A Friend from Ethiopia | Parent Page: Teokset

Photo: Harri Hinkka



“A multidisciplinary musical theatre piece that juxtaposes the climate crisis and mass extinction with undocumented refugees.”


A touching new musical theatre piece with a visionary take on today’s shared reality, A Friend from Ethiopia juxtaposes refugees and undocumented migrants, with climate crisis and mass extinction. This interdisciplinary work revolves around the concept of the undocumented migrant and the notion that ”we are all Ethiopians”.

Combining various art forms and genres from contemporary dance to live art, music and literature, A Friend from Ethiopia is a fusion of Sanna Kekäläinen’s new-materialistic views, Jussi Tuurna’s approach to musical theatre and Kari Hukkila’s postdramatic playwriting.



Structure, overall dramaturgy, direction, choreography, space: Sanna Kekäläinen

Texts: Kari Hukkila
Music: Jussi Tuurna
Sound design: Jaakko Kulomaa
Light design: Sari Mayer

Performers & collaboration: Suvi Eloranta, Sanna Kekäläinen, Anniina Kumpuniemi, Janne Marja-Aho, Samuli Roininen

Musicians & collaboration: Esko Grunström, Sara Puljula, Jussi Tuurna

Production: Kekäläinen & Company, Dance Theatre MD


Photo: Harri Hinkka



How could we define the genre of the piece A Friend from Ethiopia?

The piece blends multiple existing artistic forms and genres:

contemporary dance, performance art, music, and literature.

The piece creates a fusion of Sanna Kekäläinen‘s conceptual, new materialist approach, Jussi Tuurna‘s approach to musical theatre, and Kari Hukkila’s post-dramatic playwriting.


The piece juxtaposes the themes of refugees and undocumented migrants with the climate crisis and mass extinction. The notion of undocumented migrants is the unifying metaphor of the piece. The statement “every human being comes from Ethiopia” is created from this point of view.

The piece lends a voice to the origins of the human species, fossil discoveries, The East African Rift and its volcanic soil, and winds that carry the soil all the way to Europe.


The production consists of three distinct elements:

These conceptual and experience specific concrete elements function simultaneously.

These three elements are:

Lucy (a hominid belonging to the primate order and the great ape superfamily) / The voice of ash, which constructs the temporal dimension of the piece from the prehistoric evolution of mammals to the current mass extinction.

A Finn who brings the narrative of undocumented existence concretely into the play.

– Choir or choirs (there are two) expand the individual experiences into social and universal.

The materials used in the production are oil-based plastics, which in many ways reference the era of fossil fuels, thus relating to our own Anthropocene epoch.

A Friend from Ethiopia represents a novel and poignant form of musical theatre that addresses our shared contemporary reality in an innovative manner.



Thu 29.8. at 18 PREMIERE

Sat 31.8. at 18

Wed 4.9. at 18

Sat 7.9. at 18

Thu 21.11. at 18

Sat 23.11. at 18

Thu 28.11. at 18

Sat 30.11. at 18

Tue 3.12. at 18

Thu 5.12. at 18



Location: Hällä-näyttämö, Hämeenkatu 25, 33200 Tampere.