TINFO e-News | Fall 2015 | Theatre News from Finland


Former Classmates as Directors










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Former Classmates as Directors


Akse Pettersson (left) and Juhana von Bagh (right) in sunny Tallinn. Picture: JHH

When theater directors Juhana von Bagh (b. 1981) and Akse Pettersson (b. 1984) sit around the same table and talk about theater, the interviewer has a full job trying to keep up with the conversation. These two men know each other well enough to finish each other’s sentences.

Both of them studied directing at Theatre Academy Helsinki, and they have been active at the Helsinki Student Theatre, the place where many Finnish theater professionals have taken the first steps on their careers. Petterson and von Bagh actively participate in the social discussion around theater arts and their current position in Finland.

We are sitting at a cafeteria on a ship that operates regularly between Finland and Estonia, talking about the outlook of exporting performances and expertise from Finland. However, we soon find ourselves discussing the sales and marketing trends of theater. Is it dangerous to transgress the border between art and entertainment? What attracts audiences today? Because these questions are more relevant than the interviewer’s original question, let’s focus on them first. There is no denying that without an audience, theatrical performances are so short-lived that no one has time to notice them outside Finland.

So, what sells and which themes touch the critical masses these days? The directors discuss the form and content of art in relation to external expectations. In their works, they try to create spaces where interesting artistic expression and content could unite in a form that speaks to people and has marketing potential.

Both directors have noticed a certain external pressure, especially when we start talking about directing for major stages. There is always a big financial risk involved. Should we have famous actors and authors on board? Should we do a classic Chekhov play or focus on our own thing? We move on to discussing performances and plays, and their relationship to works and authors.

“After the premier of Kaspar Hauser (at the Q-teatteri in 2014), I was asked for a copy of the original script. I said, there is no text in the traditional sense of the word. There is just a pile of material which we worked on as a team on stage,” Akse Pettersson says when describing the creative process behind one of the most hyped plays of last season. Nearly all the members of the Kaspar Hauser company were artists in their thirties who listened to their own voice and brought it on stage as such during the process.

Von Bagh says he liked the way video art was rooted in the legacy of visual arts in Petterson’s Kaspar. “Certain ‘painterly’ elements combined with audiovisual design gave the performance a strong three-dimensional aura,” he describes.

Petterson says he will continue the cooperation with Ville Seppänen (video and stage designer) and Kasperi Laine (sound designer and composer), which they started in Kaspar Hauser. They are working on a piece that will be performed on the main stage of Svenska Teatern (the Swedish theater in Helsinki). However, Petterson does not reveal much about the show yet. “It will be a version of the Titanic,” he says.

Before his studies at Theatre Academy Helsinki, Juhana von Bagh studied theater research at the University of Helsinki and drama at the Beckett Centre at Trinity College, Dublin. In addition to Ireland, his works abroad include directing at the Living Theatre in New York, as part of the Brooklyn College collaborative production. “In Ireland, theater is defined by canonical playwrights on one hand and by an American, almost commercial approach that is closer to the television on the other,” von Bagh says.

We move on to discussing classics, a topic that can also be approached as a question on gender. Could we say that doing heroic plays such as Shakespearean kings plays and Tuntematon sotilas — a Finnish masculine war novel that has spawned several adaptations on stage and film — is a male rite? Why do we see it like that? How do today’s directors fare with grand, national narratives of war heroes and with their authors? Can they relate to them?

Last year, von Bagh directed a radio drama of Tuntematon sotilas for Yle’s Radio 1 channel. “The drama portrayed war and the price children pay for the broken minds of men from the point of view of women,” von Bagh says. The radio play received lots of attention and gave rise to discussions, and it won the prestigious Koura prize. “We really wanted to take a stand on the myth of the Finnish hero and the myth of Finland,” he continues.

Could the stories of Teemu Selänne — the Finnish ice hockey legend — or Tony Halme (RIP) — show wrestler and member of parliament—be the next success stories of Finnish theater? And would these narratives offer anything besides the clichés found in typical masculine projects? Can today’s authors “skip” the classics or are they expected to take a stand on them? Or does the younger generation of theater professionals find their themes, metaphors, fundamental questions and statements elsewhere?

“In Finland, one cannot escape the tradition or the iconic classics,” von Bagh says pensively. “But the idea of directing a ‘modern interpretation’ of a classic is, by definition, a peculiar one. What else could the perspective of a contemporary director be like besides modern,” Pettersson wonders. “Then again, an old piece cannot be modernized simply by using cell phones as props or adding a few references to social media. Modern interpretations are essentially about seeing our own times in a new light.”

Marketing is something the younger generation of artists is comfortable with and willing to talk about. In today’s fragmented society, we have to re-define what sharing or having something in common means. How a performance sells is linked to how accessible it is. Nobody wants to make art for an empty house. The history of the Finnish theater is peculiar in that we do not have a tradition of classic court theater here. Popular theater has always attracted audiences with its themes and contents that can also be artistic. It is possible to draw lines between art and entertainment.

“But what is it that makes something into a phenomenon?” the directors ask, almost in unison. One never knows until the show is on, it is impossible to tell beforehand. Sometimes, criticism plays a major role in the reception. “Nowadays, also the media are a venue,” Petterson concludes.

Where are these thoughtful directors headed to next? Von Bagh will teach at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts for two weeks in November. Petterson is also drawn towards the Norwegian theater. Last spring, he directed a play at the Von Krahl Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia. “Cultural differences might be a bit smaller there,” he says. As a director, he is a firm believer in devising methods, but he does not criticize the methods he saw in Estonia, either.

We are almost there. The glass office buildings and medieval churches of Tallinn spread before our eyes through the window. Our next destination is the Estonian Theatre Festival Draama 2015.

Jukka Hyde Hytti

the writer is the Executive Producer of International Projects at TINFO – Theatre Info Finland


Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility

The website gives theatre professionals practical advice on producing a stage play and taking a show on the road. The toolkit includes budget examples, sample contracts, tips for distribution of duties and other essential production tools. Main target groups: production managers, producers, directors.

Theatre Group W (TGW), run by a non-profit cultural organization, exempted from paying the value-added tax (VAT). TGW starts to produce a stage production and they want to tour with it after the domestic run of the show. Where and how will TGW find the resources (people, time, spaces, funding, etc.) to put together a stage production? Where to perform and how to expand the performance season? How to plan and manage a tour or a guest performance abroad?

For more information

Jukka Hyde Hytti
Executive Producer of International Projects
Theatre Info Finland

TINFO - Toolkit for Theatre Production and Mobility


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 and Russian.

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

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

The title of the articles

  • 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

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

From Start to Finnish at Edinburgh

Finnish theater filled the stages at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 with four different performances. Three of them relied almost exclusively on Finnish resources. In The Outsider, a play produced by the theater and circus company TT13, actor Janne Raudaskoski uses illusion to perform multiple roles. Dark Side of the Mime by Theatre Takomo is an audacious show that delves into popular culture and mixes pornography with classic mimicry. Marc Gassot is the star of this play that surely does not leave its audiences cold.

The Swedish, adventurous children’s play Loranga, Masarin and Dartanjang—a collaborative by ACE-Production and Ensemble Bulleribock —is a perfect fit for Fringe. There are three Finnish actors and one Scottish actor in this English-speaking play. The Outsider by TT13 raised interest in eight different countries, and the people behind it found many new cooperation partners.

“Edinburgh was quite the marathon—both technically and as a sales and marketing effort,” says Maire Pylkkänen who manages the international affairs of The Outsider. She says the play received good media coverage and lots of praise. The play sold over 2,000 tickets, which is quite impressive, compared with the average audience numbers at the Fringe. Laura Taberman, Producer at TT13, is also satisfied with the Edinburgh experience.

“We put a lot of work into this, both before and during the festival. I am happy with the attention and excellent feedback we received from the audience,” Taberman says.

Dark Side of the Mime by Theatre Takomo was also a hit among the festival-goers. The 22 performances had a total of 2,000 spectators. The Finnish program at Edinburgh was part of the From Start to Finnish project that was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Kimmo Aulake, Special Government Advisor, says the Fringe has become more and more popular among the Finnish, and the project has also reached the professionals visiting the festival.

Around nine Finnish performances appeared on the stages of Pleasance King Dome, Jack Dome, Assembly Roxy Central and New Town Theatre in August. The Year of the Hare was originally adapted for the Ryhmäteatteri theater in Helsinki, and it was now performed in Edinburgh by Scottish actors. The story is based on a Finnish classic novel about the friendship between a hare and a man. There is no need to smooth away the Finnish elements of the play to make it more universal or international: originality is what sets this play apart. As Philip Fisher described the Year of the Hare by the Finnish director Aleksis Meaney:

“If you can picture a sweet Finnish fable that wickedly satirises globalisation and ecological destruction, you will get some feel for the nature of this witty comedy with songs. The style created by this company is like no other, linking some Brechtian elements with a Scottish aesthetic that combines the raucous with the thoughtful.” (British Theatre Guide)

24 H Plays in Finland

The Lainsuojattomat theater festival of Finnish independent theatrical groups has worked on the 24 H Plays concept several times. The concept is of American origin, and it features six plays that are written, directed, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours. Philip Naudé, a co-founder of the concept, has followed the preparation process in several countries and become familiar with the cultural differences in performing and producing. Naudé picks the Finnish contemporary performing arts scene as one of the most intriguing ones. He is impressed by how unconventional Finnish artists can be, how they play along and bear their social responsibility, without giving in to competition or showcasing: “Your determination and clear sense of purpose astonishes me.  There is a sense of solidarity and community among performing arts professionals.”

Being a professional does not mean sticking to one’s title and job description. Instead, if refers to a non-hierarchical professional culture. Self-direction and the undoing of hierarchies are among the long-term objectives of theater education in Finland.

About Lainsuojattomat Festival (2 - 6 Sep 2015, 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

AEIOU was awarded at The 8th Biennial Festival of the Puppetry Artists of Slovenia

AEIOU, The Baby and Toddler Theatre was awarded for the performance Heart and Bellybutton at The eight biennial festival of the puppetry artists of Slovenia

The biennial was held between the 10th and 13th September 2015. The festival was encompassed both a competitive and an accompanying programme of Slovenian puppet performances according to the selection by Uro¨ Trefalt.

The International Jury of the 8th Biennial of Puppetry Artists of Slovenia: Simon Hart, Mojca Jan Zoran and Jasna Vastl.

Catalogue of the 8th Biennial of Puppetry Artists of Slovenia

interactive performance / experience a journey inside the human body

Join two doctors – Dr. Scab and Dr. Skin – on a journey inside the human body! Put on your surgical caps and slip into medical clogs to become their assistant.

The doctors will lead children into the secret world of the human body, where young assistants will crawl, feel, try out and have lots of fun. For example, children get to crawl through the colon, stay at the B&B Womb and fill an empty head with thoughts. By entering the fictional operating theatre which spurs their imagination, children learn about organs and bodily functions in a relaxed and playful manner, while also entering the world of theatre, puppets and visual art. Heart & Bellybutton is a unique mixture of sensory theatre, a playground based on learning and art, an interactive installation and a playroom.

In children, the body and brain are developing at a rapid pace. The performance gives children an opportunity to explore their bodies and body parts. In order to feel comfortable with their bodies, children must learn about body parts and bodily functions without shame.

For children aged 2-6 years.
Duration: 45 min

Concept of the performance: Katja Kähkönen, Mateja Ocepek, Katja Pov¨e
Dramaturgy: An¸e Virant
Visual concept: Katja Kähkönen, Mateja Ocepek
Scenography and costume design: Katja Kähkönen, Mateja Ocepek, Katja Pov¨e
Sound: Miha ¦ajina
Performers: Mateja Ocepek, Katja Pov¨e/ Katja Kähkönen (in Finland)
Producers: AEIOU baby and toddler theatre, House of Children and Art, Association of Puppeteers, H'art Institute
in Slovenia: April 24th, 2015 in Ljubljana
Premiered in Finland: November 9th, 2015 in Pieksämäki
Photos: Matej Pov¨e

AEIOU baby and toddler theatre
Colorful theatre for small children

The AEIOU is an independent group of artists, established in Slovenia in 2010 and active in Finland since 2013. Performances and workshops are conducted in both countries simultaneously. The AEIOU is a group consisting of theatre professionals, artists and art education professionals.

The group creates visual and physical theatre as well as object theatre, where theatre arts are intertwined with other art forms. The shows are tailored in image, sound, and contents to the developmental stage of the youngest children. We also ensure the performances are at the psychological and physical levels appropriate for young children. The combination of art forms contributes to an all-round experience of art and theatre for young children.

PHONE: +358-40-7296654 Finland

Kiasma Theatre is one of the partners of the EU project SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics

SharedSpace is a three-year international scenography research and artistic project that consists of a series of symposia (Gatherings and Retreats), experimental SharedSpace exhibitions (working titles: Music, Weather, Politics, Object, Makers, Space, Tribes) and SpaceLab the extensive educational component (series of workshops, performances, co-productions etc).

SharedSpace blog

SharedSpace is organized by the Prague Quadrennial (CZ) in cooperation with:

Finnish National Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma Theatre; New Theatre Institute of Latvia; Santarcangelo dei Teatri; Victoria and Albert Museum; HKU Theatre University of the Arts, Utrecht; Divadelní fakulta akademie múzických umení v Praze; The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama; Centre for Creative Actions IMPACT Macedonia; Center for Polish Scenography; Silesian Museum; Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute; Norwegian Theater Academy / Østfold University College; The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; School of Visual Theater Jerusalem.

With the Support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

Kiasma Theatre

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.


Mad House | 3 Sep - 30 Nov, Helsinki

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!

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

/theatre.now | 14 - 18 Oct, Helsinki

The annual /theatre.now event for contemporary theatre and performance is produced by Kiasma Theatre. The theme of this year’s event is climate change. It is part of the four-year SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics EU project that involves thematic events across Europe.

The event aims to create a variety of performative, bodily and scientific approaches to the thematic of climate change. How do artists face climate change in their work? How does dialogue between science and arts help to discover new solutions? What kind of feelings does climate change evoke and how can we treat them? The event does not offer ready-made solutions, but instead urges its participants to reflection and alertness.

R.E.A.D.#2 Reading EuropeAn Drama | 25 - 30 Oct, Helsinki

A drama reading festival R.E.A.D presents new European drama in October in Helsinki.

See programme

Moving in November | 31 Oct – 7 Nov, Helsinki

Moving in November is the oldest and most significant contemporary dance festival of the Helsinki area.

Moving in November brings international artists and performances to Finland and instigates discourse with its edgy programming. The festival is independently curated, topical and progressive. Its mission is to educate and inspire local audiences. This year’s programme consists of five works, including a world premiere. Venues are Stoa, Kiasma Theatre, Media Centre Lume and Espoo Cultural Centre. Warmly welcome!

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


Dance theatre MD’s Dancing Moominvalley visits in Shanghai | 27 Sep, China

Shanghai Children’s International Cultural Development Co., Ltd has invited Dance Theatre MD’s Dancing Moominvalley production to Shanghai in September. Altogether three performances will be seen in Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre on 26.-27.9.2015.

Dance Theatre MD first visited Shanghai in autumn 2010. A co-production with Harjula Production Ltd called Dancing Moominvalley @ Shanghai EXPO 2010 was featured in Finnish cultural program at Shanghai EXPO 2010. Also, the production received Shanghai EXPO 2010 Culture Award as the only one of the Finnish Pavilion Culture Program.

Dancing Moominvalley –performance is based on Tove Jansson’s book The Tales from the Moominvalley that opens the well known themes of her books: invisibility, otherness and difference. The dance performance is choreographed by Samuli Roininen and composed by Heikki Mäenpää. It was premiered in spring 2010 on Dance Theatre MD’s Hällä Stage in Tampere, Finland. The ensemble has toured considerably lot in Finland and abroad for instance China, Germany, Sweden, USA and Japan. In Shanghai, Dancing Moominvalley will celebrate its 200th performance on Sun 27.9.

For more information contact
Dance Theatre MD, Paula Haajanen, paula.haajanen(a)tanssiteatterimd.fi, phone +358 (0) 50 550 7019

Contact for interviews in Shanghai during the visit 22.-29.9.:
Harjula Production Ltd, Heikki Mäenpää, heikki.maenpaa(a)harjulaproduction.com, phone  +358 (0) 50 564 4777

Tbilisi international festival, Georgian Showcase | 5 – 8 Oct, Tibilisi, Georgia

Georgian Showcase was founded in the frames of Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre in 2009 and is one of the most important platforms in the Theatre Culture for international exchange:  theatre, new writing; movement and contemporary dance - new experiences and creative forms of making theatre. Georgian Showcase is a summary of last theatrical season; an annual festival presenting a selection of various and most recent performances from capital – Tbilisi and regions. 

See programme

METEOR 2015 | 15 – 24 Oct, Bergen, Norway

In the period October 15th - 24th 2015 the amazing METEOR-festival takes place in Bergen!

Check out the vibrant program on www.bit-teatergarasjen.no WELCOME UP NORTH!

Cooperation of Oblivia and ViaNegativa in Maribor festival | 17 Oct, Slovenia

The performance And So On And So Forth is the result of cooperation of an international performance company Oblivia and ViaNegativa. What connects both groups is that each of them fosters its unique form of performing, bound to constant reduction to the most basic performing language and strategies of staging. There are also great differences to be noticed between the groups, arising from different creative procedures. Six performers traveling since March on the route Helsinki - Ljubljana searching for stories, images, situations and developing a common performing language.

And So on And So Forth 17 Oct 2015 Maribor festival, Ljubljana

ENICPA Round Table Meeting | 22 - 23 Oct, Helsinki

Hosted by TINFO Theatre Info Finland (Finnish Centre of the ITI), Dance Info Finland, CircusInfo Finland and Theatre Museum. Main topics: The challenges of digitalization for performing arts information centres Information centres as supporters for capacity building of performing artists and companies

The European Network of Information Centres for the Performing Arts (ENICPA) is a network of specialists from Europe in the field of performing arts information, documentation and collections.

The aim of the network is to train these professionals by sharing expertise and knowledge. ENICPA firmly believes in building trust by getting to know each other by meeting on a yearly basis. Being a network of colleagues, ENICPA is a fertile soil for new ideas and for cooperation between the member organizations.

ENICPA consists of 22 member organisations from 14 different European countries.

ENICPA: Helsinki - Round Table Meeting

Doctoral dissertation: Theatre enters! | 23 Oct, Helsinki

MA (Theatre) Davide Giovanzana’s doctoral dissertation
Theatre Enters! the play within the play as a means for disruption

will be presented for public examination (in English) on Friday, October 23rd  2015 at 12 o’clock at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki (Auditorium 1, Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki, Finland).

Opponents: B.Sc, PhD Simon Murray (University of Glasgow) and PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher Teemu Paavolainen (University of Tampere). Custos/Monitor of the defence is Professor in Artistic Research Esa Kirkkopelto.

Jo Strømgren Kompani vistiting Aleksander Theatre | 23 – 24 Oct, Helsinki

Jo Strømgren Kompani (Norway) A Dance Tribute to The Art Of Football 23.10.–24.10.2015

The performance dwelves into the physical routine of football and elevates the aesthetic aspects of its insanity. It comments the difference between “common sports” and “eloquent arts”, likewise the concept of working-class football and upper-class ballet.

Initiated in early 1997, the performance has proven to be the first of its kind. All research on possible earlier dance performances based on football has given no result. Except for a Russian choreographer who made a part-evening ballet in the 1930’s where one of the dancers portrayed a football player. This piece was unfortunately never documented. Apparently it was done with classical technique to classical music.

Fri. 23.10. at 7pm
Sat. 24.10. at 7pm

Collaboration between Klockriketeatern, Q-teatteri and Ģertrūdes ielas teātris | 24 – 25 Oct, Helsinki  

Klockriketeatern proudly presents in collaboration with Ģertrūdes ielas teātris & Q-teatteri

at Klockrike Diana, Erottajankatu 7 B, Helsinki 24.10. at 19:00 and 25.10. at 15:00


Saving Mama by Finnish Quo Vadis theatre will be performed in Iran and Chile

Saving Mama by Finnish Quo Vadis theatre will visit 22nd International Theatre Festival for Children and Young Adults in Hamedan, Iran on 2-7th of October. Saving Mama will also be performed in Chile at Feria Internacional del Libro de Santiago 22 Oct – 8 Nov 2015.

International guest productions in Espoo City Theatre, Espoo


A performance with a strong visual impact, taken from the famous text by Jules Verne, that will be appreciated by adult and young audiences alike. The actors are literally "immersed" in a magical, dream-like setting with digital projections and latest-generation LED lights, and will take the spectators along with them in the discovery of the sea depths and of Captain Nemo's mysterious Nautilus.

Performance in Italian, subtitles in Finnish

Meta Theatre, Germany: MUSICOPHILIA
The experimental music theatre project Musicophilia lures its audience into exciting and poetic areas of perception. The correlation between music and its effects on our brain and our behaviour are artfully explored and put into newly composed soundscapes and imagery - pictures that occupy our mindspace on the boundaries of science. The borders between inner and exterior experience are also teased out in this kaleidoscope of light, music, language and movement. The inspiration and starting point for this journey is Oliver Sacks' book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

Performed in English and German, subtitles in Finnish

Cirque Alfonse, Canada: TIMBER

You can almost smell the fresh-cut pine logs and the sweat of lumberjacks as you watch them jiving to a traditional folk soundtrack. The young circus troupe has clearly drawn upon their country roots to find inspiration and energy for this unique creative project. The talented acrobats and musicians create a colourful, energetic scene where we can witness epic feats of agility and strength.

More info

PlayPenn - The 2016 Conference will be held in Philadelphia, PA from July 7 – 26

at The Drake our new home in Philadelphia PA.

Invited playwrights will have the opportunity to work with a director, dramaturg and Philadelphia-based professional actors over a 20 day period that allows for 29 hours of rehearsal and staged reading time along with time to reflect and write. The work will be preceded by a three- day pre-conference roundtable (July 5 - 7) that will help in laying the collaborative groundwork for the development time ahead.

Playwrights will have the opportunity to hear their plays read aloud in three distinctly different scenarios:

1) by collaborating artists during the roundtable
2) in a first public reading before an audience midway through the process
3) in a second reading at the end of the process before an audience.

The two public staged readings are intended as a part of the process giving playwrights an opportunity to measure the efficacy of their work and to provide an opportunity to gauge the work ahead.

PlayPenn provides travel, housing, per diem and a comfortable stipend to support writers during their time in Philadelphia. Application is free, completely digital and open to any full-length play that has not had professional production.

Read the complete guidelines and apply online!

This service continues to reach playwrights across the country who are looking for an experienced eye to assist them on a work in progress. You can find information about the process and rave reviews from writers on our website.


Aarhus 2017 (Denmark) - European Capital of Culture | Deadline 12 October

Aarhus 2017 invites new cultural projects to be part of our programme – 12 months of cultural experiences.

The organisers are developing a programme that is inviting, vibrant and experimental, challenging us to go beyond our comfort zone. A programme that uses art and culture to rethink.

With this OPEN CALL 2015, Aarhus 2017 is looking for projects with a strong international dimension and projects that stand out with highly original ideas and cross collaborations across art forms.

Projects must be realistic and show strong willingness to break ground, present the unexpected and have wide audience appeal.

The organisers are looking for exciting applications from the areas of contemporary music, dance, literature, performance, digital design, visual arts and architecture.

Deadline: 12 October

Find all details online

Invitation for Applications: Japan Foundation PAJ Grant | Deadline 30 October

The Japan Foundation's Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) for Europe programme provides financial support to European organisations that are planning performing arts projects related to Japan. PAJ Europe programme is comprised of the following two categories:

Touring Grant - assists the presentation process of Japan-related performing arts projects in which the Japanese artist is included in the tour at multiple locations in Europe, with emphasis on locations outside major capital cities where there is no regular exposure to Japanese performing arts.

Collaboration Grant - assists the development stage of a project in which Japanese and European artists work collaboratively in order to create a new work that has the potential of being developed into a Touring project in the future, enhancing the understanding of Japanese culture when presented to European audiences.

Eligible applicants for 2016-2017

PAJ is available to European organisations such as festivals, theatres, or arts promotion companies planning Japan-related performing arts projects in eligible European countries for non-profit purposes taking place between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2017.

Please note: This Grant does not support costs for projects that take place in Japan.

Important information: PAJ 2016-17 Guidelines (PDF)

Country of Applicant Organisation – Japan Foundation Office Location:
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom

The Japan Foundation, London
Tel: +44-(0)20-3102-5020
E-mail: paj(a)jpf.org.uk

Further information about PAJ


Finland is a true theatre land. The Finnish theatre network covers the whole country from South to North. Every year, Finns buy three million theatre tickets, which is a lot for a country with a population of five million.

Welcome to the theatres of Finland!

Best Regards, TINFO Staff


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

View the issues (e-publications):

Also available in TINFO web store:


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 | Winter 2015 will come out on 8 December 2015.