Essi Rossi is the New Artistic Director of Viirus

Viirus has appointed director and dramaturg Essi Rossi as its new artistic director. Rossi takes over the position from Jussi Sorjanen, who has served as artistic director since 2018 and theater manager since 2021. With Sorjanen’s transition to Espoo Theatre, Viirus transitions to a dual leadership model, with Martin Bahne assuming the role of Head of Administration and Economy.

Essi Rossi has a master’s degree from the directing program at the University of the Arts Helsinki from 2011 and has been actively working in the field of theater and performing arts both in Finland and abroad. Among her recent works are Klockriketeatern’s Short Episode in the Universal History of Mushroom Civilization at Espoo Theatre (2023) and the performance Camping at Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus (2023).

– I am incredibly grateful and perhaps a little frightened by the trust and this opportunity. Viirus is undoubtedly one of Finland’s most significant theaters, says Rossi. – I believe that Viirus has a wild and open-minded approach to seeking and promoting the full potential of performing arts, and a belief in the intrinsic value of art, she adds.

Oskar Pöysti, actor and acting Artistic Director at Viirus, comments on Rossi’s appointment as exciting and inspiring, stating that she brings both width and depth to Viirus as an Artistic Director.

– We were impressed by Essi’s natural, empathetic leadership ability and her consistent interest in truth, during the recruitment process says Pöysti. – We believe she has both the intention and the ability to create something that can feel stimulating, relevant, and meaningful for our audience to gather around, in a present and future that constantly challenges us all, he adds.

Martin Bahne, who assumes the position of Head of Administration and Economy, has been an actor at Viirus since 2017. In addition to his artistic education, Bahne holds a master’s degree in economics from Åbo Akademi and has broad experience in similar roles.