Performing Arts past

SATContemporary Reading Series: Queen C/Kuningatar K

Photo by Tuukka Ervasti Millesgården

MON – 3-18-2013 – 8:00 PM
Pre-reception 7:30 pm

The Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC) introduces a new generation of Nordic playwrights in a series of

staged readings representing Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Denmark, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

About SATC

SATC is a collective of theater artists founded to provide Scandinavian perspectives through the new generation of Scandinavian playwrights and theater artists. SATC presents contemporary plays and inventive takes on the classics from the Nordic region, which includes

Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. SATC is committed to strengthening the relationship between Scandinavia and the United States through collaborations and interdisciplinary artistic exchange that examine and challenge the cultural status quo.

Queen C/Kuningatar K

Written by Laura Ruohonen (Finland, 2003) and directed by Joan Kane (U.S.A). “When I was born, ten cannon shots were fired. This means: a son is born.” Queen Christina, who ruled the Swedish-Finnish Empire in the 17th century, was a fascinating figure. This educated and cultured ruler, who was raised like a man, was a patron of the arts, and studied philosophy. But then she converted to Catholicism, abdicated the throne, and lived the rest of her life in Rome, where she died in 1689.

The play is not, however, a realistic portrayal of the historical Christina. Rather, it is built on many layers, through the use of powerful metaphors, depicting a person who aspires to be independent, to choose her own religious beliefs, country, and entire identity. Queen C is a poetic, magical, and quirky story, whose main character is as captivating today as she was for her contemporaries.

About the playwright

Laura Ruohonen (b. 1960, Helsinki, Finland) is a playwright and theater director. She graduated from the Finnish Theatre Academy in 1988. Whether depicting a 17th-century court or a modern apartment block, Ruohonen creates her own special world in her plays. Her texts are both poetic and down-to-earth, combining humor and tragedy into an organic whole. In her plays, people are inextricably bound to their environment, and an individual’s inner and outer lives reflect one another, sometimes getting blended in the process. Ruohonen writes on many levels, and her works can be interpreted in many different ways. At the heart of her works lies a strong ethical core.

Ruohonen’s plays include Fish or Fowl/Lintu vai kala, premiering in 1992 at the Finnish National Theater; Olga, the Finnish National Theater, 1995; Queen C/Kuningatar K, the Finnish National Theater, 2003; An Island Far from Here/Saari kaukana täältä, 2004; and Yksinen, Theater Jurkka, 2006. In addition to her work for the stage, Ruohonen has written award-winning screenplays, including Bittersweet (1995), and has written and directed more than twenty radio plays. Of these, Beersaviour (1989), Big Ape (1991), and Queen C (1999) have won national and international awards and been translated into several languages.