New Plays from Finland
Esa Leskinen (born 1970) is a Finnish playwright and director who graduated from the Helsinki Theatre Academy in 1997, majoring in directing. He has worked as the head dramatic director at the Finnish National Theatre since 2018. Leskinen says that an institution like the Finnish National Theatre has the opportunity to act as the shining light for cultural awareness and open-mindedness during a time which appears to be constantly sinking into a deeper bog of ignorance and self-fulfilling biases (source: Finnish National Theatre website). Between 1997-2018 he worked as the artistic director of the Group Theatre (Ryhmäteatteri).
According to Leskinen, the 2008 financial crisis is key to understanding the predominating tensions in modern society. His most recent politically analytical play (written in collaboration with Sami Keski-Vähälä), which was first performed in early 2019 called The Eleventh Moment (Yhdestoista Hetki) dealt with the political tensions that arose from the policies implemented by the Sipilä Cabinet regarding cuts to government spending. For Leskinen, having a clear grasp of history is crucial to creating theatre today, as this is largely missing from the currently predominating neoliberal hegemony.