Maria Oiva & Topi Kohonen
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Maria Oiva works cross-disciplinarily in her roles as a theater director and a performance and media artist, both in Finland as well as internationally. Recently her focus has been on the development of a digital stage concept. In 2019 this work earned her Theatre Info Finland’s TINFO prize. In addition to her boundary-stretching artistic work, Oiva serves in key positions of trust in the field as a speaker and as an invited expert. In her work, Oiva often addresses themes related to gender, sexuality, desire, and power. She works with new forms and concepts which rethink the meaning of viewing and role of the viewer. She has extensive experience with performances that focus on the viewer’s experience of the body. For Oiva, critical thinking is vital in more than the final artistic product; it should extend to the methods and entire culture of working.

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Photo: Stein Valkoinen

Actor and performer Topi Kohonen graduated from Tampere University’s degree programme in theater arts in 2014. He earned recognition for his studies with a Kesko stipend along with receiving the 2014 master’s thesis of the year award. In his graduate work he explored, through the use of puppet and object theater, the possibilities of the performer’s body and imagination in relation to the stage. In his professional career he has worked primarily in theaters throughout Finland, most recently in Vaasa. The Hot Box will be his third collaboration with Maria Oiva.

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