Elmar Maripuu

Elmar Maripuu (born 14 March 1952) is an exile Estonian playwright, stage director and actor.

Maripuu was born in London. He acquired secondary education in London and studied literature at the University of York in the UK. Thereafter, he studied programming and became the owner of a software company in Toronto. He has lived in Toronto from 1981. Maripuu has worked in alternative theatre companies of Toronto as a director and actor. He has staged his plays at days of Estonian culture in New York and Toronto. His plays have also been performed in English in off-off-Broadway theatres of New York. He was a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union Abroad from 1986 (in 2000, it was united with the Estonian Writers’ Union).

In Maripuu’s first play Sündmused sureval planeedil (‘Events on a Dying Planet’, 1980), the theme of exile Estonians is merged with pessimistic global visions of the future.
Estonian Television has staged Maripuu’s intimate two-person drama Ohmi seadus (‘Ohm’s Law’). His play Pöörded (‘Turns’), which observes the issue of borders of human mental equilibrium, was staged by Elmar Maripuu as a guest director at what was then the Youth Theatre (now Tallinn City Theatre) in 1990. Tension is added to the intrigue of the play by love relations. The action of the first act takes place in the days of the Great French Revolution, of the second in present-day New York.

Elmar Maripuu’s drama texts are short. The striving for shortness is connected with the dense rhythmic structure of the texts. A characteristic device is unexpected turns in the plot or internal psychological states. The concentrated form is idiosyncratically comical containing elements of satire and grotesque.

L. P. (Translated by I. A.)


Books in Estonian

Sündmused sureval planeedil: draama ühes vaatuses. New York, 1980. 47 lk.