I started acting at the children’s theatre in Vaasa, where I met Ensio Niiranen, who was working at Vaasa City Theatre at the time. Years later, in the early 80s, when I moved to Uusikaupunki, I happened to run into him in front of a bookstore, and he straight away invited me to join him at Uusikaupunki Theatre. So, it was a smooth transition from children’s theatre to the big stage for me.
In Uusikaupunki, they took me in with open arms and encouraged me. Back when I was just a nervous young girl, Ate Telin, Jouko Toivonen, Marjut Lamppi, Anja Kynnysmaa and later Jouko Mäenpää were always there to support me whenever the anxiety was getting too much to bear. The first plays in which I was involved in Uusikaupunki were at the community hall. Some years later, we were able to start performing on the stage of the newly completed Cultural Centre Cruselli.
The theatre community is something that has always been at least as important as the venue. In theatre, everyone is equal – each individual has an important role to play in the success of the whole, from the lead actors to the actors in supporting roles and the stage technicians alike. Nothing can be created without everyone pulling together.
After the mid-80s, when Jukka Tyrväinen became the theatre director, we performed lots of nice new productions at the theatre. I remember particularly well the very first play that we performed on Cruselli’s stage, Daniel Hjort, in which I got to play the lady of the castle in love. As I walked from backstage to the front, I was trembling with excitement, which is when Ate took my hand and said: ‘Minna, it’s all right, I’ll be right there by your side through the whole thing.’ That gave me the feeling that even if the sky came falling down, I’d be okay.
Cultural Centre Cruselli has an essential role to play for the city and its cultural life as a whole. The fact that we have such a diverse art hub is something we should truly cherish. To me, Uusikaupunki Theatre is one of the most important places in my life, like a second home.“
Name: Minna Bergström
Occupation: Occupation: Masseuse. Theatre veteran known for her many and diverse roles on the stage.
In this article series, Uusikaupunki residents share reminiscences of important places from around their hometown.