TINFO e-News | Summer 2015 | Theatre in Finland















Animal here, animal thereLeea Klemola Photo: Eva Persson

Leea Klemola, a playwright, director and actress

"Art emerges from a human wound and entertainment from presenting human superiority", Leea Klemola says, and quickly continues: "Theatre tends towards entertainment if the spectator doesn’t end up surprised, if it reinforces prejudices and human sufficiency. Entertainment is pornography, and if it doesn’t titillate, it fails.”

Klemola speaks self-confidently. There is no question about what is art and what is entertainment. In entertainment, two beautiful people kiss in the rain and it’s love. Whereas in art, love – or anything else for that matter – is not so simple. Art is defined by the unknown, and uncertainty in the face of it. 

"My art is born out of a curiosity towards what I don’t know, but I know exists," Klemola explains.  "Sentimentality is offensive. It’s offensive that we want to feel feelings that are safe – that two beautiful people kiss in the rain and that’s love. The critic is enchanted! What the fuck?"

As writer or director, Klemola’s plays are neither safe nor comfortable. They are uncomfortable terrain populated by humans and animals. The plays have a black humour, northern oddity, unpredictability and raunch. Taboos appear and are broken.

An incredible threshold

Leea Klemola has written 10 plays, three with her brother Klaus Klemola. In many of them, animals play a significant role.

"I use animals on stage because it’s an opportunity to address otherness," Klemola says. On the stage, Klemola’s animal characters say nothing about animals, however, but about humans: "In theatre, animals always transform into metaphors. Animals tell of our relationship to them or our relationship to our own humanity. But as far as animals themselves, there’s nothing theatre can say about them except they’re always here with us."

Her first play featuring animal characters was a tough spot.

"It was an incredible threshold: here are these dogs and can they talk. I was ashamed and afraid," Klemola says, indicating that until that point, the stage had been, in all of its absurdity, ultra-realistic: making coffee took as long as it took for the water to drip through the filter. "And then you realize it’s fantastic that Minna the dog is reciting Shakespeare!’

When writing the third part of her Arctic Trilogy, Klemola dreamed of a play that would have nothing but animal roles. "But then they would have become too much like metaphors for people. In order for them to stay animals, I also had to put humans in the play"

She describes that some animals spark dramatic situations through their very appearance: the spotted hyena, dog, or warthog.

"But pigs are impossible. It’s impossible to present them as anything but the victims of human exploitation. It’s as hard to put a pig on stage as it is to put a young, nice-looking woman on stage. And have her be not simply a victim, let her have human dignity." 

Read the entire interview in TINFO News – Sustainability, resilience and performance utopias

Also in German:



Finnish-Russian theatre project Savotta-Zavod

The amount of cooperation between Finnish and Russian theatre parties has increased over recent years. Established in 2013, the Savotta-Zavod project brings together elements with the aid of specialist trips, seminars, coproduction negotiations and guest performances.

The theatre project is coordinated by Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) and is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Part of the funding comes from Russian and Finnish partners.
The Savotta-Zavod project currently involves the Finnish Baltic Circle Festival, Klockriketeatern and Lappeenranta City Theatre. The project partners in St Petersburg are the documentary theatre group Post Teatr, led by Mikhail Patlasov, Tostonogov Bolshoi Drama Teatr and the young artists’ TPAM- meetings (Theatrical Places of Andrey Moguchy), organized by the Formalny Theatre.
The cooperation carried out by the Moscow Artistic Theatre, TINFO and the Finnish Embassy in Moscow is titled Finnish Theatre. First time in Russian.

Additional information on the Savotta-Zavod project program is available here.


Finns go Russia

"Please do not leave us alone!" *

The Savotta-Zavod project doesn’t leave any colleague alone

The core of the theatre cooperation project involves artist encounters and specialist trips, as well as presentation visits. Saving Mama from Theatre Quo Vadis won the grand prize at the Novgorod KING- Festival in April 2015. Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe from the Lappeenranta City Theatre has been performed at St. Petersburg Dostoevsky Museum, as well as in Novgorod. The reception has been one of sincere admiration.

Post Teatr from St. Petersburg presented their theatrical photo installation I Am Free at the international Baltic Circle- festival in 2013. Next, Ruska Ensemble will visit St. Petersburg to perform their Áillohaš – Son of the Sun. The poetic play about the Sámi artist Nils-Aslak Valkeapää will be performed on stage at Cultural Centre Erartan on 27 May 2015. The Unbroken Snow Theatre, in turn, will visit St. Petersburg’s Rainbow Festival on 31 May 2015, with their poetry theatre monologue P.S.

Moscow Artistic Theatre (MHAT) produced Finnish Theatre in 2014, related to the Savotta project. The First Time in Russian- entity is a package in which invited directors Davide Giovanzana and Lauri Maijala directed roughly ninety minute long demo versions of the plays Grans Wellington Foxtrot (Mummun saappaassa soi fox, written by Sirkku Peltola) and War Tourists (Sotaturistit, written by Laura Ruohonen). The plays were translated into Russian by Anna Sidorova. The third director visit of the project, planned for autumn 2014, didn’t take place.

Impossible in Russia?

TINFO organised the Impossible in Russia seminar during the autumn of 2014, in collaboration with the international Baltic Circle- festival, where the current state of Russia was considered through artists’ eyes. The seminar was an indication that no matter the things done in the field of great politics, the art community must wave the flag of solidarity across the borders. Kristina Matvienko, a critic, theatre scholar and NET Festival artistic director from Moscow told the latest examples of the state of contemporary theatre. A St. Petersburg documentary theatre group presented their own production plan (Witch of Russian Rock – a story of an otherwise living being), the obtaining of a public presentation license of which is almost impossible in today's political climate. The Impossible in Russia seminar also included a preview of the documentary film Revolution Museum, directed by Natalia Babintseva. The film is about the emergence of the Ukrainian Maidan Square resistance movement and revolution as a real-time recording.

The debate was followed during the Diana Drama Festival, organised in April 2015. When we talk about freedom in a changing political climate, we are at the heart of the artist's status.

"I want to use art to deal with real, everyday, matters that are close to people. I’ve always had a starting point that involves a certain degree of documentary or authenticity”, considers Russian director Semyon Aleksandrovski as an answer to the question of why he has created the performance concept SHORT-TERM, the premiere of which is on Thursday, May 21 at Lappeenranta City Theatre. All eight performances will take place over three days.

* Russian theatre makers appellation to Finnish colleagues during the study trip to St. Petersburg in 2014.

Inquiries concerning the Savotta-Zavod project:
TINFO / executive producer of international projects Jukka Hytti, jukka.hytti(a)tinfo.fi


Novosti – Russian language publication on how theatre is doing in Finland

Novosti – Teatr v Finlandii [working title] -magazine will appear in Russian in August 2015. The title of the articles will be:

  • Introduction: Shifts of Authorship in English theatre making
  • Staging thinking, breaking boundaries and being site-specific
  • Lighting designers' view
  • Sound designers' talk
  • Writing for the Stage - playwrights' Talk

Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) will publish a themed magazine directed towards theatre professionals. TINFO News- magazine will be published regularly in English, but also in other languages, such as German.

Read the released TINFO News magazines as e-publications: www.tinfo.fi/publications  



Latest publication: TINFO News – Sustainability, Resilience and Performance Utopias

In the 2015 edition of TINFO News – Sustainability, Resilience and Performance Utopias, we are interested in utopic thinking that reveals the potential for (sustainable) change. We are also interested in exploring coping strategies in the artistic process, how critical meanings are articulated in artistic performances.

We want to introduce artists and works that strive to expose the prevailing practices and rules governing speech, beliefs and activity, present critiques of arts institutions and pose entirely new problems and questions to be solved through means of performance and representation.

The stage, when viewed in a Guénouian sense as a place of coming together, is, at its deepest essence, radically utopian. We want to discover how the performer and performances – the field in general – can practice the politics of social empathy.

Hanna Helavuori, the director of Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) in her introduction to TINFO News – Sustainability, Resilience and Performance Utopias

European theatre project Meeting the Odyssey sails to the Mediterranean in 2015

Theatre Viirus international collaborative project Meeting the Odyssey – An Adventure Beyond Arts, Myths and Everyday Life 2013-2016 will continue this summer with two extensive tours in the Mediterranean. Viirus is in charge of 7 unique performances called Instant Performances, which are based on local peoples stories and themes. Meeting the Odyssey aboard the Estonian schooner Hoppet will also stay a few days on the island of Lampedusa to show solidarity with both the refugees and the host population.

In the summer of 2014 the Estonian schooner Hoppet sailed in the Baltic Sea with two different international theater productions, as a part of the EU-funded Odyssey project, administered by Theatre Viirus.

Now it is the Mediterranean's turn. On the 3rd of May the sailing starts from Tallinn to Camogli in Italy, and from there the ship takes the theater crew to Malta, via Lampedusa to Sardinia, France's southern coast and then back to Italy.

The actual theater tour begins already on the 27th of May, when it is time for the first premiere: sbarchi_un'odissea (Landing - An Odyssey). The performance is mainly an Italian-Danish production, but Viirus dramaturge Christoffer Mellgren wrote the text, sound engineer Björn Karlsson also participates in the production and one of the actors, Jaakko Kiljunen. has been selected and recruited by Viirus for the entire tour. Sbarchi_un'odissea tours in the area around Milan and Lake Como, and in late June it is time for Malta.

Read more (PDF).

More information:
Matilda von Weissenberg, Project manager
Meeting the Odyssey
+ 358-50-9115988 matilda(a)viirus.fi



Annika does Swanlake on tour in Germany

Annika Tudeer (performer and artistic director of the performance group Oblivia) uses the ballet Swanlake as a framework for the performance and deals with the fact that the idea of making Swanlake into a solo was not such a great idea after all.

“My intention was to make a solo of Swanlake, Very soon I realised that the template felt both stuffy and dated. However much I tried, I could not be too enthusiastic about the story of a young man that falls in love with a swan on his coming to age birthday. Yet I was drawn to Swanlake. The challenge to make something intimate of something on that grand scale was of course tiltillating.”

Apart of Swanlake the solo consist of (semi) autobiographical strands and when Annika returns to her life in literature- and gender studies in the 1990’s, and to her experience of dance analysis and dance criticism.

Annika does Swanlake has been processed at Mad House, ESKUS and at the Mykorhizzia residency at Uferstudios, Berlin where nothing and yet everything happened.The solo is performed in Swedish or in English.

Annika does Swanlake (performances in English) on stage next:

  • 26 - 27 June 2015 | Theaterdiscounter, Berlin
  • 18 - 19 September 2015 | FFT  (Forum Freies Theater), Düsseldorf     


Áillohaš – Son of the Sun tours Tokyo and St Petersburg

Theatre group Ruska Ensemble performs the play Áillohaš – Son of the Sun in Japan this summer. Three performances are held at Theatre X, Tokyo, between 22nd and 26th of July. The visit to Japan is enabled by the embassies in Japan and Finland as well as the Finnish cultural Foundation.

The Finnish Institute in St Petersburg has also invited the play to be performed in St Petersburg. The performance is held at Cultural Centre Erarta in St Petersburg on 27th of May. Alongside with the Finnish Institute, the visit is sponsored by the Norwegian Consulate-General in Saint Petersburg. Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) also supports the visit as a part of their Savotta–Zavod project.

Áillohaš – Son of the Sun is a co-production of the Finnish National Theatre, Beaivváš Sámi Našunálateáhter and Ruska Ensemble. It is playwright Ari-Pekka Lahti’s depiction of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, the internationally well-known Sami artist. Premiere was held at the Finnish National Theatre on a Sami National day, on 6th of February 2014. Since then the play has been touring around the Northern district of Norway, Sweden and Finland.


Premiere of Tove Appelgren’s school drama in Munich

The play Thomas och Tryggve, written by Tove Appelgren, will receive its German premiere on 12.6.2015. It will be performed in Residenztheater St. Anna Schule, Munich, after which the performance will tour around other schools in Germany. Appelgren’s show is part of a Residenztheaterin children's and youth theatre project called Junges Resi.

Residenztheater is one of the largest institute theatres in Germany, for which two performances had been elected in 2014 for Berlin's prestigious Theatertreffenin review of best performances.

Tove Appelgren (b. 1969) is a graduate director of the Theatre Academy, who has worked at Lilla Teatern and Wasa Teater. The written production of Appelgren includes traditional plays, as well as radio plays and the Vesta-Linnea- children’s books.

In Finland, the Thomas och Tryggve show belong to the programme of Theatre Taimine, a touring theatre show aimed at primary school children in both Swedish and Finnish.



First pavilion in artistic research in Venice Biennale by the University of Arts Helsinki

The Research Pavilion of University of the Arts Helsinki opened festively in Venice on Wednesday, May 6th. It is the first of its kind in the history of the Venice Biennale.

The new Pavilion is a significant leap to the forefront of artistic research for the university. In her speech at the opening ceremony, Rector Tiina Rosenberg emphasized the heightened role University of the Arts Helsinki will have in the field: “Artistic research in Finland is unique and groundbreaking. Our Research Pavilion in Venice will raise our university’s profile in an international context”.

The opening ceremony kickstarted the Pavilion’s program which will include both an international contemporary art exhibition and a platform for events that feature artistic research. The dynamic between artistic research and contemporary art will be explored through the theme of experimentality.

The Research Pavilion will be open 7 May – 28 June 2015.

For more information, visit: http://www.uniarts.fi/en/research-pavilion

Contact information:
Anita Seppä
+358 40 860 9522

Jan Kaila
+358 40 509 4386

Media Contact:
Head of Communications
Eevastiina Aho
+358 45 657 9347

Read also: Utopia, the market and radical chic – An Interview with Tiina Rosenberg (Part 1)

MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance

The Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki is currently planning a new master’s degree programme, which is primarily scheduled to begin in autumn 2016.

MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance (hereafter MAECP) will be a two-year pilot of a master’s degree programme, which studies questions in ecology and performance in the era of ecological crises through a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. The program will attempt to respond to the questions and needs raised by the current ecological situation that implicates all species, as well as the current shifts taking place in the field of performing arts, from the perspective of relations and dependencies.

MAECP will investigate and develop the methodologies, practices and theoretical bases of contemporary performance while fostering new forms of collaboration, interaction and knowledge production in between art, research and the sciences within a post humanist framework. The program will encourage the students to review and reformulate existing practices, to experiment with and invent new forms of performance making and to maintain openness not only towards various forms of art, but also towards different fields and discourses.


Art students explore art and art education in Palestine

Does art have a place in conflict? Four art students have left in February for a three-month long exchange to Palestine to explore art and art education in the region.

Theatre pedagogy students Petra, Helena and Annukka from the Theatre Academy will be doing practical training in Palestine. Aili, a music education student from the Sibelius-Academy, will study in the local Edward Said Conservatory of Music. They all share the same motivation for going: Unbridled enthusiasm for new experiences and curiosity to know about art education and how art is made in a culture that is yet foreign to them.

The students will reside in Betlehem and the intention is to work at refugee camps in the West Bank. Petra, Helena and Annukka will conduct theatre workshops in cooperation with local organizations. At these workshops, different theatre methods, such as improvisation, movement and vocal exercises, will be employed to engage creatively with 17-30 year-old Palestinians. Aili will provide musical assistance if needed. She will also be teaching music in the refugee camps in addition to her studies.

The occupied Palestinian territories have been a site for local theatre activity. For example, the Freedom Theatre, a community-based theatre and centre for cultural activity, was borne from the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the West bank. Their international tour visited also Finland in 2012. Dialogue between Palestinian and Jewish communities has been a natural part of its activity.

The exchange students will share their reflections and experiences on art and conflict by contributing to the blog Crossings, now available for reading. The blog will open with a prelude by Sini Paloheimo, who has studied Christian Zionism and the Christian minority in Palestine. The blog can be read at: http://www.uniarts.fi/en/blog/crossings

The student exchange in Palestine was initiated by Theatre Academy lecturer Ville Sandqvist and provided by CIMO’s The North-South-South Higher Education Institution Network Programme (North-South-South) which the University of the Arts Helsinki is a part of. The partner school in Palestine is Birzeit University. Edward Said Conservatory of Music is part of Birzeit University.

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), http://www.pq.cz/en/program/finland


KOM-theatre will cooperate with the Le Panta Théâtre from France

KOM-theatre will take part in a co-performance with the French Le Panta Théâtre company in Helsinki. The home writer of Le Panta Théâtre, Yoann Thommerel, has written a play called Poprintama (Le Front pop), which has been translated into Finnish by Timo Torikka. Le Panta Théâtre director, Guy Delamotte, will direct the Poprintama performance, with roles held by KOM-theatre's current ensemble along with Pekka Milonoff and Timo Torikka.

Poprintama performance will be premiered in Caen, France, at the Boréales Festival in November 2015.
Le Panta Théâtre: http://www.pantatheatre.net/
Festival les Boréales: http://www.lesboreales.com/
KOM Theatre: http://www.kom-teatteri.fi/

Finnish contemporary plays in Spanish

Five Finnish contemporary plays have been published in Spanish in an anthology titled Pasión contenida en el silencio (The Passion of Silence). Published in Madrid, the collection includes Broken Heart Story (Saara Turunen), Kaaos – Chaos (Mika Myllyaho), Tyttö tuli – It’s a Girl! (Otso Kautto), Fundamentalisti – Fundamentalist (Juha Jokela) and Kuningatarleikit – Playing The Queen (Antti Mikkola). The introduction is written by the Director of Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) Hanna Helavuori and all texts are translated by Luisa Gutiérrez Ruiz.

All of the writers in the anthology also work as theatre directors. Otso Kautto and Antti Mikkola visited Santiago, Chile, in April, where their plays were read at Cultural Gabriela.

Mika Myllyaho’s play Kaaos – Chaos has, in turn, been performed a great deal around the world. The Barlovento theatre group from Madrid will present Kaaos – Chaos in Spain this year.

The play anthology is published by the Finnish Institute of Madrid (www.madrid.fi) and has been implemented jointly with the Finnish Embassy in Madrid, Nordic Drama Corner (NDC) and Teatro del Astilleros and is part of a broader set of theatre publications.

Any inquiries regarding the play anthology:
Finnish Institute of Madrid, spokeswoman Luisa Gutiérrez Ruiz, luisa.gutierrez(a)madrid.fi


Info on new Finnish plays, see New Plays from Finland, www.tinfo.fi/newplays

Eurodram: http://www.sildav.org/component/content/article/457

Eurodram Committee: http://www.sildav.org/eurodram/comites-linguistiques

Maria Baric Company awarded in Cuba

The Maria Baric Company received an award at the Cuban international street theatre festival VIII Jornada Nacional de Teatro Callejero Matanzas 2015 the main prize at the festival. The Matanzan Performing Arts Centre Artes Escenicas elected to award the Maria Baric Company with the prestigious Don Quijote – culture award, in recognition of their artistic intransigence and the uniqueness of their work. Ave Fenix performance also attracted a new record audience at the festival.

MBC’s fire circus artist Petri Saunio, puppet artist Nemanja Stojanovic and director, composer Maria Baric visited the festival, performing in the Spanish language fire puppet theatre production Ave Fenix, which, in addition to MBC’s artists residing in Finland, also included 12 Cuban actors. Praised for its music, visuals and unique aesthetics, Ave Fenix also became an overpowering favourite with the festival audience.

In addition to the performances, Maria Baric Company also found time during their visit to perform musical shadow theatre workshops for children and young people in the region, as well as a participatory street puppet theatre activity for local families.


Saving Mama by Quo Vadis won an award in Novgorod

Saving Mama from Theatre Quo Vadis performed twice to a full house at the King Festival in Novgorod, Russia. Eeva Putro performed several roles in the play in Russian.

The performance won the Red Izba- award. The reasons given by the jury were that the play had, among others, an intriguing story, stunning clothing and implementation, as well as an honest and touching presentation, and a favourable interaction with the audience.

Theatre Quo Vadis has performed Saving Mama in seven different languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, French, Spanish, German and Russian.

Saving Mama was written by Otso Kautto and Markku Hoikkala. The director is Otso Kautto. The costume and set design are the handiwork of Nina Mansikka and the lighting design is by Juha Tuisku.

The visit was carried out together with the Finnish Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) coordinated Savotta-Zavod –theatre project.

Quo Vadis is a nomad theatre that was founded in 1985. The theatre has performed numerous times in, among others, France, Spain, Germany and Poland, where there are co-operation projects with various theatres.


Read more about Quo Vadis and the moveable yurt that is used as the group’s performance space via the TINFO News magazine (e-publication).

Dance Info Finland: Report on sustainable development of the dance sector

The Nordic and Baltic keðja Sustainability Think Tank decided to create and publish their recommendations for a sustainable dance field. The Think Tank provides concrete suggestions for sustainable strategies. It would be easy to merely demand for more money but sustainability needs smarter ways of investing in dance and more effective use of funds that are already there.

The dance field does not exist in isolation. A sustainable dance sector has a long-lasting and wide-reaching impact on society as it can provide valuable insights in tackling pressing social issues. This takes time – results that are immediately visible are seldom compatible with sustainable processes. A better communication of favourable spill-over effects and the intrinsic values of dance as an art form are needed to reach larger audience awareness and political attention in general.

New forms of development structures built within the creative industries, like hubs, clusters and incubators, could create new opportunities also for the dance sector. It is important that there are communities of artists and other intermediary professionals that possess knowledge of culture, art, and business.
Read more

Recommendations for a Sustainable Nordic and Baltic Dance Field. keðja Sustainability Think Tank Report 2015



Plays from Finland – Latest Translations

The latest translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant.


What's On Stage Now in Finland

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



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 | 4 - 7 Jun, Hanko

Hangö Teaterträff (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.

Festival programme 2015

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 – ”Laughter through tears”

The festival programme 2015 available here.

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.

Festival Programme 2015

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.

Festival Programme 2015


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

Korjaamo Theatre's Stage Festival brings to Helsinki performances from international groups. This year, Stage's performances make powerful statements for freedom of speach and create dystopian visions of the future.

The programme includes performances by acclaimed international theatre groups such as Krétakör from Hungary and Teatr.Doc from Russia. In addition, Stage hosts a number of Finnish theatre premieres.

Taking place at Korjaamo Culture Factory and accompanying theatres for the 9th time this August, he festival also extends to after performance talks, clubs and other events. Stage is produced in co-operation with Helsinki Festival.

See the programme


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.

Programme for theatre & dance

Contact: info(a)helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi


ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival | 1 - 6 Nov 2015, Kuopio

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival is an international contemporary arts festival presenting site-specific works made for public space. ANTI Festival presents live, sonic, visual and text-based art from today’s most exciting and innovative artists in the Finnish town of Kuopio. Free of charge ANTI Festival is a meeting place for artists and audiences fascinated by how art shapes and responds to the places and spaces of everyday life.

Read more.

Current festival programme 2015 available here. The festival programme will be completed during the spring and summer.

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival
Minna Canthin katu 4 A, 4th floor
70100 Kuopio, FINLAND

Elisa Itkonen
Mobile +358 50 305 2005


Artistic Director - Senior producer
Johanna Tuukkanen
Mobile +358 50 305 2485

Artistic Director
Gregg Whelan

Lain§uojattomat 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 Lain§uojattomat (Outlaw§) 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.

Next edition will be at Stoa on 1.-4.10.2015. The theme of the festival will be " Masked Body". The program will be published on May 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




Eskusplosion12h 23 - 24 May 2015, Helsinki

Eskus – Performance Center organises Eskusplosion12h festival on 23.–24.5.2015 (18:00–06:00) in Suvilahti, Helsinki.

Eskusplosion is an open and experimental festival of live art and a celebration of togetherness. Performances, non-performances, acts and rituals in and around the Eskus premises in the spirit of "Anything goes"! Food, music and dancing are also on offer.

Performers and such have been called upon with a registration form (below). The call has been well responded to. It is still possible to send in proposals, however. Things can also be done during the event in suitable areas without prior notice.

At the heart of the event is the African Lounge, hosted by West African musicians. It will be a good place come back to and discuss the mind-blowing experiences of Eskusplosion. See the programme below.

Welcome to join – as performer, audience or both!

The invitation can be spread too. Fb event: www.facebook.com/events/771055119668103/

More info:
Producer: Toni Ledentsa / toni.ledentsa(at)eskus.fi
Production assistant: Travis Nurminen / travis.nurminen(at)eskus.fi
Tel: +358 (0)45 144 3948

Suvilahti, Puhdistamo, building 6, 2. floor
Kaasutehtaankatu 1 / 33, 00540 Helsinki

CARPA4 11 - 13 Jun 2015, Helsinki

The Performing Arts Research Centre at the University of the Arts, Theatre Academy Helsinki welcomes artistic researchers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels to take part in the fourth biannual colloquium on artistic research in performing arts:

June 11 - June 13, 2015

June 10, 2015
Pre-Colloquium workshop “Artistic Research Expositions” and Object-Oriented Bring-a-Dish Picnic

The Registration for CARPA4 is open from now on until June 4,2015.

The colloquium approaches its topic area without specific disciplinary framings, collaboratively, and performatively, in an attempt to support the fruitful meeting of various points of view. It seeks common points of contact, resonating surfaces, and rhythmic interference between its heterogeneous but constituent parts. A variety of topics related to artistic research in performing arts, from dance and theatre, music, interdisciplinary practices and beyond, is discussed and dealt with in the papers, presentations, performances and workshops held by invited participants.

For further information, please contact us: teak.carpa(a)uniarts.fi


Festivaali! 2015 – 2nd Finnish Performance Festival 26 Jun - 12 Jul 2015, Berlin

Finland weeks at Discounter: New narratives and extraordinary performances from the North of Europe! The Finns are strange to us? High time to get to know them better! Following up last year’s first short but hot FESTIVAALI!, this year, Theaterdiscounter has prepared her stage for long lasting three weeks and dimmed the lights in order make the Berlin audience fall in love with some of the most interesting artists of Finnish performance and Live Art. We are excited about and full of anticipation for Finnish charm and Finnish accuracy, for weird humour, physical approaches and big issues renegotiated.

Two of the performances are presented in Germany for the first time, one returns to Berlin after six years, 12 years after its premiere, while another one is still in the course of creation.

Programme also here (PDF).

Check also:

Summer Bash 15 – The NSFS Summer Workshop | 20 Jul - 1 Aug 2015, Mikkeli

This year we celebrate the 20th year anniversary of the Nordic Stage Fight Society (NSFS) with the Summer Bash 15, in Mikkeli, Finland! The workshop will be held at the lakeside of the beautiful Saimaa, at 20.7.-1.8. 2015.

The first annual summer workshop was held in Linköping, Sweden in 1992, and the Nordic Stage Fight Society was subsequently founded in 1995.

St. Michel (Finnish Mikkeli) is located in Southern-Savo, 2,5 hour drive from the capital, Helsinki. The venue itself is by the Lake Saimaa within walking distance from the city centre. The classic postcard-images of Finland with its rocky lakeshores and forest islands are just around the corner.

The NSFS welcomes you to an experience of a lifetime!

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at info(a)stagecombat.fi

Read more




Nordic-Baltic Residency 1 Sep - 30 Nov 2015, Eskus, Helsinki | deadline 31 May

Eskus – Performance Center is calling for applications for residencies from artists residing in the Nordic and Baltic countries (other than Finland).

Eskus Artist-in-Residence Programme is for individual artists or groups of professional artists working within performance, live art, or contemporary theatre. The programme offers artists the possibility to work on their projects in the Eskus residency studios situated in Suvilahti, a lively cultural spot in Helsinki. In addition, Eskus provides help in regards to networking and performance possibilities around Finland.

Eskus is connected to Mad House Helsinki, which is a venue for performance and live art. Mad House's second season will take place 1.9.–30.11.2015, coinciding with the residency's timeframe.

Eskus offers the residency for four (4) artists. They can be four individual artists or groups of two to four artists. The duration of the residency/residencies is three (3) weeks.

More details online.

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2015
Announcement of selected artists: 16 June 2015
Residency dates: 1 September – 30 November 2015

Further information:
Managing Director Jenny Nordlund: jenny.nordlund(at)eskus.fi / +358 45 874 0470



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 May 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 | Autumn 2015 will come out on 22 September.

Theatre Info Finland would like to wish you all a great summer!