New Plays from Finland
Saara Turunen (born 1981) is a Finnish author, playwright and director who graduated from Helsinki Theatre Academy in 2009. She draws inspiration from a variety of sources such as fairy tales and popular culture, resulting in a rich spectrum of texts. The central theme in her plays is on art, gender and social norms.
Turunen is internationally acclaimed and her plays have been translated into over ten languages in addition to being staged in countries such as Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico and the United States.
Turunen is known for her non-apologetic and bold texts which approach their topics in a provocative yet humorous way. The combination of both playfulness and aggression brought forth through her poetic language allows audiences and readers to consider crucial questions regarding equality and our current society through the lens of art. The language used in her texts combines poetic imagery with bright verbality.
Her most recent theatrical productions include the “Room-trilogy ”: The Phantom of Normality (Tavallisuuden aave) (2016), Medusa’s Room (Medusan huone) (2019), and The Grapes of Reason (Järjen hedelmät) (2022). All three have had their premieres at the Q-teatteri in Helsinki and have been translated into multiple different languages and have been performed across many countries. The first part, The Phantom of Normality, was awarded the Thalia Award in 2017, while the second part Medusa’s Room won the Lea Award for best Finnish play.
She has also won multiple awards such as the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the debiut novel 2015, the Finland Prize (Suomi-Palkinto) in 2016 from the Ministry of Education and Culture, and most recently the Artist of the Year Award in 2018 granted by the City of Helsinki.