Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Theatre Summer

As I've mentioned, during the 2013–2014 theatrical season, it's been a joy being a Finnish theatre fan. So many amazing musicals! At times I haven't been able to decide which show I'm the most excited about!

Now the fun's over: the season is finished. In Finland, theatres close their doors in May and open them again sometimes in September. Luckily, though, the summer's not some awful three-month-long abyss with lots of heat and no theatre. Instead of indoor shows, we get outdoor theatre. Lots and lots and lots of it. There are literally hundreds of outdoor productions staged all over the country each year, some of them by professionals, many of them by enthusiastic amateurs.

And I admit that, even though I even worked in an outdoor theatre last year, I have my suspicions about summer theatre. As you know, I see theatre all the time during the winter – but hardly ever during the summer. Hearing the words "outdoor theatre" makes me think of awful plots, overacting and, occasionally, rain and ferocious wildlife attacking both the actors and the audience. Seeing I've seen so little theatre during the summer, these may very well be unfounded preconceptions.

This summer, I've decided to forget my prejudices and go experience something new. My summer project is seeing all the professional Finnish summer theatre I can.

I'm of course going to write reviews about all the shows I see during my summer tour. I however have a sneaking suspicion that interest in reviews of Finnish outdoor plays outside Finland is so minimal that this particular project might be better written in Finnish. After my tour is over, I'll write a conclusion in English and let you know if actually I got rid of my prejudices – but this time, the actual reviews will be in Finnish.

However! A picture is worth a thousand words, no matter which language. I've set up an Instagram account where I intend to document my summer theatre tour: the places I'll visit, the friends I'll meet, all the sausages and other questionable foodstuffs I'll eat during the intermissions... Follow siiri.inkeri on Instagram for photo coverage.

And now – onwards ho!

Kesäteatterikesästä suomeksi.


  1. Sounds like a good way to spend the summer! I don't know why theaters would take a break in the summer months, though. Seems to me it'd be easier for theater-goers to get around and get to theaters without all of the cold and dark in the way. Then again, I live in a land where it rarely snows/ices, so it could be much less of an impediment as I imagine it to be.

    Have fun!

    1. Oh, I forgot to explain the whole Finnish theatres closing during the summer thing in the text! I guess it's just so normal to me that I forgot it's not done like that everywhere. Simplifying it a bit here, but anyway...

      Our theatres are mostly funded by the government/municipalities. Towns and cities give their workers a summer holiday, many municipal offices and such get closed during the summer – so theatres go on a break too. And then us Finns tend to abandon city and go to the countryside during the summer... I guess we don't want to sit inside during the few warm months of the year! There's plenty of time for indoor activities during the winter (we're indeed used to the snow). So, seasonal outdoor theatres pop up all over the country. And the outdoor theatre thing is so ingrained in our culture that even theatres that don't shut down for the summer usually take their summer plays outside.

      And thanks!