New Plays from Finland
Paula Salminen (born 1977) is a playwright and dramaturg who graduated from the Helsinki Theatre Academy in 2003 and has since written for theatre, radio and tv and devised several collaborative performances. Her works have been produced in major theatres across Finland, Zodiak – Centre For New Dance and the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE.
Salminen’s works often deal with themes such as gender, power structures, responsibility and acceptance. Salminen has received the Lea Award for best dramatic text of the year for her play 13 Sunken Years (13 Uponnutta vuotta). The play was produced in Scotland by theatres Lung Ha and Stellar Quines as a part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 13 Sunken Years has also been presented as a staged reading at Akvavit Theatre in Chicago in 2020.
Her recent work Ilmasilta (Airbridge), is a play which deals with humanitarian work and Western privilege. It portrays a family of three people distanced from each other who all feel a need to help in their respective environments. The play premiered in the Finnish National Theatre in early 2020.
Another new play from Salminen is Letti (Braid) which is a play for children about a kid called Letti whose hair just grows, grows and grows breaking all the norms. Letti premiered in 2020 at Lilla Villan, a centre which aims to provide cultural experiences for children and young people. Salminen's previous play for young audiences was Specs and Normals (2013). Salminen is one of the founding members of Lilla Villan.
Besides her own artistic career Salminen has been an active force in the Finnish playwriting scene. Currently she is working as a part time dramaturg in New Play Finland (UNO) developing new texts and creating opportunities for playwrights. She also teaches writing and dramaturgy, having also co-authored a book with Elina Snicker on the art and challenges of writing for the stage. The book, titled Jumalainen Näytelmä - Dramaturgisia Työkaluja (A Divine Play - Dramaturgical Tools) was published in 2012.