Sunday, March 2, 2014

Centenary of Mariehamn Theatre Society 7.2.2014

The 100th anniversary of the Mariehamn Theatre Society on 7 February 2014 was highlighted with the issue of a stamp by Åland artist Jonas Wilén.

Thanks to the profiling of Mariehamn as a seaside resort, Åland tourism gained momentum at the end of the late 1800s. Seaside life in Mariehamn thrived around the turn of the century, fuelling also theatre activities. Professional performers from both Finland and Sweden teamed up and put up plays in the seaside hotel of the town. When World War I broke out in 1914, these activities came to a halt but, thanks to a group of enthusiasts, led by ‘Åland King' Julius Sundblom among others, the ‘Swedish Theatre Society in Finland Mariehamn Branch' could hold its statutory meeting on 10 June 1914. The name was soon shortened to the present ‘Mariehamn Theatre Society'.

In the early years, performances were given in the spa hotel, but other premises such as Åland lyceum (the secondary school) and the Kino theatre were used, when the hotel was destroyed in a fire in 1916. Since 1939, Mariehamn town hall serves as domicile for the society.

Thank you Ella for this lovely FDC.

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