Thursday, August 25, 2005

Author: Martta Maria Aho Ensio (1915-1994)

Translate English to Finnish (translate this page into Finnish)

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CAPTIONS:
1) Martta (6) with Aiti (mother), Isa (father), and brother Jopi; 2) Martta (7) with Aiti, and Aunt Sophie; 3) Martta (left) with Aiti and Isa at Grandpa Aho's woodmill in Laihia, Finland; 4) the Aho family in their fabulous Ford; 5) Hilja (Aiti) and Emil (Isa) Aho; 6) the Ensio family of Turku, Finland; (left to right) Paavo, Pekka Joseppi, Armas Ensio (father), Leena, Lea, and Ireene von Stackelberg (mother); 7) Martta, the young actress, in Turku; 8) Pekka Joseppi Ensio, son of the Mayor of Turku; 9) the restaurant in which Martta and Pekka had their first date; 10) marriage, and along came Paavo (left) and Maritta Ireene (right); 11) And then there were 3 - (left to right) Paavo, Markku, and Maritta Ireene; 12) In 1945, Pekka accepts scholarship to MIT in Boston; (left to right) Maritta, Markku and Paavo in America; 13) And then a job with INCO Canada; Maritta, Markku, and Martta at summer place in Ramsey Lake (Sudbury); 14) Kibbitzing on the lawn - "Don't worry Maritta! Mummy won't hurt daddy!"; 15) summer car treks in Canada; (left to right) Markku, Maritta, Martta and Paavo.

BIOGRAPHY: Born in Laihia, Finland (Jan 11, 1915), Martta Maria Aho Ensio attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where she majored in singing (opera) and drama. In the midst of a burgeoning acting career, she met and married Pekka Joseppi Ensio, the son of Turku mayor Armas Ensio and Ireene von Stackelberg (http://www.von-stackelberg.de/), and followed her husband to Boston, (USA) where he took his Sc.D at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ms. Ensio continued her acting career while living variously in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Always interested in writing and painting as well as in the theater, she published her first (and only) novella, a slim autobiography titled, sorry wrong planet in 1988. The book was adapted for screen by Ms. Ensio's grandson Marcus Robinson, who subsequently produced it as an indie film with funding from the Ontario Arts Council and private investors (2004).


Actress: A Rich Theatrical Heritage

SAMPLE STARRING ROLES

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1) Marguerite, Camille, (by A. Dumas): Turun Teatteri,, Turku, Finland: "incandescent and splendid" (T.H.); 2) Kirsti Fleming, Elinan Surma (by Gustaf von Numers),Turun Teatteri, Turki, Finland: "Martta Aho's Kirsti Fleming is truly interesting...I have seen Elinan Surma many times, but only Martta Aho's portrayal of Kirsti as a young woman driven by love and jealousy has brought me to re-think the play, and to conclude that Kirsti, in the end, is a much more tragic figure than Elina".; 3) Julia, in Julia, Kotka Teatteri, Kotka, Finland, 1930s; 4) Katusha, in Resurrection (by Tolstoy) , Kotka Teatteri, Kotka, Finland, 1930s; 5) members of Turun Tyvaen Teatteri repertory company, 1942; 6) Medea, in Medea and Jason (adaptation by Martta M. Aho Ensio and Mark MacCaulay), New York City; 7) Sonja, in Locomotive (by Andre Roussin, translated by Maria Aho Ensio, edited by Mark MacCauley): "Maria Aho-Ensio...gives so delicious a perfomance that only the overwhelming flamboyance of Bruno Schnabel(the mad Russian)can stop her from racing away with the play and turning it into a personal tour de force." (Joan Bordas, THE NEWS, Mexico City, 03/18/79).

Elinor Hughes ( Boston Herald) interviews Martta Aho Ensio, 1948

"Martta Aho began her work in the theater very early, although at first her training was all of a musical nature.

'When I finished my studies I was offered a position in a small city (Kotka) where the government maintained, as it did all over the country, a regular theater. My first part there was as Katusha in Tolstoy"s Resurrection and I was very bad indeed. Always I must play very dramatic roles like Camille, when I would like to act in gay, silly comedies.

We did all kinds of plays - Finnish, English, French and American - modern and classical. Shakespeare? Oh yes, and my first Shakespeare role was Portia, but Shakespeare is not good in Finnish - the translation does not give the depth of his thought and his wonderful poetry - and it was not until I was able to read his plays in English that I understood why he is so great. Someday I would like to act them again - but not until I speak without accent - blank verse with an accent is bad.' "

A Sampling of Ms. Ensio's Reviews:

  • Sysmalainen (operetta by Toivo Palmroth): "Martta Aho Ensio's beautiful, soft and pure soprano voice added greatly to my enjoyment of the production."....."Martta Aho, as the Polish businessman's wife, really warmed up the audience."
  • Martta, in Tuomari Martta (Turja Ilmari), Saima Talo, Fitchburg, PA, USA: "Mrs. Ensio's interpretation of Tuomari Martta was so humane and so intellgent that many in the audience were wiping tears from their eyes."
  • Marta, in Further Than Laughter (by Myron Galloway), Script Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1988): "Where his play has real strength is in the central character and Miss Ensio plays her delightfully, with just the right touch of reticence and the hint of passion held in check." (Walter O'Hearn, Montreal. Star); "Le piece met surtout en vedette une actrice scandinave, ici depuis peu, Marta Ensio, dont le jeu a soi seul, vaut la soiree." (R. de Repentigny)
  • The Mother, in Blood Wedding (Lorca), MRT (Montreal Repertory Theater) Quebec, Canada: "The Mother was excellently portrayed by Martta Ensio. Her vital charcterization of a passionate and bitter old woman was strikingly real throughout. Her ability to play her role to its fullest without overacting is shown again and again where she delivers intense monologues of tears and passion admirably." (Emily Hick, McGill Daily); "...a most expressive performance vocally and physically." (The Gazette)
  • Anna, in Anna Christie (Eugene O'Neill), Boston Tributary Theatre, Boston, USA: "The new Finnish actress, Martta Aho, a tall attractive brunette, played the role of the wretched Anna, a fate-driven daughter of the sea, who had done time in a squallid St. Paul brothel before she met the man she really loved and who loved her. To the role she brought the necessary hardness, yet a fundamental honesty and sense of decency reborn, in a characterization that was distinguished. Her stage presence, fascinating manner of speaking,and sense of timing was both appropriateand effective. Her third-act scene with the dream-cherishing stoker Matt Burke, became the peak of the play." (Howard Watson, Boston Herald). And from the Finnish Press: "...in parts her acting was so powerful that surely even those eyes were moist that had not shed a tear in many a year.")
  • Salome, in Salome (Oscar Wilde), Boston Tributary Theatre, Boston, USA: "Martta Aho....deserves praise for the generally good quality of her performance. Her English diction has improved; her acting had force and passion...and the final scene with the severed head of Jokanaan was very powerful. She really brought out Salome's lustful abandon without exaggerating or making it offensive." (Cyrus Durgi, Boston Daily Globe)
  • Solveig, in Peer Gynt (HenrikIbsen), Boston Tributary Theatre, Boston, USA: "Martta Aho, a Finnish actress...newcomer to the "Trib"... difficulties with English are understandable...even so she spoke more clearly than the gernerality of the players...is able...has a good voice for Solveig's song."
  • There is a lovely Solveig in the person of a new Finnish actress, Martta Aho, who brings a professional style, a charming singing voice and much sweetness of manner to her role..." (Elinor Hughes, Boston Herald, 10/31/47)
  • Concert (with Elgar Choir) at Memorial Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "With flashing eyes and looking particularly striking in an orchid taffeta gown, Martta Ensio, dramatic soprano, delighted listeners with her aria from "Don Carlos" by Verdi, and the lovely melody of Dvorak's "Songs My Mother Taught Me," to earn a warm ovation."
  • Andromache, in Trojan Women (Jefferson Davies, trans.), Boston Tributary Theatre, Boston, USA: Martta Aho...is a moving and passionate Andromache." Martta Aho..."is especially stirring as the tragic Amdromache." (Elinor Hughes, Boston Herald)

From Generation to Generation

MARTTA MARIA AHO ENSIO SCHOLARSHIP FUND http://www.cff.ca/cffef.html

(This page under construction: please check back later)

The Book That Inspired the Movie

sorrywrong planet : the Book

is a child's view of the world that begins at birth. From out of the "infinite empty silence.." she became one of the beings on a planet called earth. She felt the pain and agony of being alive - that is to say, born - and she screamed. She is obviously a very special child with the point of view of a philosopher, or perhaps more accurately, a black humorist. She discovers to her horror that the birth process cannot be reversed. She is stuck. And so she accepts her condition and turns to observing the world around her.


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(ILLUSTRATIONS) 1) "She was...carried inside that fiery ball of life into some strange material which crashed against her mind with terrific destruction." 2) "With terrible struggle I at last turn around - and almost lose my bearings - because there are so many bulging balls staring at me." 3) "I don't know where it came from but a little creature suddenly sits beside me. It is quiet and understands everything I do." 4) "Sometimes I would really like to talk to mother, but she is always busy, surrounded by those cackling creatures. Mother calls them ladies..." 5) "...then I am staring into a pair of mad eyes, and a green head with sharp teeth is almost biting me." 6) "There are lots of people dying around me - people and animals. I think about death." 7) "One day I am going to find this GOD, and I am going to ask what are sinners and why must they all be burned." 8) "The more I stare the clearer it becomes - and there really is that big caterpillarwormdeath on top of it." 9) "So this is the first morning I go to school and I have my shiny new shoes and new red dress on."

READERS' COMMENTS:

Walter Massey (actor)

"Thanks so very much for sending me the autographed copy of your book. How splendid it is! So perceptive and sensitive, and...oh,Martta,I love the style in which it is written. I think I wouldn't mind crawling into the womb myself! It's very cleverly thought out and written and should have great success. Well done - lovely!

I read the book on the train to Toronto the day after I received it and couldn't - nor did I want to - put it down! My dinner got cold, so the porter brought me another one! What a fine way it was to read your story."

Leo Orenstein (producer/writer/director, CBC TV - 1960-1980)

"Fabulous! You are a talent! I loved it! These were the first three thoughts and feelings that hit me in reading and finishing your lovely and original book. I would love to see it published by a big and reputable publisher. I think it's that good! From the literary and entertainment point of view I think it could be a best seller - all it needs is the right kind of representation. I really loved your simple approach to writing - its style and honesty. I could see all the characters even though your writing about them was so economical, and of course the knowledge of the theater and dramatic incident kept the book lively - every full of surprises and interest.

The next book could take you to from age 6 to 13, and the next from 13 to 21...and so on. I believe you have hit a very real chord in people's lives and thoughts, and that everyone would relate and identify with your characters and your song.

So many things I loved in the book - Oscar, mothergranny, Auntie Selma, Mr. Whipperhill, Mr. Johnson, your father and mother - all the crazy touches like the house behind the dairy, the outhouse leaning over the river, the care of birds and rabbits - all masterful! Do you know that you have written such a charming book? I think you or Peter should quick get it in the hands of an established publisher. Do it!"

Dona Rebeca Iturbide (Mexican film star, 1930-1940)

"I was ready to be amused by a first novelette; instead I found a very descriptive prose, a different approach to loneliness,deep sincerity and bared feelings so poignant that I was moved. I am not a literary critic, but I have read extensively, and I have to congratulate you on a tender, delightful book. I am amazed to have found undertones of Kafka with his tongue-in-cheek description of human nature,and Poe's swift sensitivity and brooding mind.

I smiled some, but "she" brought a lump to my throat in every instance. I wanted to rock her in my arms, to kiss the little face, to protect her inside my arms and never let her go on in loneliness and hungry, so needy of affection."

TELEVISION SERIES OPTION:

If you are a producer or an investor, please contact SWP Executive Producer, Marita Ensio Robinson to discuss development plans for a 1/2 hour children's television series based on sorry/wrong planet and the Finnish immigrant experience in rural North America

Martta Aho Ensio: Media Coverage

ARTICLES IN FINNISH:

1,2) Yöntummaa kauneutta ramppivalojen loistessa – Etsinkö Itseäni Vaiko Ihmistä Yleensä Näyttämön Henkilöiden Kohtaloista; 3,4) Turkulaisia taiteilijattaria tapaamassa – Kirsti Fleming Martta Ahon rakkain osa (Salomea hän haluaisi joskus näytellä); 5) Tekijä Esiin!; 6) Mitä Etsitään Näyttämön Hekilöiden Kohtaloista