Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finlandia to present fall play Nov. 1-4

HANCOCK -- Four performances of the Finlandia University fall play, What Now, Niskavuori, will take place Nov. 1 to 4, 2012, at the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock.

The Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening performances -- Nov. 1, 2, and 3 -- begin at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday, Nov. 4, matinee begins at 2:30 p.m.

What Now, Niskavuori, by Estonian-born Finnish playwright Hella Wuolijoki (1886 to 1954), is one of a series of popular plays she wrote between 1936 and 1953 about the people who live and work at a large manorial farm, Niskavuori, in the western Finland province of Häme.

In the play, Loviisa (Pam Puotto), Niskavuori’s wily, iron-willed matriarch, learns that forty percent of her estate will be taken away by the Finnish government and given to Karelian refugees and Finnish war veterans. In order for her family to retain ownership of the remaining lands, it must remain a working farm.

Loviisa struggles to keep the estate intact in spite of family discord and the great national and international events shaking Finland during the 1930s and 1940s.

The play’s five scenes cover the period 1938 to 1944, during and at the end of Finland’s Continuation War, which ultimately resulted in Karelia again becoming a territory of the Soviet Union.

What Now, Niskavuori? is directed by Melvin Kangas. It was translated from the Finnish language and adapted for the American stage by Kangas and Hannu Leppanen. Players include community members and Finlandia faculty, staff, and students.

Tickets are $5 per person and may be purchased at the door prior to each performance. Finlandia students with a valid university I.D. may attend free.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is located at 435 Quincy Street in downtown Hancock, Mich. For additional information, please contact Lynne Sweeney at 906-487-7204.

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