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Mika Myllyaho (b.1966) is a prominent director who wrote his first stage play Panic (Paniikki) as recently as in 2005 after having already established a reputation for himself with his many highly praised interpretations of modern and classical plays during the last decade. Myllyaho graduated as a stage director from the Theatre Academy of Finland in 1999. Since then, he has mainly worked in two theatres, the Group Theatre (Ryhmäteatteri) and the National Theatre of Finland. Myllyaho took over the artistic directorship of the Group Theatre with writer-director Esa Leskinen in 1998, and from 2002 to 2006 he worked as a lecturer teaching directing at the Theatre Academy of Finland. From 1998 to 2000, Myllyaho directed six plays at the Group Theatre, two of which he helped to write. Among his most praised productions are Kullervo (2001), based on a Finnish legend and written by the nineteenth century poet Aleksis Kivi, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet (2003). For his version of Kullervo, Myllyaho received the “Eino Kalima Prize” for best direction at the National Theatre. Myllyaho has also successfully directed several foreign plays with a social agenda, among them those by Bertolt Brecht and Fernando Arrabal.