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Major investment from the Cultural Foundation helps bring the world to Finnish stages
Kirjoittanut Kata Wéber perustuen Kornél Mundruczón konseptiin; ohjaus Kornél Mundruczó. Kuva: Proton Theatre / Marcell RÉV / Tampereen Teatterikesä
Imitation of life has been written by Kata Wéber and directed by Kornél Mundruczó. Photo: Proton Theatre / Marcell RÉV / Tampereen Teatterikesä
The Finnish Cultural Foundation has released a new form of funding for theatres to have high-quality plays translated into Finnish. A similar initiative was publicised earlier in the autumn concerning translations of prose, poetry and essays.

The aim of the “World on Stage” funding is to encourage Finnish theatres to have new, contemporary plays from around the world translated into Finnish, and then to perform them. Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) will also receive funding from the foundation to arrange special World on Stage information events for theatres, where they are introduced to recent, as yet untranslated, works by contemporary playwrights.

Less and less high-level contemporary world literature is published in Finnish. Relatively many translations are made of English-language works, but very few from other languages. The same applies in the world of drama. Hardly any recent dramatic works from continental Europe or elsewhere in the world are performed in Finnish theatres.

– Currently, the Finnish theatre world is operating in a kind of vacuum concerning translated plays, which means we don’t breathe the same air as the rest of Europe. Finnish audiences deserve opportunities to enjoy more diverse programming. We hope that the World on Stage funding will lead to presentations of how the challenges of our time are processed dramatically in other cultures, explains actor Timo Torikka, who was involved in developing the new grant.

Theatres may apply for the grant for the first time in August 2022, and annually thereafter. The total funding for play translations and performances between 2022 and 2029 will be EUR 1.2 million.

– It is important for TINFO that the funding is available to the entire field, which means both institutional theatres and independent theatre companies. We are also pleased that the funding will allow for tours, so that performances can reach audiences in various places, says TINFO Director Linnea Stara.

TINFO will gather up a team of experts, who will be tasked with reading contemporary plays from as many language regions as possible, to consider which ones could fit in well in today’s Finland.

– We want to be involved in creating a diverse theatre sector whose eyes are open to the rest of the world during this time of reconstruction.

For further information, please contact:

Finnish Cultural Foundation: Juhana Lassila, Director of Cultural Affairs, tel. +358 9 6128 1230
Theatre Info Finland (TINFO): Linnea Stara, Director, tel. +358 50 301 2723