> Intro

Generally speaking, the Straw Theatre programme consists of first-rate contemporary works. This was the goal. Yet there is still one more stage production. This, too, is contemporary: its world premiere is in the Straw Theatre and its aesthetic language is everything but passé. Yet its roots started growing in the past millennium, reaching into the present time when they were severed with a snap. is a play with Finno-Ugric actors who still speak their own language and know their traditional cultural space. What is the word for “love” in the Mari language? How does a Setu boy go to a kirmask (a summertime village dance party)? Do Estonians laugh at Ostyak jokes? What is it like to be a Vogul in Moscow? What does it mean to be an Estonian?
Yet the question is no longer how languages and culture are preserved. The question is: for how much longer and will they be preserved at all?

“It attempts to find a theatrical language in the rituals that are still alive: for instance, the Setu saajad (wedding), the Ostyak-Vogul wake for the bear slain by hunters, Mari prayers in the sacred groves, the Udmurtian funeral. The form of the play is like a glittering ornament worn on the chest by Finno-Ugric people forged by a sorcerer-blacksmith from meteorite iron or fen iron – moving, swinging, shimmering, playing in light, mood and wind, confusing fairies and gods, a fusion of heavy iron, good mood, white hands and a good heart.” That is what the authors have to say.

In contrast with the rest of our programme, this play looks eastward into our sombre subconsciousness. The actors are from beyond the Ural Mountains and from before them.

> Time

R 26/08 19:00

> Language

With English subtitles

> People

Finno-Ugric actors from Russia:
Elgeniya Moldanova – actor from the Sun Ob-Ugric Peoples’ Theatre
Anna Randoma – freelance artist
Mikhail Begishev – Udmurtian actor
Svetlana Stroganova – actor from the Mari State Drama Theatre
Sergei Danilov – actor from the Mari State Drama Theatre
Marina Pochteneva – actor from the Mari State Drama Theatre
Petr Anjamkov - actor from the Sun Ob-Ugric Peoples’ Theatre
Artem Tarlin - student of the Hantõ-Mansiiski technological-pedagocial college 

Estonian actors: Risto Kübar, Mirtel Pohla (NO99) and Bert Raudsep

Young Setu actor Artur Linnus is also part of the cast

Estonian directors:
Anne Türnpu (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre School of Theatre Arts), Mart Koldits (Von Krahl Theatre), Eva Klemets (NO99)

Dramaturg: Maria Lee Liivak
Artist: Epp Kubu
Stage director: Kairi Mändla
Light design: Airi Eras
Video: Ahto Vaher
Sound: Maike Lond

Maret Mursa Tormis (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Alexander technique)
Jüri Nael (movement, Laban technique)
Anne Türnpu (voice technique)
Tõnu Tepandi (voice technique)
Kaie Mihkelson (acting technique, improvisation)
Jaan Tooming (what a Finno-Ugric director should know)
Andres Heinapuu (overview of Finno-Ugric movement)
Mare Kõiva (introduction to the sorcerer’s outlook on life)
Kadri Viires
Tarmo Tagamets
Kristo Viiding

Õie Sarv and representatives of Finno-Ugric peoples who live in Estonia will assist as consultants

> Links