The Icelandic Amateur Theatre Association (Bandalag Íslenskra Leikfélaga) was founded in 1950. Its purpose is to safeguard the common interests of its members; the Icelandic Amateur Theatres and Clubs. It runs a service centre in Reykjavík where you can find, among other things, the largest and most accessible collection of playscripts, both original icelandic plays and foreign plays in icelandic translations. The center also imports and sells make-up and provides various other services both for the members and other theatres (amateur and professional), scools and virtually everyone interested in theatre. The Association has an ambitious education program.
The Icelandic amateur theatre is a major force in the cultural life of the nation. There are strong historical links between the amateur and professional theatres and cooperation and collaboration is common. Most major amateur productions are directed by professional directors who also work in the professional theatre, either as actors or directors or both.
Due to economic and geographical reasons most of the island is thinly populated and most towns couldn’t support a professional theatre, leaving the amateurs to provide the only regular theatre experience in the area. This results in a sense of duty and commitment which along with professional artistic leadership gives the Icelandic amateur theatre its quality and ambition.