New Plays from Finland
Kristian Smeds (born 1970) is a Finnish director and playwright who also has managed to build an international reputation. He graduated from the Helsinki Theatre Academy in 1995, majoring in dramaturgy. Since then, he has worked in multiple theatres, both nationally and internationally in countries such as Estonia, Lithuania, and Belgium.
Smeds is one of the founding members of Takomo Theatre (1996) in addition to being its artistic director from 1996-2001. In 2007 he founded an ensemble group named Smeds Ensemble, which has travelled and networked around Europe for over a decade. He has won a multitude of awards and grants such as the 2001 Olavi Veistäjä Award, the Eino Kalima Award from the Finnish National Theatre in 2008 for best directed work of the year, and the 2011 XII European Theatre Prize for New Theatrical Realities in Russia.
One of his most recognized contributions to the Finnish theatre scene was directing The Unknown Soldier (Tuntematon Sotilas) in the Finnish National Theatre in 2007, which received a great deal of media attention and divisive opinions. His most recent play, Just Filming, premiered in the Finnish National Theatre in 2016. He is currently working as the head professor of acting in the Helsinki Theatre Academy until 2023.