Westerholm, Maija

Puppetry artist

Maija Westerholm is a puppeteer from Nakkila.

Street (puppet) theatre, mask theatre, combining live music and puppetry, communal projects and multiculturalism as well as material- and space orientations. Westerholm has a degree in practical nursing, specializing in mental health and substance abuse.

Westerholm is interested in puppetry’s diversity. She wants to continue to express herself within this form of art in future as well: as a performer, puppeteer, group director and puppet builder. She hopes to bring footing for street puppet theatre in the Finnish cultural field. She also wants to feed her inner comedian every now and then.

Westerholm is interested in contemporary social themes with their pains and comic aspects. The trigger for laughter and cry is often easy to find. She calms down by breathing and doing ashtanga vinyasa yoga. Her childhood nickname is Haahu.

-Puppet design and execution for Havukka-ahon ajattelija, Joensuu City Theatre, 2016. Directing: Aino Kivi

-Puppetry workshop for young audiences at Circus Kampot and Bokor View English School, Cambodia in 2015. Performing at the Sea Festival with the participants of Circus Kampot using the giant puppet built at the workshop.

– Performance Pongo via Fin, premiered in Kuching, in Borneo, Malesia at the Rainforest World Puppet Carnival –festival in 2015. The performance was awarded the Best experiment in theatre -award. Directing: Hanne Lammi and Maija Westerholm.

-Communal street puppet theatre performance The Wishing Bird, which visited the street puppetry festival Backstreet Festival in Alexandria, Egypt in 2014. The performance was done in cooperation with the Arts Promotion Center Finland and Roosa Halme. The performance was awarded the European Cultural Foundation travel grant. Directing: Hanne Lammi and Maija Westerholm.

– Founding the puppet theatre group Hajana together with Hanne Lammi in 2014.

– Puppeteer in the show Karhun morsian (The Bride of the Bear). Performances in Turku Arts Academy Naruteatteri, Poland/Worclaw/Teat Lalek Jutra –festival and Turku City Theatre’s Pikkolo-stage in 2013. Directing: Maria-Elina Koivula.

– Planning and directing workshops in cooperation with GLM (Green Living Movement) in Zambia in 2009.