Speksi is a form of interactive musical theatre where the viewers get to influence what happens on stage. Originally a way of teaching university students Latin in 16th century Uppsala, the speksi tradition has carried on in Sweden to this day. Speksi was brought to Finland in the 1930s by polytechnic students, but the tradition slowly died away only to be picked up again in the early 1990s.
Nowadays speksis can be found in universities and colleges all over the country. Humanistispeksi, which is the speksi of University of Helsinki Faculty of Arts, entered the fray in 2011 with a production called Aallonharja, and like most groups, takes to the stage yearly.
An important part of the speksi is played by the audience. The viewers are allowed and even encouraged to interrupt the play by yelling ”Omstart!”, at which point the dancers, band and actors will redo the previous scene or line with an improvisational twist. An omstart can also include more precise directions, such as “Omstart opera!” The scene will then play out while those on stage muster up the best Pavarotti impressions their vocal cords can handle. The interactivity ensures that no show is quite the same, and therein lies the very heart of the speksi.
If you feel this is exactly what you’ve always wanted and are eager to join the wonderful world of Humanistispeksi, send us a message at the producers’ email address, firstname.lastname@example.org