New Plays from Finland
E.L. Karhu (birth name Emilia Pöyhönen, born in 1982) is a Helsinki-based playwright and dramaturg who has studied both subjects in Helsinki and Berlin, her initial higher education background beginning in the faculty of social sciences. This is also visible thematically in her writing, as her plays often look at the ethics of human actions as well as the relationship between the individual and society with topics ranging from poverty, global warming, dogmatism, and mental health.
In her writing style Karhu is interested in exploring new dramatic forms and their boundaries, leading to a poetic entirety which allows for a large variety of staging possibilities.
Karhu’s plays have been translated into seven different languages, and many of her works such as Princess Hamlet (Prinsessa Hamlet, 2017), Eriopis - Medea’s Surviving Daughter Tells All (Eriopis – Medeian Selviytyjätytär Kertoo Kaiken, 2019), and To My Brother (Veljelleni, 2022) have been commissioned and/or performed by the Schauspiel Leipzig theatre in Germany, where they have also had their premieres.
During the pandemic Theatre Rampe also produced Princess Hamlet as a five-part-long theatricalised short film series. In addition to Germany, her works have been performed in Australia, Canada, Russia and Sweden.
Author photo: Laura Malmivaara