Art & Artists

OsloPost Theatre Collective

Middle Eastern Bloc Working Group.

”The pandemics hit the world like a tsunami, with several giant waves. Now, as the catastrophic waves withdraw, we slowly detect the impact that the past years have had on our lives, relations, work, habits, attitudes and values.
The writers Lois Armas and Nelly Winterhalder place fictional characters in this post pandemic landscape and explore the emotional impact from a both personal, local and global perspective. The writing process will start from a common fictional frame which then allows each writer to express their artistic voice.”Nelly Winterhalder

The Middle Eastern Bloc podcast, started in 2020, reflects on the global pandemic through the eyes of people belonging to cultural and linguistic minorities (who live outside their birth country). When the first wave of the global pandemic hit the world in Spring 2020, people were asked to stay home and avoid unnecessary contact except with their close family members. “We started to wonder how people residing outside their birth country experience the situation. How people living away from their family coped with the situation.”

This podcast produced by Post Theatre Collective was part of the Together alone 2.0 program in 2022 and this year, Season 3 will be launched at the Together Again festival in Autumn 2023, commissioned by The Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Institute. Post Theatre Collective has chosen Norway-based Nelly Winterhalder and Finland-based Lois Armas to be the writers of this season of the podcast. The episodes are sound designed by Saku Kämäräinen and directed by David Kozma.

The first episode will be launched at the festival & online and will be available to listen via soundcloud!

In the main roles: Noora Sointu Vuorela and Timo Torikka

In other roles: Yuko Takeda, Timo Teern, Maija Paunio, Mona Kortelampi, Bita Razavi, Johanna Valle, Johanna Kuuva, Eeva Putro, Jaakko Hutchings, Siim Simba Maaten, Timo-Pekka Luoma, Salla Kozma, Riikka Korhonen, Julius Chavez, Mimmi Mertaniemi, Jalal Hajali

Produced by Post Theatre Collective.


About the artists

Lois Armas (she/her) is a writer and an oral historian. With a MA in Social Sciences by University of Helsinki, her literary work focuses on the feelings that surface out of everyday interactions, on childhood memories, and on observing the complexity of family relationships. She is the co-founder of a multilingual writing space for beginner writers, NEXO, and seasonally teaches creative writing to children in primary school. Her first novel, Flora, will be published by WSOY Publishing House in May 2023.

Nelly Winterhalder (she/her), born in Germany in 1979, is a playwright, director and translator. In addition to a master’s degree in playwriting from the Academy of Theater in Oslo, she has a master’s degree in literary studies and acting education from Munich. Winterhalder moved to Norway in 2006 and since worked in a number of different roles and languages. In 2019, she established the live-art-cooperative Ann Sam Bell. Nelly made her debut as a playwright in Norway with alt i boks (Everything sorted) at the Norwegian Drama Festival in 2009. Since then, her works have been shown in Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Nicaragua.

Saku Kämäräinen (he/him) is a musician and a sound artist whose sound design works have been presented in Finland and internationally. He has performed in over hundred shows across Europe, United States and Canada. He has studied Sound in New Media at Aalto University, and Musicology at University of Helsinki.

David Kozma (he/him) is a Romanian-Hungarian actor, director and artistic director of the Post Theatre Collective. He works for film and TV productions, theatre, as well as applied theater particularly focused on the activities aimed at immigrants. In 2019, he co-founded New Theatre Helsinki, a platform for intercultural activities centered around performing arts and for the communities that are not represented on the Finnish institutional stage.

Noora Sointu (she/her) Vuorela is a Finnish actor, voice actor, theatre professional, and dancer with a degree from Copenhagen. In addition to acting, she has directed, scripted, and produced original pieces, and is working as one of the producers of the Yötön Nattlös Festival. Currently, Noora Sointu Vuorela is a member of the Teatteri Sirkus Suosalo working group.

Actor Timo Torikka (he/him) has had a long and diverse career on stage, in film, and in television. In addition to working with several Finnish theatres, he has acted in Germany and most of all in France, where he has performed several theatrical roles for over 10 years. His roles have ranged from Bill in Zinnie Harris’ Further Than the Furthest Thing to Mitja of Dostojevski’s Karamazov brothers. In his latest project in France, he played pastor Manders in the Pantathéâtren Ibsen interpretation of “Les revenants” (2019).

His latest roles in Finland were in Stefano Massini’s play “Lehman Brothers Trilogia” (2020-22), which was a collaboration between three theatres (Espoo City Theatre, Finnish National Theatre, The TTT Theatre), as well as “Rakkauden päätös” written and directed by Pascal Rambert (2020-21) at the Finnish National Theatre.

Image by Quentin Wachter

From left to right:
Lois Armas photographed by Iiro Iltanen
Saku Kämäräinen photographed by Sakari Piippo
David Kozma photographed by Elli Nora Sayyad
Nelly Winterhalder photographed by Kristin Aafløy Opdan