Finland's National Theatre 1974–1991 : The Two Decades of Generational Contests, Cultural Upheavals, and International Cold War Politics book cover
1st Edition

Finland's National Theatre 1974–1991
The Two Decades of Generational Contests, Cultural Upheavals, and International Cold War Politics

ISBN 9780367476892
Published March 23, 2022 by Routledge
288 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This study analyses the Finnish National Theatre’s activities throughout the decades during which the post-war generation with its new societal and theatrical views was rising to power, and during which Europe, divided by the Iron Curtain, was maturing to break the boundaries dividing it. Pirkko Koski summarizes the activities of the Finnish National Theatre as a cultural factor and as a part of the Finnish theatre field during 1970s and 1980s. Alongside this he examines the general requirements, resources and structures for activity, including artists, places, geographical position, performances and the analysis on the societal conditions. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of European theatre and history.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Finnish National Theatre: tradition and turbulent time

    National stature and the fulfilling the national mission

    Researching theatre history

    Approaching the past: sources

    The Finnish National Theatre during a time of rupture: contents

    Part I Operational frames

  3. The Finnish National Theatre and the changing field of theatre
  4. New artistic direction(s)

    Private, national, and societal pressures

    The National Theatre and its national operations

    Caught between East and West

  5. Experiencing, conveying, and interpreting
  6. The Finnish National Theatre and the Finnish press

    The National Theatre and the general public

  7. The creators of the artistic direction
  8. Th actors’ theatre

    The productions’ artistic backgrounds

    Artistic forays over the border



  9. A national landmark renewed and replenished
  10. National Main Stage

    From modern architecture to spatial exploration

    A functioning family

    Part II Programming, performances, and the national agenda

  11. The National mission driving the National Theatre’s programming
  12. Chasing diversity and artistic merit

    Debates about the development of domestic Finnish drama

    Crossing the border between high and low art

  13. High and low in the context of the domestic repertoire
  14. The challenges of updating traditional classics

    The Finnish people on stage

    The Finland of poets

  15. Finnish history without a nationalist slant
  16. Historical characters from across the decades

    War history and contemporary politics on-stage

  17. Significant literary works as national interpretations
  18. Shakespeare as a contemporary mirror

    The cultural heritage of Continental Europe

    Old Russian drama




  19. Modern dramatic classics
  20. A generation of masters

    Anglo-American relationship drama

    Social documentary from behind the Iron Curtain

    Modern drama from the Continent

    The return to absurdist roots


  21. New Eastern European drama
  22. Rarities from the Soviet Union

    From metaphor to commentary-style

    Estonian history

  23. New plays from the West
  24. Trying to fill the Main Stage auditorium

    Relationships and cultural caricatures

    Dramatic and stage celebrity

    Global victims: abuses of power

    Historic moments of stardom

  25. Social upheaval on the national stage
  26. Pacifism in its different modes

    Generational rebellion on-stage

    The environment threats



  27. Popular and commercial elements and Ntaional Theatre press debates
  28. From classic farce to folk theatre

    An operetta causes a scandal

    Criticism and crisis at the centre of public attention

  29. The advent of the small and the young
  30. The opening of the Omapohja studio performance space

    A new generation of playwrights


  31. Theatre company visits from the East and the West
  32. Gorki Theatare, Taganka, and other Eastern European triumphs

    The return of the Estonia-connection

    British theatrical culture

    Western diversity and Far East traditions

    The Finnish National Theatre travels


  33. To conclude: The National Theatre during a time of transition
  34. Changing times and the National Theatre’s policy

    The international Finnish National Theatre

    National drama, national character, and collective memory


  35. Sources and Bibliography


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Pirkko Koski is Professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki.