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The Columbia Press


Performance delves into Finnish love and politics

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A joint venture between Astor Street Opry Company and the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association will bring a piece of history to life.

“Rakkautta ja Politikkaa,” or “Love and Politics,” was found in the attic of Suomi Hall. The one-act play was published in 1906 in Hameenlinna, Finland, and translated from Finnish by Sirpa Duoos, Clatsop County’s property management specialist.

The Astoria Finnish Socialist Club was built in 1910, when Astoria’s Uniontown was large enough to support two Finnish-language newspapers (including the Columbia Press’s former incarnation, Lannen Suometar), Finnish Brotherhood, the Finnish Temperance Society, half a dozen public saunas, four churches, and a dozen boarding houses.

The Socialist Club stood four stories and its theater had a professional stage director from Helsinki who produced new plays every two weeks. When the Socialist Club burned in 1923, the actors transferred to the stage at the Finnish Brotherhood.

Many scripts of the plays produced on the Finnish Brotherhood stage have been stored for years in the attic of Suomi Hall and that’s where the script for Love and Politics was found.

“Love and Politics” is set in a small Finnish town. The project was funded by the Clatsop Cultural Coalition and Oregon Cultural Trust.

A video of the play can be viewed on Astor Street Opry Company’s YouTube channel ( beginning at 5 pm June 15.

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