New Plays from Finland
Okko Leo (born 1971) is a Helsinki-based playwright and dramaturg who graduated from the Helsinki Theatre Academy in 2011. His works have been performed both in Finnish theatres such as the Finnish National Theatre as well as in theatres abroad. Leo’s plays deal with the relationship between the individual and society as well as people’s own personal identity.
One of his most known plays reflects this as well; The Orchestra: A Study in Solidarity, (Orkesteri - The Everlast, 2013) explores the idea of how the individual acts in a community and whether or not solidarity is actually achievable. The play has been translated into Swedish, English, German and Czech.
His newest play from 2019, Onnellisten Saari (rought translation: Happy Island) is a comedy about radicalization, borders, and nationalism tied to neighbourhoods. Leo’s plays also tend to have a political angle in order to attempt to reveal to us, the viewers, the multiple layers and nuances of living in a class society. Regardless, Leo does not pre-determine the genre of his plays but instead allows them to naturally unfold during the writing process.