The most interesting current development in Finnish theatre is taking place in playwriting that is booming.
One reason for this certainly lies in a consistent education of dramatists at the theatre academy. This brought forth and strengthened a tradition which has made it possible that whole theatre generations are born even before graduation. Writers, directors, actors, choreographers, dancers, designers of sound and lighting, sets and costumes are brought together in joint productions and find a group of colleagues there, at the same time creating their own sense of theatre and their own aesthetics.
This is not always simple. It takes a continual balancing and a lot of diplomacy for the system to function. Every now and then, the system is questioned. In someone who is used to the traditional relationship between master and apprentice, it provokes resistance: What can be the result of the blind leading the blind? In practice, however, students are always supported by working theatre professionals, so that the theatre of generations is always in a close dialogue with makers of earlier generations.
The third and maybe most important phenomenon, however, didn’t become apparent at the place of writing. Slowly, directors, critics and audiences learned to read new plays. It is a little strange and frustrating that those devices and structures which writers have used for decades are now seen as the tremendous accomplishments of a young generation. But: better late than never. There is a huge difference between considering contemporary drama to be difficult and unappealing, and the attempt to change the theatre so that new plays can be written and produced.
Translation: Elena Krüskemper.