Kjartan Ragnarsson was born on September 18, 1945 in Reykjavík. He graduated from the Drama School of the Reykjavík Theatre Company in 1966 and studied further for the theatre in Poland from 1968 - 1970. From 1966 Kjartan was an actor and director for the Reykjavík Theatre Company and has been a full time employee there since 1974. He has also directed for the National Theatre and the Student Theatre.
Kjartan started writing plays early on, and has directed most of his own plays. Among Kjartan's plays are Saumastofan (The Embroidery Room), Blessað barnalán (Blessed with Children), Týnda teskeiðin (The Lost Teespoon) and Nanna systir (Sister Nanna) which he wrote together with Einar Kárason. Kjartan also wrote the plays Peysufatadagurinn (The National Costume Day) and Dampskipið Ísland (Steam Ship Iceland) for the Student Theatre. He has adapted a number of books for the stage, such as Ofvitinn (The Nerd) by Þórbergur Þórðarson, Ljós heimsins and Höll Sumarlandsins (Light of the World and The Summer Palace) by Halldór Laxness, Djöflaeyjan (The Devil's Island) by Einar Kárason and Eva Luna by the Chilean writer Isabel Allende. Together with his wife, Sigríður Margrét Guðmundsdóttir, Kjartan also adapted the novel Grandavegur 7 by Vigdís Grímsdóttir and Independent People by Halldór Laxness. The latter was shown in two parts with the titles Bjartur and Ásta Sóllilja.
Kjartan has worked for the theatre in the Nordic countries, he has directed the Cherry Orchard, Street, The Seagull and Three Sisters for the Student Theatre of the Drama School in Malmö, Platonov for the City Theatre in Malmö and Grandavegur 7 for the City Theatre in Gothenburg. Furthermore he directed the play I am the Master by Hrafnhildur Hagalín Guðmundsdóttir in Gdansk in Poland.
Kjartan Ragnarsson lives with his wife in Reykjavík. Back