For more than a hundred years, Svenska Teatern (The Swedish Theater) in the city center of Helsinki has been called Finland’s Swedish national scene, but its history extends further back in time than that. When the theater was originally founded in 1827, it was the very first theater house in the city of Helsinki, and the current building with its quintessential architecture dates back to the 1860s. In the 1930s, the exterior of the house was converted into a funky facade, while the interior of the house underwent a thorough renovation in the early 2010s.
Currently, “Svenskis” has three scenes: The Big Stage, Amos and Nicken. These include everything from international hit musicals and children’s plays to classics and newly written dramas; a total of 8-10 per year.
Other Finnish Swedish theaters include Åbo Svenska Teater (the Swedish Theater of Turku) and Wasa Teater, as well as the Helsinki-based Teater Viirus, Lilla Teatern and Universum.
Theater studies can be conducted in Swedish at the University of Theater in Helsinki (Teaterhögskolan i Helsingfors). Finnish Swedish theater workers are increasingly working internationally, for example, the feminist theater group Blaue Frau has toured actively in the Nordic countries, actor Elmer Bäck played the lead role in Peter Greenway’s film Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015) and Maria Sid has worked in Sweden both as an actor, director and theater director.