New Plays from Finland
Jari Juutinen (born 1959) is a Finnish playwright and director whose works often deal with divisive socio-political issues. One such example is his play from 2006, I am Adolf Eichmann (Minä olen Adolf Eichmann) which sought to humanize those nazis that partook in the holocaust as people who are more complex and similar to our own selves than we would openly like to admit. This satirical play also brought up the moral question of whether or not we as a collective group of people have the ‘right’ to openly joke about taboo topics such as genocide.
Juutinen is one of the founders of the Finnish the ensemble-based theatre Vanha Juko (founded in 1995) where he began staging his work alongside important contemporary Finnish plays. He is also the co-founder of the annual Outlaw§ (Lain§uojattomat) Theatre Festival which takes place in Pori and of the Helsinki-based international theatre company named sadsongcomplex:fi. In terms of theatre work, he has worked as a dramaturg for both Lahti and Oulu’s city theatres in the 1990s, and as the artistic director of Lappeenranta City Theatre from 2007-2015.
Juutinen’s plays have been translated into multiple languages and they have been performed in countries such as France, Cuba, Armenia, Russia, and the United States. He has also directed plays in Georgia, Luxembourg and Russia. Most recently he has directed Sofi Oksanen’s famous play, The Purge (Puhdistus) in Slovenia’s Celje City Theatre with his sadsongcomplex:fi theatre collective. The play premiered in early 2020.