Love and Politics– a virtual Reader’s Theatre production by the ASOC

Astor Street Opry Company is proud to team up with the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association to present a virtual reader’s theatre production of ‘Love and Politics’. ‘Love and Politics’ {Rakkautta ja Politikkaa} is a one-act play written by A.T. and published in 1906 in Hameenlinna, Finland.

This vintage theater piece found in the attic of Suomi Hall and has been translated from the Finnish by Sirpa Duoos. Actors from the Astor Street Opry will record a performance at Suomi Hall and it will be available for viewing June 15-30. ChrisLynn Taylor is the director. This project is supported by the Clatsop Cultural Coalition and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Mr. Ketonen, a widower, wants his daughter, Hilda, to marry his best friend, Mr. Petola, so she will be as happy as her parents were. Mr. Petola is older and stutters. His daughter, Hilda, does want to be happy, but not with Mr. Petola. She is in love with Einar Salmela, a local Socialist leader. Mr. Ketonen hates Socialists and refuses to allow Hilda to marry Einar. Hilda and Einar ask Mr. Petola to help them convince Mr. Ketonen that mixing love and politics will not make anyone happy and if they cannot marry, they will leave. Mr. Petola finally convinces Mr. Ketonen to give his consent to the marriage.

The video of this play will be available via the Astor Street Opry Company’s YouTube channel beginning at 5 pm June 15th.

The Astoria Finnish Socialist Club building was built in 1910 when Astoria’s Uniontown was large enough to support major community organizations such as Finnish Brotherhood and the Finnish Temperance Society, two newspapers, half a dozen public saunas, four churches, and a dozen boarding houses. The Socialist Club stood four stories tall 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 of the 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 takes place in a small Finnish town

MR. KETONEN –a wealthy widower and master cobbler and shoemaker–TRAVIS BOGGS
HILDA–Mr. Ketonen’s daughter – LEXI BLACKSTEN
MR. PETOLA–a master carpenter and furniture maker-DAVID DRAFALL
EINAR SALMELA – a young suitor and worker–JORDAN GRIFFIN
HETA – maid in the Ketonen household–BETH BEAUPARLAND
ANNA –a right–hand to Mr. Ketonen–ELSA NETHERCOT

This project is a joint effort by the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Association and the Astor Street Opry Company with financial support from the Clatsop County Cultural Coalition and the Oregon Cultural Trust.