As a playwright, I have choices to make about how I connect the dots in the script for SISU is in the Heart. How I tell the life story of my great grandparents will be shaped by the other family stories that I will hear over the next year in story circles and interviews with other Finnish Americans. My great-grandparents, two people I simply knew as "my Finnish relatives" for so many years, are becoming more and more a part of my life. They are becoming real to me. I am getting to know them despite the distance of more than 100 years. As I move ahead, there will be parts of their life that I choose to emphasize for the sake of telling a good tale, and elements I ignore to make things more interesting-- that's what makes great theater! Writing their story will be 3 parts research, 2 parts guess work, and 1 part a conscious and deliberate blending of details to tell the story I feel compelling to share. I invite you along with me on this journey to dramatize their story.
May 8, 2014