 2006
Tom Avila

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Linda High and Nanna Ingvarsson are so convincing in the roles of mother Mag Folan and daughter Maureen that you can practically smell the rancor…At first, Miss Ingvarsson evokes a touch of sympathy as the put-upon Maureen, but she slowly lets you in on her character’s disturbed mind and taste for delusion.

Washington Times, July 1, 2005
Jayne Blanchard

Nanna Ingvarsson lets her character’s essence come into focus much more slowly, giving a hint here and a hint there which combine into a rich portrayal that has its own fascination.

Potomac Stages, June 30 2005

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Nanna Ingvarsson lightens things up with her confident, often comic, air as Constance’s definite sister Hilda.

Washington Times, July 2004
Jayne Blanchard

Fool for Love

Wilson’s Eddie and Ingvarsson’s Mae are ideally matched, as sexy and soulful as they are just plain dirty. When Ingvarsson dons a clingy scarlet shift for her date, then reaches into its bodice to slip off her bra in one fluid motion, she’s a hetero-cowboy’s wet dream come to life.

City Paper, May 10, 1996
Bob Mondello