Larvateatteri and Vanha Paukku Cultural Center are the two lead community partners for SISU is in the Heart: A Play for Lapua. Larvateatteri has been producing plays in Lapua since 2010 and will be responsible for all production aspects including stage management, publicity, marketing, lights & sound, props, costumes and more. Many of their association members will also perform on stage or help out behind the scenes.
I'm excited and lucky to be working with this talented group of theater artists. Please take a moment to read the short interview below with association member, Pirita Latva-Teikari.
Pirita Latva-Teikari: First of all, Larvateatteri is an association, not a company. It was founded in Lapua in 2010 and has included experienced theater professionals and enthusiasts as active members from day one. Larvateatteri was also responsible for the construction of the outdoor stage at Luhurikka summer theater with funding from the EU. The first play was Purasen häät (The Wedding of Puranen) which is an old Finnish play. The audience gave Larvateatteri a warm welcome. The most recent production was this past summer's musical play Onnen maa (The Land of Happiness). The next production will be the classical play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, which will premiere this winter.
Park: What kinds of plays do you typically produce (classics, originals, etc.)?
Pirita: In the summer, Larvateatteri produces classical Finnish "country-style" comedies for the summer theater Luhurikka. Luhurikka is very idyllic place in Lapua, surrounded by forests and fields. There is even a horse pasture behind the stage. In winter the issues are deeper, for example, The Diary of Anne Frank and Aarre, ryssän äpärä, a love story between a Russian prisoner of war and a Finnish girl. The play was a world premiere with music and based on a true story. It was a massive hit, praised by both critics and the audience!
Pirita: We usually present 1-3 plays a year. Larvateatteri is open for everyone who is interested in making theater. That is one of our main principles. Everyone is welcome! We have a board of directors (Kari Manu, Pirkko Manu, Ritva-Leena Heikkinen and myself). When we start to plan the season, we ask for everyone's opinion on the play selection, not just the board. We send scripts by email to everyone in the association to give their opinion about which play should be next. We like to keep things open and democratic.
Park: Where can people learn more about your work?
Pirita: You can read more about Larvateatteri and see photos from the previous productions at: