Ingegerd Aschan contributed significantly and extensively to the spheres of education and theatre.
Ingegerd Aschan was born in Stockholm in 1917. She was the daughter of Willand Aschan, a justice of the supreme administrative court, and the pianist Inga Aschan. Ingegerd Aschan’s education combined academic, pedagogic, and artistic elements, all of which informed her long professional life. She gained a school-leaving certificate in 1936 from Nya Elementarläroverket för flickor, which certainly played an important role for her employment in what were seen as traditionally male professions. She attended Det Kongelige Teaters elevskola (the Royal Danish Theatre school) in Copenhagen from 1941 to 1942, and then gained her Master of Arts in Uppsala, where she also participated in revue shows. From 1948 to 1950 she was the sole woman to attend the Kungliga Dramatiska Teater (Royal Swedish Dramatic Theatre) directors’ training programme.
From 1950 to 1951 Ingegerd Aschan managed the Wasa Teater in Finland as well as working there as an actor and director. She also worked at Riksteatern and Radioteatern. She was particularly appreciated for her use of voice and she was a distinguished reciter. The reviewer Per-Erik Wahlund considered her to be a radio actor as he described her as “hard to place” on the stage. Perhaps she was too tall and too physically powerful for the times’ narrow feminine theatrical ideal. Ingegerd Aschan’s greatest success came through playing roles such as Jeanne d’Arc and Medea, both of whom where epic norm breakers.
Ingegerd Aschan made a significant and lasting impact as teacher of Swedish language and history at the Rudbeck high school in Västerås. Part of this included her role as artistic leader and director of the school theatre where actors such as Etienne Glaser and Anna Wallander learned the ropes, gaining a solid grounding in classical texts. Ingegerd Aschan also made a significant social contribution through her role as a member of the high school commission from 1962 to 1963 and as a consultant at Skolöverstyrelsen (national school board) from 1962 to 1965. She spent the period of 1971 to 1975 undertaking research studies in drama at Lund University.
Ingegerd Aschan died in Linköping in 2006.