Theatre in Finland – Now
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Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) received an impressive 28 applications from the field of theatre, all hoping for the chance to be involved in developing the internationalisation of theatre and performing arts. The three-year MOTI programme aims to produce artistic production models that attract new audiences to performances, thus lengthening their life cycles.
The following five were selected for the MOTI internationalisation programme for groups and pairs: Hirvanen ja Valkeapää, Jalostamo², Oblivia, sadsongskomplex:fi and W A U H A U S.
Maija Hirvanen and Juha Valkeapää have had long careers in Finland and internationally and are also two of the regular artists in the Helsinki’s Baltic Circle festival. Now they are combining their special areas of expertise and creating their first joint work.
Jalostamo² is a theatre group, made up of actor Anna Lipponen, lightning designer/ scenographer Petri Tuhkanen and producer Jaakko Lenni-Taattola, which is currently working with the renowned Estonian Theatre NO99.
The unique Oblivia performance company is already known in many European countries. The group, which is almost 20 years old, is aiming to create a large, international co-production in 2020, its anniversary year.
sadsongskomplex:fi, which was set up by playwright and director Jari Juutinen and actor Liisa Sofia Pöntinen, has received another invitation to perform at Festival OFF d'Avignoniin, has toured extensively in Russia and has performed at Edinburgh Fringe, for example.
Multi-disciplinary W A U H A U S has launched a new type of collective working method for producing performances. The collective is aiming to build an international network of co-producers, enable longer-lasting cooperation, attract new audiences and in this way lengthen the life cycle of works.
During the selection process for the MOTI programme, TINFO sent some of the applications for assessment by foreign experts. Ragnheiður Skúladóttir is the artistic director of the LÓKAL international Theatre Festival in Iceland. Max-Philip Aschenbrenner has worked in festival management in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Daniel Blanga-Gubbay curated the Belgian Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Arts sector activist Ruth McGowan has just been appointed Director of the Dublin Fringe Festival in Ireland.
The name of the programme, MOTI, comes from the Latin word motus, which means motion. MOTI helps theatre and performance arts to move outside of Finland’s borders. MOTI also refers to motivation, which increases in importance particularly when theatre makers decide to go abroad to earn a crust. A burning desire, i.e. motivation, is needed when you set off with your art into the highly-competitive international markets for performing arts.
What is the competitive situation on the European market for performing arts?
There are many excellent festivals in Europe, all searching for works that are the perfect fit for their curatorial remit and for their audiences. Each festival has its own character and idiosyncrasies, just like each work of art. If you can communicate clearly and authentically about your work and your ambitions, collaborators and people who share your sensibilities will find you.
What is required from theatre groups that want opportunities to perform internationally?
I believe that if you take care of the art, the art will take care of you. So, work passionately and with rigour on the ideas that compel you as an artist. Don’t rush. Hold a steadfast commitment to your impulses. Make the best possible version of your creation. When you put the work first, everything else will follow.
You read the plans of the groups that applied for the MOTI programme.
What types of skills do you think the Finnish artists and groups displayed?
What impressed me most was the thematic ambition detailed in each application. Each body of work proposed was rich in ideas, had a strong sense of identity and a steady forward-momentum.
Ruth McGowan spoke to Sari Havukainen, communication manager at TINFO Theatre Info Finland
Little and large. Jalostamo², a small theatre group from Helsinki, and Tallinn-based NO99, with its hugely-successful performances in Estonia and internationally, are working on a performance together. This co-production will launch Jalostamo²‘s three-part series, Immigration nation. The first part is called Ship of Fools (Narrien laiva/Kihnu Jõnn), and the name refers to the archetypal story where people are on a journey away from home and back again.
In spring 2018, when the rehearsals started, Jalostamo²’s artistic director and actor Anna Lipponen spoke about the background to the series that is under production:
Mobility can mean so many things: physical movement, migration, nomadism, emigration and immigration, refugees, foreigners and also mental mobility, such as the changing of concepts, a process in general.
In the case of Jalostamo², mobility also extends to the artistic content and form used to produce the piece. TINFO’s MOTI internationalisation programme, which Jalostamo² has been selected for, will help with the development of this model.
Even before this cooperation with NO99, the members of Jalostamo² had been on the move towards Estonia. Finland and Estonia share a kinship between their languages and a short boat trip over the Gulf of Finland. Anna Lipponen performs in Handless (Kädettömät), which she co-produced and wrote with the Estonian Drama Theatre. She also formed a natural connection with artistic director duo Ene-Liis Semper and Tiit Ojasoo and the rest of the theatre’s ensemble at NO99 through the process of working together. Finnish performance design has a good reputation internationally and Jalostamo²’s other artistic director, lightning designer/scenographer Petri Tuhkanen, has also worked with NO99’s artists over the years.
The premiere of the nomadic Ship of Fools will be in September 2018, after which the performance will remain in NO99’s programme and then set off for other countries from there.
Earlier this year, the cooperation between Jalostamo² and NO99 received a monetary reward from the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund. NO99 received the esteemed Europe Theatre Prize for new theatrical realities in Rome last December.
Sari Havukainen, TINFO, 21 May 2018
Creating a work of art can be like a game that involves an element of chance. Choreographer/performance artist Maija Hirvanen and voice and performance artist Juha Valkeapää let their first joint effort develop at its own pace.
Provisionally titled Life as We Know It, the work will not be completed until 2020, and from the start it is intended for an international audience. Hirvanen and Valkeapää were selected for Theatre Info Finland’s (TINFO’s) MOTI programme, which assists Finnish drama and performance art practitioners in finding new audiences for their work on the international market.
TINFO had a chat with the two artists, which turned out to be a jump into a boundless ocean.
Hirvanen and Valkeapää both happen to be reading Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition. The fact that the book found its way onto their reading lists at this point in the artistic process is an instance of the unconscious collective connections (synchronisations) that form a key source of material for Life as We Know It. Empathy, fear, love, forgiveness, rhizomes, bacteria, water and the ball as an object are among the many tokens brought to the game by the two artists. They do not aim at an artistic consensus; on the contrary, disagreement is a necessary ingredient for the porosity of the micro-soil of motifs.
Maija Hirvanen and Juha Valkeapää have long-established careers in art that have involved collaborations with both Finnish and international partners. They are also familiar with each other’s work, which makes this the perfect moment to create a piece together:
Now in middle age or thereabouts, our thirst for life has in a new way reached a new pitch for both of us. So our starting point in this project is nothing less than the incomprehensibility of life itself. It’s like looking life in the face, with infinite care.
And when you very carefully examine – and for long enough – some specific point, particle, cell or perhaps a movement or a sound, you can suddenly discover an entire world. There’s no room for hurrying in that process. Taking time is also something that Ruth McGowan, Director of the Dublin Fringe Festival, stresses when she was reading applications for the MOTI programme: Work passionately and with rigour on the ideas that compel you as an artist. Don’t rush. Hold a steadfast commitment to your impulses.
Hirvanen and Valkeapää have good reason to take life apart, down to its very atoms:
Life as We Know It points toward the idea that our knowledge and experience of life, of what it is or can be, is always incomplete. We are searching for a state of not-knowing, a state where we avoid fixed ideas in our thinking, being and working.
‘Time is too valuable to be wasted in hurrying.’ This aphoristic notion underlies the plans for Hirvanen and Valkeapää’s piece. The artists put it to me in plain terms: they insist on taking their time and refuse to hurry. I find myself suspecting that they are talking about an essential component of the piece itself:
Yes. Taking time and being slow is a method and an attitude that defines how the work will turn out in the end. Time is such a valuable thing, and with valuable things you must both give and take time. Stopping can be a way of finding your way forward again. Being slow also makes you calm – most of the time. When you take things slowly, you find yourself needing less. But being slow and being unhurried is not the same thing. Although we work without hurrying, we are both dynamic in our temperament, which has many sides.
In their peak years and in a work culture that stresses efficiency and performance, Hirvanen and Valkeapää like to create places and situations that are devoid of all sense of hurrying. It may not be easy, but they think it is vitally important:
When you lose the sense of hurrying and slow down, it allows new aspects of ideas, creatures and people to emerge because there’s room for it. Sometimes slowing down creates a space for incredible intensity and dynamic change. Time and space arise from each other. Slowness can also be seen as a quality that opens up the potentiality of time.
My understanding of the two artists’ thinking is that plurality cannot be forcibly compressed into a coherent whole. Creating a piece together results in neither one nor two. It is a manifold that can give rise to another manifold.
Sari Havukainen, TINFO, 23 May 2018
Livsmedlet duo, a part of the Grus Grus theatre company, continues its international tour this year performing in 7 different countries, in 15 different festivals in which total of 60 shows. The show Invisible Lands won the festival's director's prize for Invisible Lands at the Banialuka Festival in Poland.
The performance by Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren contributes an original point of view on the theme of refugees. In a play on scale the performers’ bodies turn into landscapes through which miniature figures are traveling. Invisible Lands discusses the gap between the image of refugees in the media and the physical experience of being on the refuge. The gap between “us” and “them”.
This year the performance visits festivals in France, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Slovenia and Norway. Next year the tour will continue in France and Germany and will also expand to Spain, Belgium, Scotland, Denmark and Canada.
Invisible Lands will be shown next time on May 31 and June 1 in Paris at Theater Le Mouffetard as a part of the Festival SOI.
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.
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.
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.
The main festival theme is ‘15 1/2`
Artistic Director Kamran Shahmardan
The FiiF Stage brings players of all over the world together. The FiiF stage not only brings the best improvisers on the planet, but shines a light on teams from communities the world over! With jaw-dropping performances by Global Headliners, Local Favorites, and International Ensembles, the FiiF Stage is a place for everyone.
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.
Regional Dance Centre of Eastern Finland ends its spring season with the annual Paikallisliike Festival, which presents a comprehensive overview of the latest works by dance artists from Eastern Finland.
Jyväskylä Festival - Jyväskylän Kesä has strived throughout its history to stay ahead of its time and try new things. At the core of our multidisciplinary art programme are classy and interesting performances best experienced on the spot.
Programme of this year’s Full Moon Dance Festival is unusually international. There are seven works from abroad, and eight works from Finland in the programme. Guest performers come from 13 countries: Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Congo, Germany, Iraq, Luxemburg, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Syria and Taiwan.
Tampere Theatre Festival is the oldest and the largest professional theatre festival in the Nordic countries, serving as a display window for the finest Finnish and international productions. The festival programme includes 21st century drama, classics, circus, dance theatre and street theatre.
The 50th edition of Tampere Theatre Festival takes place 6th–12th of August 2018 around the city of Tampere.
Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, organised annually in late summer. The festival’s aim is to make art accessible for all. The programme line-up features classical and world music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts as well as a range of urban events.
– The Night of the Arts is next arranged on August 23rd 2018.
Puppet Theatre Sampo is organizing an international puppet theatre festival for the second time this year. Stay tuned for SAMPO 2018, coming in August!
The festival program will be announced later in the spring. Again we will offer performances for both children and adults, visual theatre and music as well as puppetry. 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 venues nearby.
Our partners and collaborators in the festival are Helsingin Juhlaviikot / Helsinki Festival, The City of Helsinki, Teatteri Avoimet Ovet, Päivälehti Museum among others.
Check out the program of the first international puppet theatre festival SAMPO 2017 at nukketeatterisampo.fi/sampo2017.
Follow our work and find out what is to come for the new festival on Facebook: @sampofestivaali!
The 17th edition of ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. Internationally celebrated, award-winning artists from around the world will present projects engaged with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming.
Pori Theatre Festival / Lain§uojattomat, the vibrant theatre festival for independent professional theatre companies, is turning nineteen and will be electrifying the city of Pori for 9 days from the 1st to the 9th of September. The festival kicks off with the 6th edition of 24 Hour Plays: Pori which brings together over 40 extraordinary artists - writers, directors, actors - to create 6 short plays in only 24 hours.
At the core of this year´s edition are some of the most stimulating shows seen in Finland in the past year. In addition, Quo Vadis, the nomads of Finnish theatre, have been invited to create their own show case for the festival and they bring three shows to the festival.
The festival´s international guests come from Ireland, Australia and Sweden.
Our audiences can experience bold, wild and adventurous performances that will ignite, excite and delight! For nine days Pori is the mecca of theatre where creativity knows no bounds!
The vibrant and ever evolving cultural life of Jyväskylä continually revives the expression of the city, while keeping a tight grip on the here and now. This can be seen in how new approaches are appreciated with genuine interest in the arts.
The 2018 programme presents several of this dance-year’s most interesting new performances.
Northern Platform #1
june 6th at 10.00-17.00
How to co-operate? Experiences and best practices from cross-disciplinary and international projects and tools for artistic collaborations and regional networks.
Northern Platform is an encounter of performing arts professionals from the Northern parts of Nordic countries. It is a one-day event for mutual sharing, discussion and collaboration. Northern Platform aims to provide tools for regional collaboration in the field of performing arts and the event is targeted to artists and other art professionals who are interested in co-operation in the High North region.
Northern Platform #1 provides new angles to networks and regional collaboration. The invited speakers are experienced artists, developers and representatives of performing arts networks and organisations from the Nordic countries. The day's schedule will consists of speeches, case presentations, panel discussions and mutual sharing. Northern Platform #1 is an opportunity to improve one's own capacity for regional collaboration, wider the perspective of Northern performing arts and find new partners for the future collaborations.
Invited speakers: artists Thomas Eisenhardt (DK), Juha Hurme (FI), Catherine Poher (DK/FR), Ida Løken Valkeapää (NO), researcher Sami Keto (FI), producer and expert of Arctic collaboration Inger-Marie Lampe-Lupton (NO) and others.
In Northern Platform #1 you will also hear more about a recently established Northern Network for Performing Arts. The participants will also have an opportunity to influence on the concept and activities of the network and create new inclusive practices.
TINFO – Theatre Info Finland and the Tampere Theatre Festival together with New Play Finland will arrange encounters between international curators, festival directors, dramaturges and Finnish performing arts artists and playwrights on 10th -11th August 2018 . On 11th August we will concentrate on new, Finnish playwriting. You will have the chance to meet young artists and playwrights and see performances.
We would like to invite you to come and experience our Future is Present programme. We would be proud to introduce you to the work of some of the most intriguing and exciting artists, thinkers, and activists of the Finnish theatre scene. Their work is challenging, honest, and funny as hell.
Performances and events in the Future is Present programme
Thursday 9th Aug
16:30 Cock Cock… Who’s There?
by Samira Elagoz
19:00 Turkka kuolee
by Ruusu Haarla & Julia Lappalainen
Friday 10th Aug
11.30-14.00 Meeting with young theatre artists
Amanda & Olga Palo, Ruusu Haarla & Julia Lappalainen, Ami Karvonen & Anni Puolakka, Milja Sarkola
15:00 Turkka kuolee
by Ruusu Haarla & Julia Lappalainen
by Amanda & Olga Palo
Saturday 11th Aug
10:00 -12:00 Meeting with playwrights and dramaturges (in cooperation with UNO)
Pipsa Lonka, E.L. Karhu, Marie Kajava, Iira Halttunen, Laura Valkama, Otto Sandqvist
12:00 -13:00 Informal meetings, discussions
13:00 Nälänhätä by Marie Kajava – stage reading
14:00 Kilari by Amanda & Olga Palo
19:00 I Would Prefer Not To
by Milja Sarkola
Sunday 12th of Aug
15:30 I Would Prefer Not To
by Milja Sarkola
For further information please contact:
TINFO – Theatre Info Finland / Director Hanna Helavuori, hanna(a)tinfo.fi
Performing HEL – Showcase of Performing Arts in Helsinki 31.8.-2.9.2018.
In the words of Topi Lehtipuu, director of Helsinki Festival: "The best of Finnish performing arts showcased in one weekend – 5 performances, 5 demos and 22 pitchings with Kristian Smeds, Saara Turunen, Tero Saarinen, Race Horse Company, Kalle Nio etc. and Theatre NO99 (Estonia) and Jalostamo2 (Finland) co-production, organized by the Finnish National Theatre, the Helsinki Festival and the Helsinki Swedish Theatre – during the Helsinki Festival action."
THEATRE PROGRAMME – please save the dates
Fri 31.8. and Sat 1.9.2018 at 19:00
Tainaron, directed by Essi Rossi (Finnish National Theatre, small stage)
Sat 1.9. (afternoon – tba)
Axel, directed by Heini Junkkaala (Finnish National Theatre, Lavaklubi)
Sat 1.9. at 20:00
Ship of Fools, co-production by Jalostamo2 (Finland) & NO99 (Estonia), live streaming from Tallinn!
Sat 1.9. forenoon – Playrape by Anna Paavilainen (producer: Klockrike), WHS
Sun 2.9. forenoon – Phantom of Normality by Saara Turunen (producer: Q-Teatteri), WHS
Sun 2.9. afternoon – Lehman Brothers by Davide Giovanzana, FNT’s Lavaklubi
Pitching (schedule tbc):
Frozen Images by Kristian Smeds (FNT)
Old Masters by Minna Leino (FNT)
Amor Fati by Anna-Mari Karvonen and Anni Puolakka (Kiasma Theatre)
I would prefer not to… by Milja Sarkola (place tbc)
Metamorphosis by Carl Knif (place tbc)
Episod, a new Lars Norén play as a co-production with Helsinki Swedish Theatre
International Performance Art Workshop BODY - ENVIRONMENT - SOUND
The workshop is organized and facilitated by Energia Akatemia in collaboration with Art Center Antares. Location is Sippola, Finland (200 km east from Helsinki). Duration is 5 days.
About the program: During the workshop, we will have lectures and hands on explorations. We will work in the facilities of Antares and in the selected locations outdoors. Some special places to be explored in the area are; Pitkäkoski (river) Hamina, Repovesi National Park, Sippola landscape. We will work with methods such as active listening, sound walks, field recordings, embodiment, vocal and physical storytelling and drifting in spaces.
PUBLIC EVENT, OPEN SESSION WILL BE ORGANIZED 22.7.2018 IN THE ART CENTER ANTARES YARD 2PM.
Lecturers and tutors confirmed:
Visual artist Antti Ahonen, Helsinki, Finland
Wellness educator, yoga instructor Ammeri Kankaisto, Joensuu, Finland
Environmental and performance artist MA, pedagogist Meri Hietala, Sippola, Finland
Writer-Curator Irena Mutt, Barcelona, Spain
Media artist and Design educator MA Ranjit Menon, Helsinki, Finland
Local guides from Antares, Sculptor Tiiu Anttinen & Comic artist Pasi Rantala, Sippola, Finland
The workshop price is 200 euros, including shared accommodation 4 nights, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), lectures, evening programs (such as sauna) and transportation for group excursions.
Application period is 1.5.2018-30.6.2018. To apply, please write motivation letter, include your CV, and website/photos of your previous artwork.
email with title “BODY-ENVIRONMENT-SOUND ANTARES 2018” to info(a)energiaakatemia.com
Art Center Antares website www.galleriaantares.fi
This year’s Full Moon Dance Festival features an especially extensive array of courses. Young, adult, and senior dancers alike are welcome to attend, and the level of applied teaching is suitable for first-timers and amateurs as well as professionals.
The teachers are dancers at the top of their field, all internationally acknowledged pedagogues and artists. In addition to Finnish instructors, teachers are also arriving from Spain, Germany, Taiwan, Switzerland, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The courses tie in closely with the festival program. Attendees will have the chance to see their instructors’ own performances live, offering a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of both the guidance received and the teachers’ artistic methods.
The course registration ends on 31.5.2018.
Read more: www.fullmoondance.fi/FMD2018/en/courses
The registration to our OFF-fringe programme and Nocturnal Happening is really heating up but still are looking for wonderful shows to our 50th year anniversary festival!
OFF Tampere is a fringe programme for any professional or amateur artist or group who wish to perform at Tampere Theatre Festival at their own expense.
If you are interest to participate, please read more about OFF Tampere and fill the form in our website.
The Nocturnal Happening is cross-artistic and carnivalesque event 8th of August, produced by dozens of parties – various organisations, associsations and performers – under the Tampere Theatre Festival’s umbrella.
The registration closes 31st of May.
We are creating a database of professional non-Finnish born Artists’ and culture workers, the aim of this database is to help and promote their work, as a tool for giving visibility and facilitate to Institutions on the sector to find experts with this specific feature.
How does it work?
We open the application period twice a year (2018: 01-31 May and 01-30 November)
The applicants would be selected by the current board.
We will promote the database among our partners* and other institutions or programs consulting us for non-Finnish born artists’ and culture workers.
How to apply?
Fill this form including your CV (until 31.5.2018).
If your application is accepted you will receive a confirmation email to fill your profile during June 2018.
How should I prepare my CV?
The best format to send your cv is as a PDF file. Don’t forget to include in it your contact information email, website and the city of residence. You can take a look at this article on how to make a CV (on visual arts) as one example of what to include or how to order it.
If you are a visual artist attach your portfolio to your Cv in a PDF file, 5 images will be enough.
If you are a musician, sound artist or a composer be sure of including links to listen to your works.
Yes. The database is meant for artists’ and workers on the art field (literature, music, circus, visual arts, performing arts, producers, etc)
No. The database is open to members and no members.
No. You will receive our newsletter to be informed of opportunities and activities (which you can cancel at any time) but you will not be affiliated with the association as a member. You can find more information about membership here.
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?
Princess Hamlet says: We remember those princesses who kill themselves, who leave / on time / forcefully / go down in flames. / The rest / they are nothing but women / who weren't capable of living / no on e remembers them, they are / erased by wind and sand from the pages of history until no trace remains. / This will not happen to me.
Princess Hamlet by E.L. Karhu. Translated into English by Kristian London.
Take a look at New Plays from Finland for Princess Hamlet by E.L. Karhu and other selected plays.
Finnish performances available for touring.
Theatre Info Finland (TINFO) awards grants for translations of Finnish plays. In year 2018 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 2018.
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.
Recent translations of Finnish plays supported by TINFO Grant or drama agencies with links to the drama agencies for performing rights.