TINFO e-News | Spring 2015 | Theatre in Finland















"There are theatre artists and then there are artistic personalities such as Milja Sarkola, whose life is transformed into theatre and develops the grammar of theatre further."

Theatre critic Maria Säkö referring to Milja Sarkola’s new work Jotain toista (Something else) in Helsingin Sanomat 21 Feb 2015.

Milja Sarkola: I direct, write, think  

I’m a theatre director by profession. I think about and for the stage every day. When I write, I always write directly for the stage, with the stage in mind. The topic that dogs me is performing and perfomance, both on the stage and in life. Roles, authenticity, honesty, artificiality, falsehood, hypocrisy, self-betrayal. I have grown up in the wings of the theatre; my father was an actor. The theatre has always been present in my life, whether I wanted it or not. My relationship to actors is very charged. I admire their work, I revel in their fun, articulate company. 
I’m more creative and inventive when I direct than when I write. When I write, I set some sort of truth as a requirement for myself. I want to believe what I’m writing. And not just believe; I want it to be true and accurate. True and accurate in terms of my observations and experiences. Linguistically true and accurate. And I try to avoid the emergence of form as long as possible. I strive to remain in my observations and experiences as long as possible. I feel that text forms (rhythm, repetition, sentence structure, speaker’s attitude, etc.) that emerge too early lock in and narrow the text. 
As a director, I have more choices. Another person’s creativity, truth, and perceptions add meaning to the text and the stage. As a writer, I act alone. I have no one to refer to, no one to seek inspiration from. I can find momentary inspiration in other texts, music, movies, and images, but that is only dodging the real work at hand, which is recording my own thinking. For me, writing is thinking, and I can’t write text that is any more intelligent, creative, cultured, bold, or deep than I’m capable of thinking. I can fool myself by quoting and citing and commenting. The brutality of writing lies in that, time and again, you have to accept the limitedness of your recurring themes and sentence structures and stylistic devices and thinking.
Of course you are faced with the same limits as a director, too. But the result of the work is not solely my responsibility. When I’m directing my own text, I strive primarily to listen to and react to what is happening around me. (When I direct others’ texts or from premises other than those of an existing text, my role as a director is of course more active than when directing a text of my own.) As a conscientious person, I do make plans, I plan various starting points and try to define ways of working in advance.  But in practice, in rehearsal situations, my direction is, for the most part, reactive. It’s hard for me to accept an authoritarian process and hierarchies when I work in a group. I’m not capable of it myself. I can’t force an actor.   

The entire article published in TINFO News – New Modes of Authorship, 2013.
View the e-publication.

Milja Sarkola (b. 1975) is a freelance theatre director and playwright. She received a master’s degree in theatre and drama from the Theatre Academy Helsinki in 2006.

Key works:
Jotain toista (Something else), Q-Theatre, 2015, text and direction, I taket lyser stjärnorna, Lilla Teatern, 2012, dramaturgy and direction. Perheenjäsen (The Family member), Teatteri Takomo 2011, text and direction (won the 2012 Thalia prize for play of the year). In Human Disguise, direction, Zodiak Center for New Dance 2009 (won the Prix Jardin d'Europe 2012 choreography prize). Sarkola was artistic co-director of Teatteri Takomo with Pauliina Feodoroff, 2009-2012.



These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away by Pipsa Lonka in Heidelberg, Tallinn and across Scandinavia

These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away, a play by Pipsa Lonka, premiered at the Estonian Drama Theatre in Tallinn on February 15, 2015. The play is directed by Ingomar Vihmar and it will feature on the Big Stage. The play was the winner of the New Baltic Drama competition in Finland in 2010. It has been translated into Estonian by Maimu Berg with the title Laulud halli mere äärest.

On 24 April, the piece will be premiered in Germany, in a production by the Heidelberg Theater. The play is directed by a Finnish director Cilla Back, who has also earlier made directions outside Finland. A year ago, the play won Heidelberg Stückemarkt, the prestigious, international theatre award organized in Heidelberg. The play has been translated into German by Katja von der Ropp. The survey of Finnish drama and theater was a joint venture by Heidelberg Stückemarkt and Theatre Info Finland (TINFO). 

The play will represent Finland at the Nordic Drama Train series, where it will be performed as closet drama across Scandinavia. The next Nordic Drama Train event will be held in the Faroe Islands and the play will re-visit Norway next autumn with the drama train. Nordic Drama Train is a Nordic cooperative project, the aim of which is to showcase contemporary Nordic drama. The train stopped in Finland in 2013, at the Tampere Theatre Festival. TINFO was the main coordinator of the Nordic Drama Train event in Finland.

These Little Town Blues Are Melting Away was recently performed in Norway, as staged reading at the National Theatre in Oslo on January 23.

The latest work by Pipsa Lonka (b. 1977) is Kaksi naista ja meri (Two Women and the Sea), a play based on the Rent Spel collection of short stories by Tove Jansson, premiered at the Lahti City Theatre on January 28.

The performance rights of pieces by Pipsa Lonka are managed by Agency North.


Sofi Oksanen’s When the Doves Disappeared opens in Estonia February 28, 2015

When the Doves Disappeared is a continuation of the set of themes related to Estonia that Sofi Oksanen started writing about in her novels Stalin’s Cows and Purge. Directed by Tiit Palu, the performance is based on Oksanen’s stage version of the novel When the Doves Disappeared, and will premiere on February 28, 2015, at Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu, Estonia.

The scene of Sofi Oksanen’s story is set in Estonia during three decades of occupation — from 1941 to 1965 — discussing the themes of love, deception, adapting to a foreign force and betrayal. The war, power shifts and the totalitarian regime destroyed the destinies of many people in Estonia; in the context of Soviet power, unscrupulous conformists, and collaborators often became the heroes.

The unhappy marriage of Juudit and Edgar enables us to scrutinize the controversial fight of a generation of Estonians for survival, happiness, and love.

The novel, published in 2012, was rewritten as a stage version by Sofi Oksanen herself, premiering in November 2013 at the Finnish National Theatre.

Sofi Oksanen: When the Doves Dissappeared
Director: Tiit Palu
Designer: Eugen Tamberg
Music Director: Toomas Lunge
Lighting Designer: Andres Sarv
Video Designer:  Andres Keil
In Roles: Sten Karpov, Linda Kolde, Reimo Sagor, Marian Heinat, Andres Mähar, Margus Jaanovits, Hannes Kaljujärv, Maria Kallaste, Markus Dvinjaninov

Emilia Pöyhönen's play Bread Line Ballad on stage in France

Emilia Pöyhönen's stage play Bread Line Ballad (Leipäjonoballadi) will be presented as a staged reading at Masion des Metallos in Paris on March 4, 2015, starting at 4 pm. The event is invitation only and its purpose is to present the play to local producers and directors. For more information, including contact details, see theatre group La metonymie's website at https://lametonymie.wordpress.com/.

The play's French title is Ballade de la soupe populaire and it has been translated by Tiina Kaartama. The translation was funded by the TINFO Grant for translations. A French production of the play is planned for 2016.

The play is represented internationally by Agency North.

Co-production Sylvi: four countries, 25 cities, three festivals, 99 performances

Sylvi, the pioneering, bilingual co-production by seven theaters, continues its journey. The spring season opened in Savonlinna and it will close at the Hangö Teaterträff festival in June. Until then, the play will visit five other Finnish towns and fourteen Swedish towns, in addition to which it will be presented in Oslo, at Det norske teatret, one of the two main theatres in Norway. In the spring, there will be 43 performances of Sylvi in Finland, 15 in Sweden and one in Norway.

The play will be premiered in Sweden on April 8, 2015, as part of the tour organized by Riksteatern, and the Norwegian premiere will be in Oslo on May 21, 2015.

Sylvi was premiered in Berlin in April 2014 (at Ballhaus Ost) and in Finland in August 2014 (at Klockriketeatern).

All in all, the production will be presented in four countries, four capitals, 25 towns and at three festivals – Korjaamo Stage, Scenkonstbiennalen i Malmö and Hangö Teaterträff. There will be 99 performances in total.

See all dates at: klockrike.fi/svenska/repertoar/sylvi/

For further information, please contact:
Dan Henriksson, Artistic Director, Klockrike, dan.henriksson(at)klockrike.fi,
+358 (0)40 703 3008

Russian production of Fundamentalist by Juha Jokela at the Golden Mask festival in Moscow on April 12, 2015

The production of Juha Jokela’s Fundamentalist by the Meyerhold center in Moscow has been included in the Russian Case program, to be performed at the Golden Mask festival on April 12, 2015. Golden Mask is the most important performing arts festival in Russia, showcasing the best performances from across Russia in Moscow every year. 

The play was premiered in 2013 with the title Fundamentalists, directed by Valeria Surkova (b. 1977) and translated by Boris Sergejev. Fundamentalist by Juha Jokela attracted attention in Russian theatrical circles after the script of the play was published in the anthology of seven Finnish contemporary plays (2009). The anthology was produced by the Seeds of Imagination project of Theatre Info Finland (TINFO). Fundamentalist is a story about religion, faith, the quest for truth and how to encounter other people.

The Embassy of Finland in Moscow and the Savotta/Zavod project of TINFO will organize a discussion around the performance of Fundamentalist at the Golden Mask festival.

Playwright Juha Jokela has been invited to attend the event in Moscow.
The performance rights of plays by Juha Jokela are managed by Nordic Drama Corner.

The Scottish version of the play 13 Sunken Years to feature at the Finnish National Theatre

The Scottish production of 13 Sunken Years, a piece by the Finnish playwright Paula Salminen, will be featured at the Finnish National Theatre in May. The play was the winner of the 2012 Lea awards, and the performance at the Finnish National Theatre is a joint production by the famous Scottish theatrical groups Lung Hua and Stellar Quines. The play will be presented on the Small Stage.

13 Sunken Years premiered in Scotland, at the Fringe festival in Edinburgh on August 11, 2014, with excellent reviews.

The play is a family story, rendering the lives of three generations of women and exploring the profound, unique relationships between mothers and daughters. The play is amusing and painful at the same time, and the storyline flows like a river.

The play was translated from Finnish into English by Eva Buchwald, Head Dramaturge, and it premiered at the Finnish National Theatre on March 21, 2012.

The rights of the play are managed by Agency North.


Mika Myllyaho and Bengt Ahlfors continue to win hearts on stages across the world

Finnish drama has a global presence. In 2014, there were 116 active performances in 22 different countries. Mika Myllyaho and Bengt Ahlfors are the most popular contemporary Finnish playwrights. The total number of separate productions of Paniikki (Panic), Kaaos (Chaos) and Harmonia (Harmony) by Myllyaho rose to 19, and there were 13 European productions of pieces authored by Ahlfors. These figures are based on statistics produced by Theatre Info Finland (TINFO).

Drama by Tove Jansson became even more popular than before during her jubilee: Jansson’s texts were in production at 25 theaters. Tove Jansson attracted a notable amount of attention, especially in Sweden, Poland and the UK.

In general, Russia, Estonia and Sweden are the countries with most interest in Finnish drama. However, Bengt Ahlfors has also been renowned in the Czech Republic for years. His Aska och akvavit (translation by Frantisek Fröhlich) was first performed by the ABC Theater in Prague for a period of ten years, after which the same text has been in production at the Prague-based Divadlo na Jezerce since 2008, albeit with a different title.

TINFO supports the exporting of plays, for example, by awarding translation grants for plays and organizing workshops for translators of drama. The online database New Plays from Finland is another good way to gain insight into Finnish plays. In 2014, 17 plays were translated and performed abroad with the help of grants awarded by TINFO.

See the complete statistics on Finnish plays and dramatizations performed outside Finland in 2014.


Theatre talent export from Finland to Estonia

Finnish theatre talent AKSE PETTERSSON’s new comedy How the West Was Won (Kuidas võideti lääs) was premiered in Von Krahl Theatre in Tallinn on January 30, 2015. Due to huge interest, the performance was prolonged, with the last shows on February 19-20, 2015.

The basic metaphor for the production is "The West is a big tavern to which nobody is invited” that plays out through Wild West clichés, social media stereotypes and well-known discourses of robotic social behavior.

The storyline for the play was created during the rehearsal period when the group listed many symbols, acts, and visual sets of the Wild West to experiment with through the art of theater. 

Von Krahl itself noticed it to be more a play for the younger generation, as people in their thirties and forties tend to take theater already too seriously. It was still a contemporary Wild West with the hard influence of social media and pop culture clichés.


Gnab Collective's Hamlet private performances in Denmark and Germany in February 2015

Gnab Collective’s Hamlet private performances will continue in 2015. One performer takes one spectator at a time to ponder Hamlet’s big questions in Germany. Actress Claudia Schwartz and Hamlet private have been invited to 100° Berlin Festival, held in Berlin between Febuary 26th – March 1st. For more, visit festival’s website.

Earlier this month Secret Hotel presented Hamlet private in the interpretaton of actress Nini Julia Bang in Mols on February 20th-22nd. For more, visit Secret Hotel’s website.

The performance is based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet and his inability to act. Hamlet’s fundamental questions are also our questions. His hesitation is also our hesitation. In order to bring Hamlet closer to us, the performance leaves the traditional theatre context and meets its audience in a much more intimate way: the performance is done by one performer for one spectator at a time around a table in a bar or cafe. Without stage machinery purely by the actor’s own strength Hamlet private creates the play’s world directly in the imagination of the spectator.

Performance concept is by Martina Marti, Cécile Orblin and Marion Maisano. All adaptations have been directed by Martina Marti.


Juha Valkeapää’s Executed Stories in Denmark 14 March 2015

Performance artist Juha Valkeapää and his story-telling performance Executed Stories will visit  Denmark in March. Performance will take place at the Bora Bora Platform in Åarhus (Mar 14, 2015). Valkeapää started his Scandinavian tour earlier this year from Norway at the Barents Spektakel contemporary art festival in Kirkenes (Feb 5, 2015).

Executed Stories tells the life story of a group of people who were either executed or became executioners. The viewing angle is constantly shifting between the two sides of execution: the person to be executed or the person performing the execution.

Executed Stories premiered at the Baltic Circle Festival in 2013. The performance is a co-production between Juha Valkeapää, the Baltic Circle Festival and the international network SAMARA, with the support of the Long-term Network Mobility program of the Nordic Council of Ministers


Jussi Sorjanen, visiting director in Estonia

Two years ago, Teatteri Vanha Juko (Finland), Teatteri Telakka (Finland), and Rakvere Teater (Estonia) founded a co-operation project which produced three new performances, using actors from each of the theatres. All the productions were touring in Finland and Estonia.

The easy and smooth co-operation continues with Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths, directed by the Vanha Juko Theatre’s Artistic Director Jussi Sorjanen for the Rakvere Theatre. The play is dramatized by Anne-Ly Sova from the Rakvere Theatre. The cast comprises six of the theatre company’s actors joined by two guest performers. The Lower Depths opens on 26 March 2015.


Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe visiting St. Petersburg

Lappeenranta City Theatre is the first Finnish theatre visiting the Dostoyevsky Museum’s venue in April 2015. The monologue is written by Kristian Smeds and based on F.M. Dostoyevsky’s classic Crime and Punishment.

The point of view is that of Sonja, a woman forced into prostitution by circumstance. The touching love story portrays the harsh realities of Europe at a time when property and happiness have been redistributed. It is a story of Europe where young men plan and also do extreme and desperate deeds.

Performances: Friday 3.4.2015 at 19.00 & Saturday 4.4.2015 at 19.00
Dostoyevsky Museum’s venue, Kuznechny pereulok, 5/2, Metro: Dostoyevskaya
Performed by Liisa Sofia Pöntinen, directed by Jari Juutinen

Surtitles in Russian. Duration 1 h 40 min. Ticket info comes later.

Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe visiting St. Petersburg is part of the Finnish–Russian theatre project SAVOTTA–ZAVOD coordinated by Theatre Info Finland (TINFO). Lappeenranta City Theatre in co-operation with the Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg.

Photos: http://www.lappeenrannanteatteri.fi/media/Sad-Songs-from-the-Heart-of-Europe.html


Oblivia performing in Ljubljana 11 - 12 Apr 2015

Museum of Postmodern Art, Super B and Ka-Boom
Bunker, The Old Power Station, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Slomškova 18
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Museum of Postmodern Art MOPMA 1 (11.4.2015)
The international performance group Oblivia set itself a megalomanic task: to do something that is new. Elegantly and only seemingly disoriented they wander about our known world as if through a dark theatre. They're not afraid to fall through the trap doors of evolution or look behind the scene of cultural history. They dissect emotional and intellectual concepts alike and dig deep to the roots of language itself. What they finally pull on the big stage and send marching down towards their audience is at the same time absurd, monstrous and yes, totally new. Humour has a new name, performance a new language, the future a new face: this is Oblivia, profoundly philosophical, highly intelligent and seriously funny.

Working group Devising & on stage: Timo Fredriksson, Anna Krzystek (UK) & Annika Tudeer. Sound: Juuso Voltti. Light: Meri Ekola. Co-production: PACT Zollverein (Essen, Germany), TEKIJA, Espoo City Theatre.

Super B and Ka-Boom (12.4.2015)
In Super B, OBLIVIA turn their view on the theatrical process upside down. After exploring the dangerous shallows of pop culture in Entertainment Island and post-modernity’s secret codes of desire and oblivion in MOPMA 1, OBLIVIA is embarking on a new adventure: to question and explore the remains of theatricality in the performing arts. Super B is not about presenting or representing these remains. And it is not about taking the audience on a museum tour. OBLIVIA look at the leftovers of theatre not with child-like curiosity, but with a sneaky wink in their eyes. A hypertrophic attempt at gluing good and bad together again – and mending the wounds that postmodernism has inflicted on them, in a ceaseless stream of consciousness.

Devising & on stage Timo Fredriksson, Anna Krzystek (UK) & Annika Tudeer. Sound Juuso Voltti. Light Meri Ekola. Co-production Avantgarden (N), Baltic Circle

In part 3 in the series Museum of Postmodern Art, Oblivia is travelling back from the future in a sound-, light- and movement scape creating the perhaps strangest Oblivia performance until this date. Ka-Boom travels into the future and turns to look at the present day from this new vantage point. Not to forget that Ka-boom began with the exploration of light and sound as the point of departure.

Devising and performing: Timo Fredriksson, Magnus Logi Kristinsson, Anna-Maija Terävä, Annika Tudeer. Sound design: Juuso Voltti. Light design: Meri Ekola

Costumes: Monika Hartl. Co-production: Pathos München, Theaterdiscounter Berlin, TUTKES, Tampere. In co-operation with Helsinki festival and Korjaamo Theater Stage-festival


Showcase for Finnish theater directors and plays in Chile in Spain

Otso Kautto’s Tyttö tuli! (It’s a girl!) and Antti Mikkola’s Kuningatarleikit (Playing the Queen) will both receive a reading in Santiago, Chile, directed by the playwrights themselves. Kautto and Mikkola will also be running two theatre workshops during their visit. The event is part of the Madrid Finnish Institute’s project to promote Finnish drama internationally delivered in collaboration with the Finnish Nordic Drama Corner agency.

Export project set for expansion A brand new anthology of contemporary Finnish plays translated into Spanish will be published at the international Eurodram-festival in Madrid. It will feature plays by Saara Turunen, Juha Jokela and Mika Myllyaho alongside Mikkola and Kautto. The plays are translated by Luisa Gutiérrez.

For further information, please contact:
Finnish Institute in Madrid / Luisa Gutiérrez Ruiz, luisa.gutierrez(a)madrid.fi

Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki opens a new type of actor’s education

‘Lavat auki!’ is a developing project of a new type of intensive actor’s education. The new project of Degree Programme of Acting extends the students’ viewpoint of theatre in an international context. Over the following three years, the annual program brings students together with a strong and distinctive professional director. In year 2015, students are supervised by a theatre director Mikko Roiha.

The project will be kicked off in spring 2015 in Berlin, in collaboration with the acting students and Mikko Roiha’s Berlin-based theatre “Vapaa teatteri”. During the eight-week intensive course, the students rehearse and perform the play Roberto Zucco by Bernard-Marie Koltès. The premiere will take place in April at the Ballhaus Ost theatre. In addition, the intensive period includes a course on German theatre, where the students visit 30 theatre performances and have meetings with professional artists.

In autumn 2015, the performance, Roberto Zucco tours in Finland starting from the Finnish National Theatre.  During the tour, the students interact with the professional field and learn about the work of the artistic and technical staff through discussion and meetings.

In addition to the Degree Programme of Acting, this new project collaborates with the students of directing, and lighting and sound design of the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, as well as the costume design and scenography design students from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

From 1st March onwards, the progress of the performance can be followed on the blog written by the participating students at www.uniarts.fi/blogit/lavatauki.

Roberto Zucco, premiere at the Ballhaus Ost, in Berlin on 11th April.
Other performances in Berlin 12th April, 25th April and 26th April.

Performances in Finland in August-October 2015, dates TBA later.


Johanna Autio, producer /
University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy Helsinki
Contact information: johanna.autio(a)uniarts.fi

YOYO – You are On Your Own received extensive media attention in Austria

The Finnish-Austrian performance YOYO – You are On Your Own about survivalism, future scenarios and the dynamics of fear received a lot of positive media attention at its Vienna premiere at brut Wien in early February 2015. YOYO, created by the collective onemorequestion led by Joonas Lahtinen, had its first premiere at the festival URB14 organized by Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki in August 2014. Brut Wien presented YOYO as part of their "Brave New World" theme programme that also featured e.g. Forced Entertainment's new performance "The Notebook".

The Austrian Broadcasting Company ORF made two radio features about YOYO, one for the renowned "Kulturjournal" programme of the main nationwide channel Ö1, and the other for the channel FM4 that specializes in alternative culture and music. Der Standard, a major daily newspaper in Austria, published an illustrated article about the premiere of YOYO. In addition, the well-known online portal tanz.at published a positive review of the performance.

More information about YOYO:

What's On Stage Now in Finland

What's On Stage in Finland NOW ... a selection made by TINFO

Plays from Finland – Latest Translations

The latest translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant.

Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility

This toolkit is not a DIY course that gives one recipe for managing and producing a theatre production. It is more about helping theatre workers to ask the right questions that they will find the answers for.

The toolkit provides professional theater makers with budget samples, contract templates, work planning tips and other basic tools to make organizing productions and tours easier.

Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility will be published here in March 2015.

Ice Hole – New international on-line journal about Live Art now open

The Helsinki-based artists of the Reality Research Center have published a new international on-line journal about Live Art. With ICE HOLE Finnish performance artists participate in the international discussion and offer a suggestion about the form and content of an on-line journal. Artists, researchers, writers, and enthusiasts from everywhere are invited to write about Live Art.

The content of the journal includes both text and video works. The works have been either commissioned or created elsewhere and are now published in a new context. In the first issue, Pauliina Hulkko, Professor of Theatre Work at Tampere University, writes about the material plasticity of experience. In the article Compost, performance artist Essi Kausalainen writes about her collaboration with plants. How working with plants has challenged her way of thinking and perceiving the world. In addition, three artists, Tomasz Szrama, Essi Kausalainen, and Eeva-Mari Haikala, have been invited to produce a video work about one minute with a banana.

The alternating correspondent for the first issue is Live Artist Nora Rinne, currently living in St. Andrews, Scotland. In her video work, Rinne addresses the atmosphere in Scotland after the vote on independence. Finally, we present video works from artists Annette Arlander and Pasi Mäkelä.

The on-line journal will be published twice a year. During 2015, Live Artist and Pilvi Porkola, Ph.D., will work as the editor in chief.

ICE HOLE – Live Art Journal can be found at www.icehole.fi.





Diana Drama Festival | 18 Apr - 9 May, Helsinki

Klockriketeatern theatre is organising the Diana Drama Festival for the third time this spring. The themes for this year are documentary drama and political theatre. The participants come from nine different countries: Catalonia (Spain), Sweden, Germany, Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, the USA and Finland.

The festival partners are Teatr.doc from Moscow, text development organization PlayPenn from Philadelphia, Turteatern from Stockholm, Sala Beckett from Barcelona and many individual playwrights. 

The festival also features special guests: WZ-Orkiestra from Minsk will introduce their project "European solidarity with Belarus" and George Genoux will showcase his interactive film installation "Fear in Ukraine". The film installation tackles the question of how to move on after the Maidan coup. 

Klockrike Diana, Erottajankatu 7B, Helsinki  Klockriketeatern – in cooperation with: Labbet, Goethe Institut (Helsinki), Sala Beckett (Barcelona), Eesti Teatri Agentuur, Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) – Zavod-Savotta project.

general manager Dan Henriksson | 040 7033 008 | dan.henriksson(a)klockrike.fi
festival manager Irina Duskova | duskova.irina(a)gmail.com
manager-producer Jesper Karlsson | 044 2837 287 | jesper.karlsson(a)klockrike.fi


Kuulas – Children's Theatre Festival | 21 - 24 May, Kouvola

Kuulas is an annually arranged Children’s Theatre Festival in Finland. Next time the festival will be arranged in Kouvola 21.–24.5.2015.

Kuulas provides a unique opportunity for anyone interested in children’s theatre to see fascinating, high standard performances by professional and amateur theatre companies.

The festival differs from other theatre events focused on children, because it is the only event in which children and adults, both professional and amateur alike, come together both on the stage and in the audience. The fact that children are not simply the target audience for the cultural happening, but also active participants and performers, is exceptional.

The central idea of Kuulas is not simply to raise children to be active consumers of culture in the future, but to view children as they are now, as worthy, intelligent and challenging spectators and creators.

Contact: Producers Mikko Väänänen, mikko.vaananen(a)tnl.fi, Anne Jokivirta, anne.jokivirta(a)kouvolanteatteri.fi


LAPSody – International Festival and Conference of Live Art and Performance Studies | 27 - 30 May, Helsinki

The focus of the 5th LAPSody festival and conference is on creating a meeting place for artists and theorists to reflect on this year's theme: EMERGENCE, EMERGENT, EMERGENCY.

The festival consists of performances, paper presentations, talks and workshops stemming from the following questions: Is performance an emergent structure? Is it an emergency? Is it that for you? What makes you perform and what are the principles around which your practice forms? Emergent, emergence, emergency proposes discussions on the structures and non-structures of performance, its ethics and politics as a potentially decentralized(?!) system. Through open call for proposals, festival has chosen over 30 international artists to present their views on this year’s theme. The festival programme will be updated on lapsody.tumblr.com by the end of March.

Where: Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts, Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki, Finland
When: May 27-30, 2015

More info: lapsody.tumblr.com and lapsody2015(a)gmail.com.

Hangö Teaterträff – Hanko Theatre Festival | 4 - 7 Jun, Hanko

Hanko Theatre Festival is the largest Swedishspeaking theatre festival in Finland. It takes place annually in the beginning of June and collects theatre visitors and performing artists to Hanko to see the best (mobile) performances of the year. Discussions, planning and development of the Finnish-Swedish performing arts are also parts of the agenda.

The theatre festival is open for any theatre enthusiast and is a meeting point for free groups and institutional theatres, for theatre students and established actors, for critics and audience.

Contact: info(a)hangoteatertraff.org


Black and White Theatre Festival | 10 - 14 Jun, Imatra

The 12th Black and White International Theatre Festival takes place in Imatra 10. – 14.6.2015.

The Association of ”The Theatre of Black and White” in Imatra has been organizing  The International Black and White Theatre Festival since 2004. Right since that time Black and White Theatre Festival has become well-known event for many people of the world. At the festival we could see the performing of different theatres from 30 countries, so far more than 150 shows and performances.

For ten years, Black and White Theatre Festival has presented a huge variety of different styles: dance theatre, ballet, pantomime, circus, traditional drama, opera, puppet theatre and street performing. The purpose of the festival is – to represent the international theatre in all its manifestation and genres.

The main festival theme – Man and Woman

The festival program will be ready at the beginning of April.

Contact: Artistic Director & Manager: katkam.katkam(a)gmail.com


Jyväskylän Kesä | 7 - 12 Jul, Jyväskylä

Jyväskylä Festival in a nutshell:

  • The oldest city festival in Finland. This year organized for the 59th time.
  • This year the main program consists of 37 performances with 163 performers.
  • Performers come from ten different countries: Finland, Estonia, New Zealand, France, Nepal, Portugal, United States of America, Sweden, Nigeria and Great Britain.
  • Over hundred volunteers help with various tasks. They work at ticket sale, as hosts, security officers, roadies, drivers, personnel in the Tent etc.
  • The biggest scifi and fantasy convention, Finncon, is organized on 11.-13.7.2014 as part of Jyväskylä Festival. Finncon is expected to attract around 3000 visitors.

Contact: kesa(a)jkl.fi


Tampere Theatre Festival | 3 -9 Aug, Tampere

Tampere Theatre Festival is the oldest and the largest professional theatre festival in the Nordic countries, serving as a display window for the finest Finnish and international productions. The festival programme includes 21st century drama, classics, dancetheatre and street theatre. Besides the performances various meetings, seminars and discussions are also organised during the Festival week.


Stage – Helsinki Theatre Festival | 12 - 23 Aug, Helsinki

Korjaamo Teatteri’s Stage Festival brings to Helsinki performances from international as well as Finnish theatre groups. Ranging from contemporary texts to updated classics, the programme is a window into new ways of producing and experiencing theatre. The festival is also a global meeting point for audiences and artists alike: plays are performed in their original language and subtitled in Finnish and English.


Helsinki Festival | 14 - 30 Aug, Helsinki

Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organised annually in late summer. The festival’s aim is to make art accessible for all.

In 2015, the Helsinki Festival is arranged from August 14-30. The Night of the Arts is arranged on 20 August 2015.

  • In 2014, the festival had more than 230,000 visitors.
  • The 2014 Helsinki Festival programme line-up featured classical and world music, circus, dance, theatre, a children’s programme, cinema and a range of urban events.
  • Helsinki Festival is one of the four main organisers and the coordinator of the Musica nova Helsinki new music festival.
  • Helsinki Festival operates under the auspices of the Helsinki Week Foundation, established by the City of Helsinki.
  • The executive body of the Helsinki Week foundation is its Board. Members of the Board are elected by the Helsinki City Board to serve a two-year term

Contact: info(a)helsinkifestival.fi


Lainsuojattomat Festival | 2 - 6 Sep, Pori

Rakastajat-teatteri (translates to "The Lovers Theater"), based in the city of Pori, is the only independent professional theater group in the Satakunta region.

Since the year 2000 Rakastajat-teatteri has also hosted an annual festival for independent theater groups. The Lainsuojattomat (Outlaws) festival gathers both domestic performers as well as visiting groups from all across the world in various venues around the city.

Contact: info(a)rakastajat.fi


MasQue – International Mask Theatre Festival | 1 - 4 Oct, Helsinki


Teatteri Metamorfoosi is one of the rare European theatre companies focusing on the exploration of mask theatre. Their work is visible in performances, mask making, pedagogy, applied drama progets and an international mask theatre festival MasQue organized in Helsinki. The next festival will take place in October 2015.


Contact: festival(a)metamorfoosi.com


Baltic Circle | 10 - 14 Nov, Helsinki

Baltic Circle is an International Contemporary Theatre Festival which is organized every November in different performance specific venues in Helsinki. The next festival takes place 10-14 November 2015.

Baltic Circle functions at the core of the European contemporary theatre and performing arts as well as bridges the artistic communities of Baltic and Nordic countries. Festival functions as a ground for developing new trends in field of theatre and contemporary art. Baltic Circle supports artists’ mobility and internationalization of performing art. Baltic Circle acts as pioneer in the field of theatre, it takes an active role in cultural exchange and has an affect on the Finnish culture environment in the field of performing arts.

Contact: Directors: satu(a)balticcircle.fi, hanna(a)balticcircle.fi


TIP-Fest – Turku International Puppetry Festival | 11 - 15 Nov, Turku

TIP-Fest is an international puppetry festival that was first organized in 2010. For the sixth time arranged puppetry festival presents a wide range of Finnish and international puppet theatre shows for all ages. The festival is organized by Aura of Puppets, a cooperation network for professional puppeteers in Turku.

Contact: auraofpuppets(a)gmail.com






Maidan Diaries 27 Mar 2015 | World Theatre Day Event, Helsinki

Theatre Info Finland (TINFO), Finnish PEN and the Finnish National Theatre wish to welcome you to an event arranged in honor of the World Theatre Day on 27 March 2015. We bid you a very warm welcome!

Maidan Diaries is a play by the Ukrainian playwright Natalia Vorozhbit taking place on the streets of Kiev and the Maidan (Independence Square) in particular, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the revolution that began in November 2013. Maidan Diaries is a document of violent months in the center of it all as experienced by people when it happened. 

World Theatre Day program at Lavaklubi on Friday, 27 March 2015 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Actors from the Finnish National Theatre read sections of the play translated by Eero Balk. The staged reading is directed by director and actor Janne Reinikainen.

The discussion will be centered around the ideas aroused by the play and artists’ freedom of speech.

Playwright Natalia Vorozhbit and chair of Finnish PEN, author Sirpa Kähkönen, will take part in the discussion. Other participants are translator Eero Balk and the director of Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) Hanna Helavuori, who will be leading the discussion. The audience can ask questions and take part in the discussion.

TINFO will grant three awards to courageous theater professionals and advocates of theatre.
World Theatre Day initiated by the International Theatre Institute (ITI)) has been celebrated annually on 27 March since 1961. World Theatre Day was proposed by Finnish professor and theater director Arvi Kivimaa. Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) is the Finnish centre of ITI.

In Touch – Information and network meeting | 19 Mar 2015, Helsinki

In Touch Network – International Network for Human Specific Performing Art
Information and network meeting 19th of March 2015 from 14-17
Eskus – Performance Center, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, 00540 Helsinki

Are you creating participatory and sensorial performances or programming works from this new field within contemporary theatre? Do you wish to know more about this new international approach or connect with kindred artists? Then In Touch Network is of interest for you!

Join this three hours dialogue about the new international network founded in 2013. With support from the Nordic Culture Fund and several private funds, the network is conducting information and network meetings in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway in order to map and connect this field of contemporary theatre.

It will be an open research into discovering which companies are working within the approach and what the needs are in relation to the new network.

The meeting will be structured in a way so that participants will also meet each other and be presented to companies from other countries.

Participants will gain more information about the five day artistic laboratory from the 8th – 12th of June 2015 in Stege – Denmark - which is open for applications: Fourteen international artists will meet and work together with travel, food and lodging paid for by the project.

To participate at the information meeting please mail to jukka.hytti(a)tinfo.fi.

Please book in advance so that we can plan the meeting accordingly. The meeting is organized in cooperation with Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) and Eskus – Performance Center.

Read more at www.cantabile2.dk under In Touch

Join the In Touch Facebook group - open for everyone interested!

Critical Costume 2015 | 25 - 27 Mar 2015, Helsinki

An international conference and exhibition of costume
25-27 March 2015, Helsinki, Finland
Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture


Critical Costume is a research project led by Dr. Rachel Hann and Sidsel Bech on the status of costume practices within contemporary art and performance. Building upon an emerging interest in the dramaturgical significance of costume within the academy, the project's overall aim is to grow the intellectual and critical frameworks in which we discuss costume practices, both today and historically.

Critical Costume 2015 is open to public attendance. A certificate of attendance will be provided to all participants.

For more information, please visit the Costume in Focus website or contact: Prof. Sofia Pantouvaki, email: sofia.pantouvaki(a)aalto.fi

Twitter: @CriticalCostume

Oblivia's Workshop: Do what you saw method | 26 - 27 Mar 2015, Helsinki


It is simple, it is fun and it is a brilliant way of devising material for performances.


The “do what you saw” method have been developed by Oblivias core members: Anna Krzystek, Timo Fredriksson and Annika Tudeer over more than ten years of collective work and it is the base for Oblivias wonderfully quirky and multilayered performances. The Do what you saw method is a process for creating and devising material. Through the distilling and sharing that happens in the work-shop, the participants creates an abundance of material to use in the “big impro” that ends each day. The workshop invites the participants to experience ways to distil and share ideas into action and text. They will encounter ways of working with subtlety, humour, presence and timing. The workshop is taught by Oblivias members.

The work-shop has been taught a.o. at TEAK Helsinki, HKZ Berlin and is the basis for the project Structures for Love that is developed together with Pathos Munchen.

26.-27.3.2015 at 10 Am - 15 PM, ESKUS studio 1,  Kaasutehtaankatu 1 (building 6)

Sign up: info(a)oblivia.fi
Patricipation fee: 50 €


The Dailes Theatre Performance Parade | 14 - 19 Apr 2015, Riga (Latvia)


The Dailes Theatre, the largest drama theatre in Latvia, will celebrate its 95th anniversary. This is one of the impulses for creating a new direction in the theatre’s development of international relations - The Dailes Theatre Performance Parade. This is a chance to see 17 performances which have been critically acclaimed by professionals and audiences alike. The target audience of the Parade is local and foreign theatre professionals, however, anyone is welcome to attend. The main purpose of the Performance Parade is to gain an assessment, garner advice and inspiration for future activities, as well as developing a useful dialogue with theatre professionals from various countries about current themes in the world of drama.



International Transdisciplinary Conference |  6 - 8 May 2015, Helsinki


Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures: theories, policies, practices
May 6-8, 2015 | Helsinki, Finland

Is culture the fourth pillar of sustainability alongside the ecological, economic and social aspects? How does culture act as a catalyst for ecological sustainability, human well-being and economic viability? What would our futures look like if sustainability was embedded in the multiple dimensions of culture?


This landmark conference explores the roles and meanings of culture in sustainable development. The new ideas generated in the conference will inform and advance understandings of all four dimensions of sustainability. The invited speakers of the conference are internationally well-known scholars and actors in this field.

Please see the programme at: www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/programme

The registration for the conference is open! Please register by 09/04/2015.

The conference is organised by the COST Action "Investigating Cultural Sustainability” (www.culturalsustainability.eu) and hosted by the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

Attend the conference and join the dialogue!

On behalf of the Scientific and Local Organising Committees of the Conference,
Katriina Soini
Chair of the COST Action

Latvian Theatre Showcase | 20 - 23 May 2015, Riga

The Latvian Theatre Showcase will be held in Riga from May 20 till 23, 2015.

The programme highlights include a recent production by internationally acclaimed Latvian director Alvis Hermanis with his New Riga Theatre company. It’s a rare occasion to see a new dramatic work from Hermanis, who has in the past years turned his attention to stagings at European opera houses. In his adaptation of the iconic Soviet satirical novel from the 1920s “The Twelve Chairs” about an unlikely couple of companions on a treasure hunt in post-revolution Russia, Hermanis returns to grotesque (as in his brilliant “The Inspector General”) and has made this famously witty critic of Sovietism into a tale of Jewish jokes.

Full programme and on-line registration for professional guests will be announced by March 20 and published online on www.theatre.lv.

For details please contact Sandra Lapkovska: sandra(a)theatre.lv, T. +371 67228477

PQ2015: Music, Weather, Politics – Weather Station | 18 - 28 Jun 2015, Prague

From among the themes of PQ’15 – MUSIC, WEATHER and POLITICS – we have chosen WEATHER as the starting point for our sound-based exhibition.

SOUND is a performative and spatial element that is like the WEATHER – unpredictable, untamed, changing in unexpected ways, an effective mover and a circumstance that touches down to the marrow. The exhibition highlights the role of sound as a scenographic material in performing arts in multiple and multisensory ways.

// WEATHER STATION. staging sound // exhibition explores the novel spaces and conditions of performative sound. Sound is approached as spatial, temporal, multisensory, affective and transformative creator and activator of space.

// WEATHER STATION // in June 2015 in Prague camps up the spirits, ideas and works of 10 leading Finnish artists and designers active in the expanded field of intermedial scenographic arts & practices – in performative sound, space, light, new media and movement.

// WEATHER STATION // takes place in two sites – in COLLOREDO-MANSFELD PALACE, exhibition space A4 and in PUBLIC SPACE: Uhelny Square, located in the heart of Prague old town.

// WEATHER STATION // is curated by artist-researcher Maiju Loukola and performance dramaturg Timo Heinonen. The producer is lighting designer Mia Kivinen, the technical producer is lighting designer Ada Halonen and the designer/architect of the exposition is artist-architect Johanna Hyrkäs.

// WEATHER STATION // is organised with the Finnish Oistat Centre, and funded by the Finnish Cultural Centre (SKR), The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture (AVEK), Kone Foundation, Wihuri Foundation and City of Helsinki Cultural Office. 

Read more (PDF)




Mad House – Open Call 2015

Mad House is a project of performing arts, that learns by experience and keeps transforming. The Mad House first season was a month-long performing arts event at Tiivistämö, Suvilahti, Helsinki, in October, 2014. It brought under the same ceiling 130 artists from Finland and abroad, with 52 different performances and workshops. The program was made of live and performance art, installations, Think Tank discussions on the future and status of performing arts, plus a many- sided bar program. After the month we said to each other – Mad House makes sense!

Additional information here.


Arts Promotion Centre Finland: Travel Grants | Application Deadline 2 Mar 2015

Travel grants are intended for professional artists, art experts and groups in different fields of the arts to help cover the foreign travel costs of artistically significant projects.

Application period : 01.02.2015 - 02.03.2015


Nordic Culture Point: Culture and Art Programme | Application Deadline 5 Mar 2015

Culture and Art Programme gives support to projects in all fields of culture and art. 

The most important assessment criteria are quality and innovative character of the project.

The programme is divided into two modules.

Production-based activities
The module is meant for projects that centre on culture and art productions and creative work. The key word is innovation, which means the development and testing of new ideas, concepts and processes. 

Capacity development
The module is meant for projects that centre on sharing of knowledge and capacity development among artists and cultural operators. These can involve, for example, seminars, courses and workshops.

The framework budget for the Culture and Art Programme for 2013 is 2 116 532 EUR (DKK 15 747 000).

More information online.

Ibsen Scholarship 2015 | Application Deadline: 30 Apr 2015

Funds amounting to NOK 1.000.000,- (approx. Euro 115.000,-/USD 129.000,- according to current rate) will be awarded to theatre projects worldwide.

Scholarships are applicable to individuals, organizations or institutions within the artistic and cultural community.

Scholarships guidelines:

  • The Ibsen Scholarships award innovative projects in the field of drama and performing arts.
  • The projects must act as incentives for critical discourse in regards to existential and society-related subject matters concerning Henrik Ibsen and his plays.
  • Applications are submitted electronically through www.ibsenawards.com.
  • Performances already staged are not eligible.

The Scholarships are awarded annually and the applications are subject to scrutiny by an appointed jury.

The Ibsen Scholarships were initiated by the Norwegian government and will be handed out for the 8th time in 2015.

Ibsen Awards has until now handed out 26 scholarships to projects in 21 different countries.

 Application deadline is April 30th 2015.

The winners of The Ibsen Scholarships 2015 will be presented at Skien International Ibsen Conference at Teater Ibsen on October 14. and 15. in Skien, Norway.

For further information, statutes and application form, kindly visit our website www.ibsenawards.com.



TINFO News is a magazine on Finnish theatre, drama and artists.

View the issues (e-publications):

Also available in TINFO web store:


Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility is not a DIY course that gives one recipe for managing and producing a theatre production. It is more about helping theatre workers to ask the right questions that they will find the answers for.

The toolkit provides professional theater makers with budget samples, contract templates, work planning tips and other basic tools to make organizing productions and tours easier.

Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility will be published here in March 2015.



New Plays from Finland database offers a selection of Finnish plays, please take a look!

“I often set things in ‘wrong’ proportion to each other. This is what is surprising. I also try to say aloud things that are often kept hidden, that people are ashamed of. For example, “I wish I’d come across a grief like yours. When people break up, they lose weight.”

Minna Nurmelin, a playwright, on the humour in her plays




Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) awards grants for translations of Finnish plays. We accept applications continuously. Grant decisions are four to five times a year. We aim to support international productions of Finnish plays.

Who can apply for a TINFO translation grant?

Playwrights, drama agencies, theatres, festivals or translators may apply for a grant. The grant will be paid directly to the translator.

Read more about the criteria and view the application form here.

Recent translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant.




TINFO e-News | Summer 2015 will come out on 19 May 2015.