New Plays from Finland

Sami Keski-Vähälä

Sami Keski-Vähälä (born 1972) is a playwright and screenwriter who has studied literature in the University of Jyväskylä and completed his M.A. in the Helsinki Theatre Academy. On the big screen he has often worked in collaboration with Mika Kaurismäki, their most recent written screenplay collaboration being Master Cheng (Mestari Cheng) in 2019. He has also written the Onneli and Anneli (Onneli ja Anneli) films (2014-17).  He is currently the chairman of the Finnish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. 
In the theatre he has often collaborated with playwright Esa Leskinen, one of their plays being a 2013 stage adaptation of Arto Paasilinna’s 1975 novel, The Year of the Hare (Jäniksen vuosi). Keski-Vähälä and Leskinen’s most recent playwriting collaboration was a documentary theatre piece named The Eleventh Moment (Yhdestoista hetki) which was performed in the Finnish National Theatre in early 2019. The play was about how we as a society take a shared democracy and lifestyle for granted, how this democracy is slowly withering away, and what the implications of this are for us as a collective group of people.