New Plays from Finland
Eeva Turunen (b. 1983) is a writer, playwright, and architect from Helsinki, Finland. She graduated from the Tampere University of Technology with a degree in architecture in 2010 and has also studied creative writing at the Critical Academy, among others. In addition to plays, Turunen’s work also includes other literary styles, such as prose. In 2022 she won the Kalevi Jäntti award for her novel Sivistynyt ja miellyttävä ihminen, which was also nominated for the Finlandia award. Turunen’s first play About Ulla (2014) gained great success in the Finnish theatre scene.
The play won the grand prize at the Finnish National Monologue Festival in 2015 and was also a finalist for the Lea Prize, awarded to the best dramatic text by the Finnish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. About Ulla has been translated into German. Turunen also participated in the New Play Programme Finland (UNO) of Theatre 2.0 in 2017.
About Ulla depicts the diverse dimensions of isolation and contact. A young woman obsessively observes her classmate Ulla, who lives across from her. Turunen’s lyrical and verbally playful text depicts the life of the main character through small, mundane details. Loneliness becomes a state of fear that the main character tries to hide with her fantasies. Fear turns into a longing for love and daydreams that anyone can relate to.
Turunen’s latest play Grandfather, for Sure premiered first as a staged reading at the Jyväskylä City Theatre in 2018. The text was then revised, and a new version was performed also as a staged reading at the Tampereen työväen teatteri in 2022.
The play is about memory and loss and about our deepest feelings that we never dare to say out loud. In the play, K has lost her grandfather. She is grieving and simultaneously going through the process of writing down the voice recordings that the grandfather has made about his life before his death. In the recordings, the grandfather talks a lot about his accomplishments, but K wishes he had told her more about for example how he met her grandmother.