TINFO e-News | Theatre News from Finland | Summer 2017








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Sonya Lindfors: It is people who need protection, not artists 

Sonya Lindfors, choreographer and artistic director, continues her diverse activities to tackle the violent experience of othering and racialisation. Lindfors’s work has already had an impact on the closed spheres of discourse and thought in Finnish dance and performance culture.  Lindfors received the Theatre Info Finland Award 2017 for these achievements.  
#StopHatredNow, an event platform that is currently being organized by many participants, is creating practical tools and tackling racialization, cultural monopolization and othering.   Lindfors’s Noble Savage will be performed at the Tampere Theatre Festival. 

Finland was a country with closed structures, racialisation and cultural monopolisation – a breeding ground for all kinds of thoughts on otherness. However, something has changed in recent years.  What is this? What has Lindfors been doing and working on? 

“People come first” 

“I am interested in the whole ‘art comes first’ and ‘art is sacred’ and ‘artists are good people’ discourse, where art, without question, goes before everything else. It is hard to get to grips with the structures or to even be able to discuss them, as artists are already guilty of being violent towards themselves in the name of art. I want to break the reel where artists believe ‘I am a good person’, as if artists are automatically always ethical. 

“I want to break down so-called neutralities. This type of artist image is not an actual state that has been around since the dawn of time. 

“Why do artists need protection? Isn’t it more important to protect people? People come first! I am more interested in people. I am glad to say I am a bad artist. 

“I always want to return to the concrete level, the everyday life of art and the life that we live.  I try to deal with the question of being able to live side by side and in equality and the things we need to do to achieve a state where we can actually stand each other. I think art should deal with these primary questions far more.” 

Butler meets the essence of blackness and whiteness 

In her piece that will be completed in 2018, Sonya Lindfors is considering the essence of blackness and whiteness. 

“Michael Jackson was able to go from blackness to whiteness and get to its essence. I am trying to work out whether Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity can also be used to bring out the fact that skin colour is not just an essence but an ideological matrix. This naturally interests me as I inhabit blackness and whiteness. Is it always necessary for us to understand the world through interfaces and negations and, in this way, enforce dichotomies that rule each other out?” 

Lindfors believes there should be many tools for the problems of representation, for example. Would it be possible to utopianise and see blackness and whiteness as gradual shifts, variations of the same colour, in the same way that there used to be six genders? 

“We need to be able to see behind our constructed thought and classification systems and deal with the big structural problems affecting Western art traditions. The Western art canon already contains a huge amount of cultural monopolisation. We continue to forge ahead on this basis and the discourse ends with the freedom of art. Art is related to the experience of its sanctity and protected nature. We assume art is sacred or neutral and we assume it needs protection.” 

“We need workshops, training rings and other arenas where we can carry out the discourse. At UrbanApa we have developed a procedure where we first state the framework, for instance, that the piece we are working on is ‘anti-misogynistic’, ‘anti-homophobic’, etc, and then we negotiate with artists. Sometimes an artist may not want to get involved. It is a bit like a checklist. If you want to work on an anti-racist project then you should go through these questions, check, check, check…” 

This is not unreasonable 

“There is no way back. As unpleasant as it is for all of us, the diversification of the world makes things more complicated. We need to renegotiate things. These questions are not inert lumps. This also inevitably means that we will make mistakes, but our attitude should, at least, change to one of ‘I don’t know much about this and I am always going to make mistakes’ from our self-righteous ‘I am an artist and I always mean good’”. 

It is not unreasonable that with this pretty much completely white ball, an artist might have to give away one cake from his 500 cakes. 

Sonya Lindfors was interviewed by Hanna Helavuori.

Jari Juutinen’s international train is travelling in both directions

Jari Juutinen is currently the most in-demand Finnish theatre director and he is also doing the most international tours. This year, performances directed by Juutinen are being shown almost 70 times in total and only five of these are in his home country. In summer 2017, he is heading to the Avignon Festival and Edinburg Fringe.  

How have you reached this point, playwright and theatre director Jari Juutinen? 

“I just go where the wind takes me,” grins Jari Juutinen. He meets people at performances and these meetings lead to invitations. He met Marja-Leena Junker at the premiere of Minä olen Adolf Eichmann (I am Adolf Eichmann) at the Vanha Juko Theatre in Lahti. At the time, she was managing the Théâtre du Centaure in Luxembourg, and she decided she wanted to direct a French version of the play. The play directed by Junker was also performed at the Avignon OFF Festival and it also went on a small tour of France and Belgium.   

There was another significant meeting at the Black and White Theatre Festival in Finland in 2013. This time Juutinen met Avtandil Varsimashvili, director and artistic director of the Liberty Theatre. Through an interpreter Varsimashvili told Juutinen that “the smell of art is emanating from this place and from you.” This is how the two kindred spirits found each other and now Juutinen has directed plays in Georgia twice and the monologue, Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe, directed by Juutinen was performed at the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre. Juutinen will be heading back to Georgia in June and September. He is currently working on Anton Tsehov, which is a souvenir from his travels. 

Next up is Avignon and Edinburgh Fringe

The next leg is in July in Avignon, the largest theatre festival in France. The Sad Songs from the Heart of Europe monologue will be performed in French about twenty times on the Les Murmures de Sonia – Crime et châtiment stage of the Théâtre Au Bout Là-bas. Liisa Sofia Pöntinen will play all the roles. The play will be performed at the Maribor theatre festival in Slovenia, at least, in October. It will be performed in Finnish with Slovenian subtitles.  

In August, the whole theatre group will perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The actors in I am Faransis W., which is written and directed by Juutinen, are Liisa Sofia Pöntinen, Outi Condit and Aleksi Holkko. Georgian actor Ani Aladashvili will stand in for Outi Condit at ten of the performances in Edinburgh, which proves how good the international relationships are. Aladashvili played Julia in the play Julia! that was directed by Juutinen and performed at the Liberty Theatre. “The train has now started travelling in both directions. This is what I was aiming for,” he smiles.

Jari Juutinen was interviewed by Jukka Hyde Hytti

View also this article: 

I am Faransis W. goes to Edinburgh Festival Fringe


Theatre rape monologue Play Rape at the Theaterformen festival in Hannover, 17–18 June 2017

The monologue Play Rape by the Finnish actor Anna Paavilainen will be performed at the Theaterformen festival in Hannover. The play deals with rape in the theatre and will run from 17 to 18 June 2017.

Audiences in Finland saw Play Rape, which is based on the professional experiences of a young actress, as a feminist pamphlet that rattles the structures and gender norms of theatre in a unique way. Anna Paavilainen, who wrote and directed the play, performed the monologue to full houses on the Main Stage of the Finnish National Theatre. Following her performances at the Tampere Theatre Festival, she was invited to Dresden, London and San Francisco, among other places.

Play Rape was first performed in Germany in 2016 at Off Europa in Dresden, but this time in Hannover the play will performed with German subtitles for the first time. The play was translated into German by Eeva Bergroth.


Metamorfoosi Theatre presents Anatomy of Fear in Chicago

Metamorfoosi Theatre's performance Anatomy of Fear has been invited to a physical theatre festival Physical Festival in Chicago, Illinois. In the beginning of June the performance visited a visual theatre festival NuQ Treff in Tallinn, Estonia. The show premiered at the international mask theatre festival MasQue in October 2015, in Helsinki.

Anatomy of Fear is a performance combining physical theatre, puppetry, neuroscience, live sound effects and video. The actor and theatre director Davide Giovanzana places himself on the stage with a human size puppet manipulated by two puppeteers. He uses his personal life experience as the catalyst of the show. The multi-artistic perfromance is inspired by Francis Bacon's paintings and fear's presence in our everyday lives. 

Performances at Physical Festival, Stage 773, Chicago, USA 

June 8th at 9pm
June 9th at 9pm
June10th at 9pm

Nature Theatre of Oblivia premieres in Stuttgart 

Nature Theatre of Oblivia is a live performance and an augmented reality (AR) work by Helsinki based performance company Oblivia co- produced by Theater Rampe and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany. The premier will take place in 24 June 2017, other performances will be seen in Stuttgart 25-28 June. 

The project will be exploring our relation to nature in a technologically charged world. Nature Theatre of Oblivia will be using performance, and augmented realities – AR, Arilyn technology creating a two-fold experience where the live-performance is one part and the smart phone performance using the Arilyn app another.  

Founded in 2000 in Helsinki, Oblivia is a unique force on the Finnish performance scene. Oblivia merges the boundaries of genres, nationalities creating a performing arts universe of its own. From the beginning the core members have been working together for a common performance language and creating the “Do what you saw” method.  

Oblivia has finalised the five-year series Museum of Postmodern Art in 2016 and before that the trilogy Entertainment Island. Oblivia tours internationally. 

Nature Theatre of Oblivia  

We want to be trees. We want to serve as carriers of time. 
We want to be mushrooms, fungus deeply rooted. Rhizome. 
We are nature. We are the object of nature. 
We are the point where nature and technology meet. 
Nature Theatre of Oblivia works with the impressions, experiences and
desires that nature offers us, as a concept as well as a place 
to be, such as a forest in all its familiarity and uncannyness. 
The sky is just there.  

Premier 24.6 Theater Rampe Stuttgart. Performances 25-28.6 2017  

Working group: Meri Ekola (light), Alice Ferl (sound), Tua Helve (costumes), performers: Timo Fredriksson, Anna–Maija Terävä, Annika Tudeer. Augmented reality: Otso Kähönen - Arilyn. Production: Marina Andersson-Rahikka, Heidi Backström. 

Finnish artists invited to Santarcangelo Festival in Italy  

The pieces of three Finnish artists and an artist group will be performed at the Santarcangelo Festival in Italy this summer. The Museum of Nonhumanity will open on 23 June 2017 at a local cinema, as it is the only location in the town that is large enough the house the exhibition. The piece is by author Laura Gustafsson and artist Terike Haapoja, and is part of the History of Others series, which is an art and research project started in 2012. The utopia series artists, Gustafsson and Haapoja, have received the Finnish State Prize. 

Samira Elagoz is a Finnish/Egyptian artist with international reach who is currently based in Amsterdam. Her piece that will be performed at Santarcangelo is called Cock, cock… Who’s there? The subjects of the documentary performance are violence, power relationships and sexuality. 

The WAUHAUS collective from Helsinki will open a physical meeting place for the festival visitors. The aim of the Play House is to get visitors to come in contact with each other through dancing, or even some light wrestling, for example. 

The Santarcangelo Festival, held in the town of Santarcangelo in north Italy in the region of Emilia-Romagna, is an international performing arts event. The festival is being directed for the first time by Eva Neklyaeva, who has lived in Helsinki for many years and was the festival director responsible for renewing the Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival. Under Neklyaeva’s direction, the art festival has become a series of varied meeting platforms for visiting artists and the active local audience. 

Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) is one of the partners involved in the Finnish artists’ visit to Santarcangelo.  


Wolves in the Heart of St. Petersburg 

The performance Wolf Safari will take place at the summer festival of arts "The Access Point" on August 4 and 5, beginning at 19:00 on the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater (Fontanka River embankment, 49A). The Finnish artists are Antti Halonen, Eija Ranta, Mikko Lehtonen and Minja Mertanen. They will train their Russian colleagues to take care of the participating audience which will explore St. Petersburg as wolves. Howling and hunting. 

The Wolf Safari is a participatory wandering performance created by the Finnish Other Spaces collective. It premiered at the Urban Species / NORDWIND festival in Kampnagel Hamburg, Germany 2014. Since then, Wolf Safari has been performed in Italy at Il Giardino delle Esperidi festival in summer 2016, and in Finland in October–November 2016 at Baltic Circle -festival, where the Russian festival director Filipp Vulakh was attending the performance. 
TINFO – Theatre Info Finland is coordinating a Finnish–Russian theatre  project Savotta-DvA, which supports the artists’ mobility and is a partner of Wolf Safari. 
Tickets are available at tochkadostupa.spb.ru.   


Let’s save the world, one night at a time – Nightschool is a new international concept

It is never too late to rethink and see things in a new light. Convened by theatre director Essi Räisänen, Nightschool is a night school that offers time to think about the future, change and the impending crash. The night-long journey into the unknown is a durative performance in which everything we know is subjected to a re-evaluation.

“Nightschool deals with the end of the world as we know it. To me, the series of conflicts and crises caused by climate change are very important. The refugee crisis has just been the first symptom of this," says Essi Räisänen.

“I feel that we do still have a chance for a future if we manage to change the way we think about other species and what constitutes a good life.”

The Nightschool Group of artists will invite the audience to take part in the first night as part of Stage Festival Helsinki in August 2017. Following performances in the Finnish summer night, Nightschool will be developed into a concept for international festivals.

The Nightschool workgroup includes professionals from various performative arts: directors, choreographers, visualists, actors, dramatists and sound designers. They include: Olli Kontulainen, Milla Martikainen, Sara Melleri, Maija Nurmio, Pauli Riikonen, Ulla Raitio, Essi Räisänen and Sinna Virtanen. Production: Stage Festival Helsinki and the Live Art Society.
Contact: Director Essi Räisänen / essi.raisanen(a)gmail.com

I am Faransis W. goes to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

UK PREMIERE | Part of the From Start to Finnish showcase | A Kafkaesque retelling of Woyzeckinterrogates the treatment of refugees, terrorist suspects and the powerless

I am Faransis W. – a play by Jari Juutinen – will be performed at Edinburgh Festival Fringe which is the world’s largest art festival. I am Faransis W. will be performed 19 times, at Old Lab, Summerhall, Aug 6 – 27.

Applying Georg Büchner’s text to a post-truth world, I am Faransis W. sees the son of a Finnish carpenter flung into a racist TV quiz show that takes away both his freedom and identity. In a theatrical kaleidoscope that mixes TV game show, interrogation and a Kafkaesque nightmare, it asks what will become of the world if we allow our day-to-day prejudices blind us, and if we define our neighbours by colour, religion, nationality. Finnish director Jari Juutinen uses live action, livestreaming and projection to take the social critique of Woyzeck and apply it to a world where anyone can be labeled and treated as a terrorist.

Jari Juutinen is known in Finland for the strong social politics that runs through his work. In I am Faransis W. Juutinen invokes Finnish myths, immigrants drowning in the Mediterranean and Woyzeck’s own tragic watery ending in a searing critique of society’s treatment of the underprivileged and the day-to-day prejudices that divide us. Juutinen’s work is presented in the UK for the first time in co-production with From Start to Finnish, who are bringing Finnish work to the Fringe for the seventh consecutive year. From Start to Finnish productions have received critical acclaim in Edinburgh and gone on to tour China, America and several countries in Europe.

Jari Juutinen said, “This one I had to write because I am confused. I am confused as I do not recognise the country I am living in anymore, I do not recognise the Europe I am living in anymore. What I see is like a brutal version of one of Kafka’s novels: the characters, we (or maybe I myself), are wandering around in a nightmare-like landscape where the incidents seem to have logic but a hidden one. We still have Guantanamo and other secret camps where they try to prevent terrorism by torturing innocent people, and by doing so they in fact feed terrorism – and all this is done in the name of freedom and democracy. We have the growing nationalism and people drowning in the Mediterranean like dogs because we do not sell them tickets for our aeroplanes." 

Theatre director and playwright Jari Juutinen is the founder of sadsongskomplex:fi, a Finnish international theatre ensemble. His works have toured in Russia, USA, Cuba, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. As well as in Finland, Juutinen has directed in Russia, Luxembourg and Georgia, and his plays have been translated into five languages. Juutinen has been honored with a 5-year state artist grant (2016-2020).  

Produced by: sadsongskomplex:fi & From Start to Finnish

I am Faransis W., at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, is part of the Finland Centenary Programme.

Significance of performance art in the era of ecological crisis?

What is the significance of performance art, and what possibilities does it offer in this era of ecological crisis? What does expanding the functionality of performance and the social sphere beyond mankind mean for the performance and its subjectivity?  
In her doctoral research, Tuija Kokkonen investigates our relationship to the non-human through a performance event. Our deficient ability to understand the long-term consequences of our actions has led to a new era where the impact of human activity has the same effect on Earth as a geological event. Kokkonen studies how a performance may expand the time perspective and experience of duration through non-human actors and their durations. 

The basis for the doctoral research is the performance series Muistioita ajasta – esityksiä ei-ihmisten kanssa ja ei-ihmisille (2006–) (Memos on time – performances with non-humans and for non-humans), in which Kokkonen has worked with animals, plants and weather in creating a practice and theory for inter-species performance. Kokkonen presents an idea of weak (human) activity enabling the activity of non-humans and redefining the authorship, performativity and spectatorship of a performance. The performance is processed as a gathering of species, in which the interaction of weak actors and non-human actors as well as the ethics of hospitality create a new kind of polis. 

Tuija Kokkonen is a performance artist, researcher and teacher. Since 1996 she has been creating memo performance series that investigate relations of place-specific “nature”, environment and time from which questions of performance and ecology spring. She is active within ecological and post-human performance research and art both in Finland and abroad.

An interview with Tuija Kokkonen in TINFO News – Theatre and Ecology (e-publication)


Hiljaisuus-festivaali - Silence festival | 7 - 10 Jun 2017, Kaukonen 

Hiljaisuus-festivaali - Silence festival gathers the most interesting performances and artists from Finland and abroad to Lapland. The multidisciplinary program of art and culture is spread in and around Kaukonen village. At the Silence festival you will experience art, beautiful nature and a very special atmosphere.

Contemporary classical music and contemporary circus combined with the unusual surroundings form the essence of Silence Festival. The river Ounasjoki running through the village creates a special atmosphere and most years it also has a role in the festival program.

The festival was born from an idea by circus artist Sakari Männistö and producer Joonas Martikainen to fill the Kaukonen village with high-level performing arts. The Silence Festival has been multidisciplinary since the beginning. It brings the most interesting performances and artists from Finland and abroad to Lapland. The festival is a platform for surprising encounters to people, Laplandish nature and different artforms.

On your arrival to Kaukonen, the community hall will help you with everything you need. See you there! 


 Hangö Teaterträff | 8 – 11 Jun 2017, Hanko 

Hangö teaterträff is an annual festival where performing arts are presented, experienced, discussed and developed. The festival is one of the main events within the Swedish-language theatre of Finland, connecting the local, international, traditional and experimental. A gathering of performing arts in the small town of Hanko in the unique archipelago of the southernmost point of mainland Finland. 


14th Black and White Theatre Festival | 7 - 12 Jun 2017, Imatra 

The main festival theme – ‘All the world`s a stage`

In 2017, the year marking the 100th anniversary of Finnish Independence, 14th International Theatre Festival of Black and White presents the gala programme, which includes theatre, circus, street performances, contemporary dance shows, children theatre, drama, and cinema, of corresponding themes.

Finlandi100 will gather the greatest national and international artists in Imatra for a big joint celebration. Koskenparras will host street theatres, and there will be many other happenings around the town, such as circus and theatre performances, dance shows, workshops and seminars, for people of all ages to celebrate the anniversary. The whole family can join the celebration of Finnish 100 centenary year: from babies to their grandmas and grandpas. The Theatre Festival of Black and White will take place in Imatra in June 2017. The theme of this year is “All the world’s a stage”. The artistic director of the festival is Kamran Shahmardan.


Jyväskylä Festival | 5 - 11 Jul 2017, Jyväskylä 

Jyväskylä Festival has been organised since 1956. The multi-arts event is the province’s most important festival attracting more than 30,000 visitors annually. 

Jyväskylä Festival 2017 offers interesting free program for five days. 

The festival offers various performances of nonverbal theater. Jyväskylä Festival is in cooperation with London International Mime Festival which is the oldest festival in the field. More than hundred masters of nonverbal theater has been brought to Finland by Jyväskylä Festival over the years. 

Jyväskylä Festival is in cooperation also with Spanish event Fira de Teatre Tàrrega.


The 6th Annual Finland International Improv Festival | 13 – 17 Jun 2017, Tampere

FiiF has shows! LOTS of shows! So many shows!!!! ALL FiiF Participants get to perform at least twice. Instructors, Performance Teams, Solo Artists. All of them. And our world famous Mixer Shows put players on stage with new friends from around the world!

One of our favorite things about FiiF is bringing players of all levels together to learn, rehearse and perform together! We offer workshops from some of the most talented and experienced leaders of improvisation from around the world who can’t wait to spread their knowledge.

FiiF is a place for global improvisers to gather together and have a lot of fun. The FiiF creates a great atmosphere in which to network, laugh and play together. From our Ceremonial Sauna Evenings, to nights on the town, FiiF is proud of its community of international improvisers.


The Full Moon Dance Festival | 23 – 26 Jul 2017, Pyhäjärvi 

The Full Moon Dance Festival was organized for the first time in 1992. The festival was hosted by the town of Pyhäjärvi, which had been a lively location for dance for over thirty years. The unusual enthusiasm for dance in this municipality of 7000 inhabitants is known as the 'Pyhäjärvi Miracle'. Almost all the major figures in modern dance in Finland have come here to perform and teach. In 1998 the festival was accepted as a member of Finland Festivals, which includes the country's leading cultural festivals. In 1999, Finland Festivals nominated the Full Moon Dance Festival the Festival of the Year.

More information

URB 17 – Urban Art and Culture Festival | 2 – 10 Aug 2017, Helsinki 

URB is an annual urban art and culture festival that presents the influence of ever-changing urban and youth culture on different forms of contemporary art. The festival is produced by Kiasma Theatre

URB makes space for incompleteness, enables experiment and connects communities, artists and actors. The festival events spread out from the museum and the black box to various urban spaces, asking to whom and on what terms urban art can exist. 

The festival program includes premieres by young Finnish makers, international guest performances as well as residencies, presentations, artist talks and workshops that illuminate the processes of creating art. 

Kiasma Theatre is part of Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Finnish National Gallery. 


Tampere Theatre Festival | 7 – 13 Aug 2017, Tampere 

Tampere Theatre Festival will be organized for the 49th time on 7 – 13 of August 2017. 

During the festival week, the Main Programme features 19 visiting theatre ensembles.  The Main Programme is selected by the Festival’s Artistic Team: Milja Sarkola, Miko Jaakkola and Erik Söderblom. 

This year’s lineup features a hefty dose of multidisciplinary productions. Also many of the performances deal with the human need for contact. How do communities form, and who will fit in? This year is dedicated to the ignored, the deported, the othered, the forsaken and the forgotten. It’s all about stories that are rarely found at the core of a nation’s identity. 

Read more about the performances here.

SAMPO 2017 – International Puppet Theatre Festival | 29 Aug – 3 Sep 2017, Helsinki 

Puppet Theatre Sampo is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and organizing a puppet theatre festival, SAMPO 2017, 29.8.-3.9.2017 – for the first time! 

The festival program offers performances for both children and adults, visual theatre and music as well as puppetry. Performing groups are invited from Finland and abroad. A festival club is open in the evenings at Sampos Fairytale Café, offering interesting artists for adult audiences and a place for the audience and artists to meet. 

Performances will take place in Puppet Theatre Sampo in Erottajankatu, but also other theatrical spaces nearby: Teatteri Avoimet Ovet, Annantalo, Savoy Theatre and Päivälehti Museum. 
The festival program will be announced later in the spring. 

More information

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival | 18 – 24 Sep 2017, Kuopio

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 19th and 24th September 2017 in Kuopio, Finland. The festival has built a programme of projects around water as, this year, it has partnered with Our Water-Conscious Land, a project that proposes Finland, in its centenary year, should work as a global advocate for clean water and its preservation and conservation.   

”We thought about water and leisure, travel and exploration, about trade, industry and market forces, fresh water, salt water, grey water. We thought about the majority of the Earth’s surface also being the most abundant substance in the human body. And we thought about boarders, nationality, immigration, migration and displacement; daily events in the world’s oceans ask this of all us with an urgency not experienced for many years”, artistic directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan say in their curatorial statement. 

During the festival week, besides the artistic programme, we will also hold the ceremony to announce the 2017 recipient of ANTI Festival international Prize for Live Art which has quickly become one of the world’s most exciting cultural prizes. And between 14th and 20th September, we will be hosting the second Future DiverCities Lab in Kuopio where four international artists will be exploring how digital technologies can augment socially engaged arts practices. 

In additon to the projects presented below, the festival programme also includes works by artists and groups such as Mark Pozlep (IS), Joseph O’Farrell (AU), River Lin (TW), French & Mottershead (UK), Volna (RU) and many others. Updates coming up, subject to changes! 


TIP-Fest 2017 – Finnish Puppetry Showcase | 15 – 19 Nov 2017, Turku

The first ever Finnish Puppetry Showcase by Aura of Puppets will be held in November 15-19 2017. The Showcase presents the stars of Finnish puppet theatre and offers a broad variety of shows from poetic solo pieces all the way to huge puppet theatre spectacles.

We invite you to discover the power, emotion and creativity of the most talented puppet theatre artists working in Finland today! 

Stay tuned! 

More information


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. 

Case: 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? 


New Plays from Finland

“An old lady embarks on her last conquest, on the stream of life with her two companions, sex and death. Marriage feels like a prison to her, and the stream of life symbolises freedom. This old lady is a conqueror, she is almost like a mask, Casanova’s persona, someone careless who never gets hurt or gives in to jealousy or petty behaviour... But a persona can never mean true intimacy. We do not wear masks at home, the home is not in the stream of life.”   

Leea Klemola, a playwright and theatre director on her latest piece

Take a look at New Plays from Finland for Casanova, My Wife by Leea Klemola and other selected plays.


Touring Performances

Finnish performances available for touring. 


What's On Stage 

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



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

View the issues (e-publications): 

Also available in TINFO web store: 


TINFO Grant for translations

Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) awards grants for translations of Finnish plays. In year 2017 TINFO Grant can even be applied for the translation of subtitles.

We accept applications continuously. Grant decisions are four to five times a year. We aim to support international productions of Finnish plays.

Grants for published works or anthologies can be applied for from FILI - Finnish Literature Exchange.

Have a look at a selection of new plays: New Plays from Finland.

TINFO Grant total amount is 25 000 euro in year 2017.

Read more about the criteria and view the application form 
Recent translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant 

ILONA – Database of Performances 

ILONA is a Finnish theatre database. Theatre Info Finland and the Theatre Museum in cooperation created the online version of ILONA.  

Using the ILONA database, you can find all Finnish professional theatre performances from the 19th century right up to the present day.  

You can search information based on the name or date of the performance, theatre or playwright. You can also carry out searches on other team members.  

In addition to the actual Performance Search, you can use the Quick Search facility, where you can enter the name of a team member or a play.  


Theatre Map of Finland  

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!

Recent translations of Finnish plays

Recent translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant or drama agencies with links to the drama agencies for performing rights.

Recent translations of Finnish plays


Seminar: Regional Collaboration and Northern Identity of Performing Arts | 7 Jun 2017, Kittilä 

You are very welcome to participate in a seminar called Regional Collaboration and Northern Identity of Performing Arts organised at Silence Festival on June 7th in Kaukonen village in Kittilä. The seminar introduces performing arts organisations in the High North and forms of Nordic collaboration in the region. 

 Silence Festival is a meeting point for performing arts’ professionals in the Northern region and we are happy to invite you to the seminar and to our festival. Silence Festival wants to gather together performing arts’ professionals interested in regional collaboration in the High North. The seminar will be carried out together with partner organisations from Northern Norway and Sweden, Iceland and Greenland. The seminar is a first step towards a future collaboration in the Northern region among performing arts professionals. We invite you to share your visions for future collaboration in the region and more importantly to meet colleagues and find new ideas for the future collaborations in the seminar.

The one-day seminar program consists of expertise and experiences of Nordic collaboration and performing arts’ networks in the High North and introductions to some performing arts organisations in the Northern region. Experts of Nordic cultural collaboration and Nordic funding for the culture and arts will be sharing their experiences.The final section of the seminar will make an overview of the current state of performing arts in the North and create vision and  guidelines for future activities.

Silence Festival is an annual multi-art festival organised  in a small village of Kaukonen in Northern Finland. The festival program consists of unique performances, contemporary circus reaching out from the stage, newest Finnish classical music and multi-art concerts. This year the festival program consists of world premiere KWALK of a Finnish contemporary circus company Kallo Collective, unique performance Sivuhenkilöt/ Sidekicks that combines theatre and circus in surprising miljeu, performative concerts in the village and in a museum of Reidar Särestäniemi and much more. Please find out festival program on www.hiljaisuusfestivaali.fi.

The seminar includes lunch at the festival restaurant and admission to the festival opening event in the evening. The seminar will be organised with the support of Nordic Culture Point. If you would like to have a presentation of your organisation or of a collaboration project in the Northern region, please let us know beforehand. 

 You are warmly welcome to the seminar on June 7th in Kaukonen. You will find the seminar program as a separate attachment. 

Please register to the seminar www.hiljaisuusfestivaali.fi/program

Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research | 23 - 25 Aug 2017, Helsinki 

We welcome you to the 8th Nordic Conference on Cultural Policy Research, NCCPR 2017, held in Helsinki in the end of August (23-25.8). The conference theme focuses on questions around migration, nation, and the theory and practice of cultural policy.

The NCCPR is unique as a multidisciplinary meeting place where practitioners and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines can address issues regarding cultural policy, from standpoints which are relevant both to academic research and to the cultural sector.

The central questions of the conference address the new realities the Nordic countries face and the challenges of the future nordic cultural policy. Through the conference we aim to facilitate discussions on the roles of cultural policy in a time when trends such as globalization, increasing migration and changes in media and communication influence society and politics in new ways and create new roles for arts and heritage. 

The registration is now open - the registration form  

The conference fee is 50¤ for students, 160¤ early bird and 220¤ normal. 

It includes the cocktail reception on Wednesday, and lunches as well as refreshments during the coffee breaks on Thursday and Friday.

More information can be found in english on the website: http://www.cupore.fi/en/information/nccpr-2017

Information på svenska hittas på konferensens hemsida: http://www.cupore.fi/sv/information/nccpr2017

Together with the Unit of Cultural Policy in the University of Jyväskylä and other partners, we at the Centre for cultural policy research Cupore hope to see you in August!

Zen in the Art of Puppetry | 2 Sep 2017, Helsinki

This Master class focuses on the distinct relationship between performer, puppet and the audience and what links them together.

Starting point is the theory that the puppeteer is a service-provider, who attempts to communicate to the audience a specific idea, story or concept in order to entertain, educate, support and/or inspire. Participants will explore the tools and techniques at hand to best achieve this goal of communication.

A puppeteer attempts to present an object (called puppet), so it appears as being alive. He imbues it with a life force, by extending his energy into the object. Like the sword of a samurai or the violin of the musician, the puppet becomes an energetic extension of the manipulator. Where does the energy to perform a puppet come from, and how does it best transfer to the audience? An exploration of breathing, awareness, movement, and balance will help us find some answers.

This program is a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises intended to offer puppeteers a refreshing look at the philosophical backbone to their Art. Master class is in English, held by Bengd Ogrodnik, Worlds of Puppets, Iceland. Price: 110 ¤

More information



HIAP Residency Programme 2018, Finland | deadline 28 Jun 2017 

HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme is happy to announce an open call for residencies taking place at HIAP Suomenlinna and HIAP Cable Factory in 2018.

International artists are eligible to apply for residencies of 3 months and Finnish artists for a residency of 11 months. The residencies cover accommodation and studio space free of charge. The selected international artists will in addition receive a monthly working grant and a travel allowance.

HIAP Residency Programme focuses on contemporary art but is open for art professionals from other disciplines as well. The programme offers time and space for open-ended research and experimentation, without the requirement to produce finalized pieces or work.

Deadline: 28 June 2017 

Find all details online

Open Call: Porin Juhlaviikot 2017 | deadline 31 Jul 2017 

Porin Juhlaviikot is a free no-profit art event organized by artist association NYTE. The event will have it’s tenth festive appearence and it will be held from the 15th to the 17th of December 2017 at the Gallery 3h+k, Pori.  

Now, for the first time there will be an open call for artists. We are calling for beginners as well as more experienced artists and art groups to apply. The applicaple works are mainly performative art; be it performance, theatre, dance, circus, poetry, music, sound art or any combination of the aforesaid art forms. You can also suggest other kinds of works, such as light or video art, panel discussions, or even experimental art concepts, workshops, meta events, you name it. 

The program will take place inside the gallery or in the immediate vicinity, but you can suggest other places as well. The gallery will provide sound system, video projector and other av-equipments plus assistance. 

All artists will receive a small presentation fee plus travel expenses, as well as food and accommodation.  

How to apply:  
- The application closes in the end of july 2017  
- Describe your work or idea: the course and estimated length of the presentation, technical and material needs, space requirements, any artistic goals.  
- Keep the application text concise: Up to one A4.  
- If necessary you can attach pictures and/or video links to your application.  
- Include your CV.  
- You can also add a small-scale portfolio, a home page link, or a presentation text about your past artistic activity.  
- Submit the application as a one compiled pdf -file to porinjuhlaviikot(a)gmail.com  
- Any inquiries about the call or the event: porinjuhlaviikot(a)gmail.com 
- Chosen artists will be informed by the end of September 2017.


Call for Nordic-Baltic Collaborative Arts Projects | deadline 31 Jul 2017

The NordicBaltic Festival Platform (NBFP) is a platform created for festivals from all fields of art & culture in the Nordic-Baltic area. It aims to foster cultural cooperation in the region by enhancing the number and strength of connections, the capacity and visibility of those festivals. The Platform is open to festivals from all fields of art.

As one of the practical initiatives to foster artistic exchange, the NBFP has opened its 3rd call for cross-border collaborative projects. The initiative aims to bring together festivals for new and, hopefully, long lasting partnerships and to foster the exchange of practices and artistic ideas.

Application is open for all arts & culture festivals, but similarly the organisers encourage artists to reach out to their local/partner festivals to introduce together a collaboration proposal for festivals in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as Poland and Russian Federation from the wider Baltic Sea Region (BSR).

The eligible countries, both as project coordinators and partners, thus include: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Åland Islands, Greenland, Poland and the Russian Federation.

The selected projects will be offered the opportunity to attend the 2017 NBFP dual-city Conference taking place on 21-22 November 2017 in Helsingør/Helsingborg and present their projects to the regions’ arts & culture festival leaders for finding potential partners, developing further the project idea, and getting overall feedback, contacts, etc. In addition, the projects would be widely disseminated via various channels and they would receive support and counselling-mentoring from the NBFP Working Group members. All this would translate into increased visibility and audiences in the Nordic-Baltic and Baltic Sea region and several networking possibilities, all benefiting the applicants’ future activities.

Deadline: 31 July 2017

Find all details online

Poetry of Acting | 31 Jul – 5 Aug 2017, Italy

THE POETRY OF ACTING PART 3: EMBODIED VOICE 31 JULY – 5 AUGUST 2017 at Supercinema in Tuscania, Italy 

An interdisciplinary laboratory on the voice for professional artists in the performing arts. In our laboratory we will work practically with the speaking and singing voice in relation to breathing, movement and scenography applied on texts and songs in Yerma by Federico Garcia Lorca. The workshop is led by LumparLab Theatre Association in collaboration with Associazione Vera Stasi. The pedagogues are Grete Sneltvedt (AX), Silvana Barbarini (IT) and Ingvill Fossheim (NO).

More information (pdf)

Call for submissions for Summer Academy – MTPG | deadline 8 Jun 2017 

Call for submissions 
Music Theatre Platform Ghent 
Summer Academy (August 21st – September 10th 2017) 

Music Theatre Platform Ghent (MTPG) is a new initiative by four partners, all physically located at the Bijlokesite in Ghent. The partnership includes LOD music theatre (production house), Music Centre De Bijloke (venue), KASK and Royal Conservatory (School of Arts of University College Ghent) and SPECTRA (ensemble for contemporary music). All partners are involved in the international fields of contemporary music theatre and transmedial performance. Their ways of working within the scene are different yet highly complementary as organizational forces of the Music Theatre Platform Ghent. 

The Summer Academy involves a coaching of young makers, artistic teams and ensembles who are eager to develop an artistic idea within the field of contemporary music theatre and/or transmedial performance. The MTPG offers a coaching by highly renowned artists and teachers, and a professional new music ensemble with the technical and logistic support of a well-equipped production house and music venue. If you are selected to participate, the MTPG offers you a stay between 1 and 3 weeks in Ghent and a rehearsal space in one of the performance halls at the Bijlokesite

Deadline: 8 June 2017

More details online

Call for abstracts: Theater in the Face of War, Violence and Refugeeism | deadline 15 Jun 2017

International Conference: Contemporary Drama and Theater in the Face of War, Violence and Refugeeism
25 th-26th November 2017

Chair of Intercultural Studies in Central-Eastern Europe
The Laboratory for Drama and Theater Studies in Central and Eastern Europe
Applied Linguistics Department
University of Warsaw

The processes that occur in the contemporary world and that often take the form of military conflicts or are connected to the escalation of other types of violence, have become a challenge  for the international community, including the theatrical field.

Please submit abstracts (no longer then 1.500 characters), speaker's  details (name, surname and academic title) as well as the paper title to: konferencja(a)teatr-dramat-europejski.eu

Conference fee 100 EUR or 400 PLN. The fee will be used to cover the post-conference publication costs in the journal Studia Teatralne Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, provided that the academic reviewers give a favorable review.

Deadline for abstracts: 15th June 2017. The account number and the deadline for payment of the conference fee will be sent in the acceptance notification.

Academic Council of the Conference:
Professor Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska, PhD hab.
Andrey Moskvin, PhD hab.
Anna Korzeniowska-Bihun, PhD.
Oliwia Kasprzyk (PhD candidate)

More information

Open Call: ITF Skupi Festival, Macedonia | deadline 20 Jun 2017

Entering the second decade, ITF Skupi Festival invites the professional artists from all around the world to apply to this year's open call. ITF Skupi Festival 2017 will take place from 12th of October till 18th of October, on the stage of The Youth Cultural Center in Skopje. 

We are looking for high-quality, contemporary, and inventive performances which use the theater as a media for advocating changes within the society.  

ITF Skupi Festival open call for admission is open for professional theater groups from 20th of March till 20th of June. All selected participants will be announced by e-mail by September 2017. 

ITF SkupiFestival
Bul. Goce Delcev br.11 TC Mavrovka lokal 14 - prizemje
1000 Skopje, Macedonia


Residence Programme 2018, Kyoto Art Centre, Japan | deadline 30 Jun 2017 

Kyoto Art Center’s Artist-in-Residence Programme offers support to emerging artists and art researchers who wish to pursue creative activities in Kyoto. The organisers switch between hosting performing arts artist and visual astist every year. In 2018, the programme is open for performing artists and researchers. 


• Emerging artists and art researchers working in the performing arts sector (Dance, theater and music among others.), who have a well defined reason to work and research in Kyoto. 
* writers and cross-media artists can however apply 
• Applicants must:  
- Organise a public programme for Kyoto citizens during the residency. 
- Communicate in English or Japanese. 


• Accommodation during the residency period. [Maximum 3 months] 
• Studio for production and research at Kyoto Art Center. 
• Round-trip air ticket from residential area to Kansai International Airport or Osaka International Airport 
• Production and research cost: JPY100,000 (including tax).- for an individual or a group  
(not each member). 
• Publicity 
• Assistance by art coordinator. 

Deadline: 30 June 2017

Find all details online

International Summer School of Physical Theatre | 1-8 Jul 2017, Austria

professional dancers, choreographers, actors, directors, circus performers, movement practitioners. 


  • intensive practical training 
  • theatre biomechanics 
  • psychological gesture 
  • inner and outer physical action 
  • way from exercises to performance 
  • creative discussions  

Participants will get acquainted with the unique Ostrenko brothers method  


  • new tools and knowledge that enhance your creative artistic potential  
  • professional development for your career  
  • new friends and partners from all around the world 
  • new creative ideas and collaboration opportunities 

In a green heart of Austria at the territory of the XVth century castle surrounded by nature, fields and woods.  

How to get here? 
You can get there from the nearest international airports Graz, Vienna and Klagenfurt by train to Leibnitz Bahnhof. 

The working language is English. 

The group is forming quickly, spots are limited.

Apply now

Hermès Foundation: New Settings programme | deadline 1 Jul 2017

This programme is devoted to the performing arts and is directed both to live performance artists (of all disciplines) and to visual artists who wish to create for the stage. Indeed, collaborations between performing artists and visual artists are encouraged. 

It concerns hybrid performances with a predominant visual arts dimension, scheduled to be premiered between January and December 2018. 

The supported productions thus meet at a crossroads between writing and modi operandi, questioning the relationship with the public in an innovative way. Each year the Foundation accompanies several projects. These new works are by both emerging and established artists and can have a national or international scope. The field of performance art conceived for exhibition spaces, however, is excluded from the call for projects. 

The support the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès brings to these new productions is two-fold. On the one hand, the artists selected will receive financial aid for the production phase in order to help them complete their project. On the other, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès will offer them performance dates in the autumn of 2018 in the Paris region, in partnership with cultural institutions. 

Finally, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has built a partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française in order to present certain New Settings productions at the Crossing The Line festival in New York.

Find all details online

Open Call: IAPAR International Theatre Festival, India | deadline 31 Jul 2017

Call for Participation in the IAPAR International Theatre Festival

The International Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR) is happy to announce the Call for Participation for the second edition of “IAPAR International Theatre Festival” 
IAPAR International Theatre Festival 2017 will feature performances from across the globe, master-classes, as well as formal and informal interactions between artists from India & abroad. This festival is a first step towards a sustained effort in curating a festival which brings innovative performances which put ‘Actors’ at the centre of their productions to the city. The focus of the festival hence revolves around the ‘Actor’ taking centre stage. The festival will be hosted in association with the Indian Centre of ITI. 
This festival will take place in Pune, India, in November 2017. 

Send us an email on iapar.festival(at)gmail.com for the detailed application form or visit our website www.iapar.org/festival-2017 and download the application.

Call for Papers: Issue #17 of Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques  | deadline 1 Aug 2017

Issue # 17 (June 2018)
Special Issue Editor: Dr Vinia Dakari

Over the past decade there has been increased critical attention paid to the intersection of theatre and medicine; although the relationship between the two is far from new. Medicine and science, along with philosophy, religion and the arts, are the central to our society’s efforts to comprehend the mystery of being, to explain pain and to address mortality. Yet, unlike the metaphysical quest present in the narratives of religion, or transcendental philosophies, theatre and medicine share a fundamental preoccupation with what goes on between birth and death. 

Issue #17 of Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques  invites essays that focus specifically on contemporary medicine-related plays, performances and issues. For Baudrillard, “the characteristic hysteria of our times” is “that of the production and the reproduction of the real” and the production of “values and commodities.” With his words in mind, what does the fusion of theatre and medicine seek to address in a twenty-first-century context? The emergence of counter-narratives or the construction of realities? The value of multivocality or the commodification of reality?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Negotiating boundaries of illness and health; of life and death  
  • Staged vs. actual illness: content vs. form; assessing reception; the critic’s role  
  • The doctor-patient relationship  
  • Representation of medical topics, illness, and the hospitalized/suffering/dying body in theatre: sociopolitical, aesthetic and ethical considerations  
  • Popular theatre and illness: a contradiction in terms? Awareness-raising or profit-making enterprise?  
  • Body-as-machine, body-as-battlefield, the “biomedical gaze” and other metaphors: truths and myths of medicine as tackled on stage/in performance  
  • Theatre, medicine, technology: acting under/beyond the skin; exploring new aesthetic horizons; the technological sublime  

Length of papers: maximum 3.500 words (including notes and works cited)
Proposals: 1 August 2017
First drafts: 1 February 2018
Publication date: June 2018 

All proposals, submissions and enquiries should be sent to: viniadakari(a)yahoo.gr

Mobility First! ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative 2017

Cultural mobility, whether for work, co-production or participation in a seminar or residency, is integral to the practice and career of artists and cultural professionals in Asia and Europe. The benefits of such mobility are personal (e.g. building professional capacities, co-creating international work, broadening markets for one's work and finding new professional contacts etc.) but they also ensure public good (e.g. maintaining a heterogeneous world of ideas, increasing the diversity of the cultural content produced and consumed, fostering intercultural competencies, socio-economic benefits for local festivals and venues). 

However, securing funding to finance international travel (for touring shows, residencies, exploratory visits, collaborations etc.) remains a major challenge for most artists, particularly in the Asia-Asia and Asia-Europe contexts. In particular, ensuring balanced bi-directional (i. e travel from Asia to Europe as well as from Europe to Asia) and reciprocal (i.e. adequate funding for incoming and outgoing mobility) mobility remains a challenge. 

It is in this context that the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching Mobility First!, a new fund to support the travel of Asian and European artists and cultural professionals between Asia and Europe. 

Mobility First! – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative is being launched in April 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEF, which was established in 1997 as the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM*).

Find all details online