Julia and Romeo at the National Theatre

“I will probably never forget that phone call when Jussi called and asked if I’d like to come on board”, says Olli Riipinen. Riipinen plays Romeo in director Jussi Nikkilä’s Julia & Romeo at the National Theatre. Many of the actors in the praised production, along with Riipinen and Satu Tuuli Karhu (who plays Julia), are students or alumni of the Theatre Academy.

“The list of things I’ve learned is so long. How to take charge of a large space, both physically and mentally, how to make your voice carry without microphones, Shakespeare’s text... This has been a big challenge but also such a fantastic experience”, says Karhu.

Both Riipinen and Karhu say that the tips and encouragement they received from experienced colleagues were priceless. Although rehearsing was intense, the progress of their course didn’t suffer as they earned study credits from the production. It also formed part of Riipinen’s thesis project.

The text has originally been published as part of Uniarts Helsinki’s annual report. Read more stories hereor browse the pdf version of the annual report.