Kickstart week ahead!

After the summer break rehearsals of Janne Katajan Riihimäki (JKR) will continue at Riihimäen Teatteri next week on Wednesday. Soon we’ll be promoting the performance in Riihimäen Asematapahtuma, singing a new Riihimäki song composed by Samae Koskinen among other things. Premiere of JKR is ahead on 14th of October. So, still some time to research and try things before making final decisions!

One can’t say the same about 24H Pori project that I’m going to participate as a director on Saturday September 2nd at Lainsuojattomat festival in Pori. In 24H Pori 6 playwrights, 6 directors and 24 actors have only 24 hours to come up with 6 new short plays from scratch. Saturday evening at 7 pm they are performed in front of the audience. I’m excited to be invited! And the list of participants is impressive. Check the list & more here and read the article by Satakunnan Kansa.

The 24 Hour Plays concept was created in New York in 1995 and the version in Pori has been arranged annually for five years now.

Lainsuojattomat (“Outlaws”) is a cosy festival for Finnish independent theatre scene. I’ve been there every now and then since 2002 with several productions, sometimes as a director, performer, journalist, panelist – not to forget the times as a festival slave and a festival sweetheart.

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Tainaronin ihanat naiset Kolina van den Berg, Seela Sella ja Kati Outinen julistekuvassa 1997. Kuva: Ari Keränen, Yle

Tainaronin ihanat naiset Kolina van den Berg, Seela Sella ja Kati Outinen julistekuvassa 1997. Kuva: Ari Keränen, Yle

Leena Krohn: TAINARON

Radioteatterin valiouusinta vuodelta 1997 lähetetään YLE Radio 1:seltä kahdessa osassa:

osa 1/2 su 23.7.2017 klo 15
osa 2/2 su 30.7.2017 klo 15

Osa 1/2 kuunneltavissa Yle Areenasta 23.7. – 22.8.
Osa 2/2 kuunneltavissa Yle Areenassa 30.7. – 29.8.

Tainaron vie kuulijan matkalle omalakiseen todellisuuteen, kaukaiseen maahan, jossa mikään ei ole aivan kuin omassamme. Tainaronin kaupungin asukkaat muistuttavat enemmän hyönteisiä kuin ihmisiä, mutta heidän edesottamuksensa ovat syvästi inhimillisiä.
Kuunnelma seuraa ulkopuolisen saapumista Tainaroniin ja avaa unenomaisen kaupunkimaiseman muukalaisen silmin. Tainaron on fantasia, unelma, houre ja painajainen.
Tainaron (1985) on Leena Krohnin läpimurtoromaani ja suomalaisen surrealismin merkkiteos.

Teksti: Leena Krohn
Sovitus ja ohjaus: Janne Saarakkala
Tekninen toteutus: Jaakko Jämsä
Rooleissa: Kolina van den Berg, Kati Outinen, Seela Sella ja Mikko Korsulainen
Tuottaja: Mauri Ahola

Kuunnelman hyönteismäiset äänitaustat loivat Teatterikorkeakoulun näyttelijät vuosikurssilta 1994-1999 puheilmaisun lehtoreiden Ritva Koivusen ja Malla Kuuranteen kanssa. Mukana mm. Olka Horila, Vuokko Hovatta, Sesa Lehto, Jussi Lehtonen, Satu Paavola, Panu Vauhkonen.

Tainaron-kuunnelma on ensimmäinen osa kaksiosaisesta kuunnelmasarjasta Et ole paikassa vaan paikka sinussa. Toisen osan, nimeltään Käytävä, sovitti ja ohjasi Jani Manninen useammasta Krohnin romaanista.

Helsingin Sanomien arvio 23.7.2017.

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In July Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE will replay my radio adaptation of Tainaron (1985), a famous Finnish novel by Leena Krohn. I directed it for Radio Theatre in the very beginning of my career in 1997. While doing it I was finishing my thesis in Theatre Academy.

I have always liked the way Tainaron turned out even though, in hindsight, some moments in it are slightly incomprehensible. Still, the leading actresses, Kolina van den Berg, Kati Outinen and Seela Sella, do amazing work, the music dramaturgy is just perfect and the weird but wonderful backround noises are made by a class of actor students. Some sounds I recorded myself at the country side and in early mornings of Helsinki, when the city is empty and silent.

Tainaron is a series of letters from a woman living in an uncanny city of Tainaron inhabited by insects. Otherwise the city resembles Helsinki almost exactly.

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Wedding cake rehearsal

IMG_4158 (1)

Angela, Leo and Viesturs in the heat of the fight about freedom. Photo: Paula Koivunen

Yesterday we were rehearsing a cake fight, a scene that’s becoming central in Normal Cake, Please performance. Tomorrow evening it’s time to show a selected audience what have we been able to come up in ten days in Copenhagen. I’m so happy that Agate Bankava, Taisija Frolova, Modris Opelts and Rudolfs Gedins from ARA Dance Company are with us because they are such amazing young professionals and very nice people to work with!

photo: Paula Koivunen

photo: Paula Koivunen

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Normal Cake, Please

Viesturs, Leo and Angela messing with a cake. Is it normal? photo: Valdis Broze

Viesturs, Leo and Angela messing with cake. Is it normal? photo: Valdis Broze

What is normal today and are we free? Besides all the practicalities, these are the questions I’ll be thinking hard with Nina Larissa Bassett and Ivo Briedis in Normal Cake Workshop in Copenhagen the next couple of weeks, and we are not alone. Four dancers of Latvian Dance Company Ara will join us and PhD Pilvi Porkola and set & costume designer Paula Koivunen will be there too!

Normal Cake, Please is a staged wedding party dealing with current issues of political, sexual and personal freedom from Nordic perspectives. It is a liberating site-related performance by theatre professionals from Denmark, Finland and Latvia. Produced by Uneasy Listening Society (DK) in cooperation with dance company ARA (LV), Nordic theatre festivals, practising churches and LGBT activists. Subject to take place in Riga, Helsinki and Copenhagen 2018-2020.

Check the previous Normal Cake post.

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Jussi’s Last Tape session no. 14



This rainy morning Jussi Johnsson and me went to film the 14th session of Jussi’s Last Tape in Vallisaari, old military island on the coastal waters of Helsinki that was opened to the public last year. Even though it’s sort of a wild place everything is well thought through for a demanding customer; marked out routes, (at least) two coffee shops and a bar plus guided bike tours to the prohibited area of the island. Because of the bad weather guides were idle and very chatty but we only needed some coffee, otherwise we managed to navigate ourselves to Kuninkaansaari (an adjacent island) that has a tiny beach with beautiful sleek rocks by the water.



If we stay alive, there will be 18 more sessions, 18 more locations and 18 more years to go until this video project is finished. Last summer, when we had the first waypoint report of the project in Ars Auttoinen exhibition, we decided to continue until Jussi celebrates his 70th birthday. That’ll be in 2036. Some way to go, eh? Today we thought of compiling the next waypoint report (No.2) maybe in 2020…


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On All Fours photos from last Saturday

All you eleven brave people who went on your hands and knees for future generations, thank you! Your energy moved me. I was also quite positively surprised by the warm response from the passerbys. It was such an unforgettable marathon of 1,5 hours!

All photos by Mitro Härkönen.


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On All Fours for Future Generations on May 13th

In the 90th anniversary party of Helsinki Student Theatre last autumn I met two colleagues with whom I crawled the streets of Helsinki on all fours ten years ago. It was a result of Reality Research Centre workshop, a new form of public demonstration. Back then we crawled for striking nurses, asylum seekers and victims of climate change.

Me and my colleagues thought that today there’s more reasons to drop to your knees than ever. After a brain storm meeting in January we came up with a plan to crawl for future generations.

Personally, I think of my nephew when I think of future generations, and the old question of what kind of world we are leaving to our children and to our childrens’ childeren and so on. In terms of ecology, equality or solidarity, the future prospect is grim. If you feel the same, please read the invitation below and join us!

The event is on Facebook.

Jussi Johnsson on all fours for victims of climate change. Photo: Jörn J. Burmester

Jussi Johnsson on all fours for victims of climate change in 2007. Photo: Jörn J. Burmester


Open invitation.

On sidewalks in the heart of Helsinki we crawl on all fours for future generations on Saturday 13th of May from 1pm to 2pm.

What do future generations need from us right now?

In order to survive and thrive they need renewable energy, equal share of resources, education and solidarity that encompasses all lifeforms. And they need it urgently.

For these reasons we are on all fours.

We fall on our hands and knees at 1pm at Three Smiths Statue and crawl through Aleksanterinkatu Street to Senate Square. There we greet the main building of University of Helsinki, Helsinki Cathedral and Government Palace. Perhaps someone from these institutions will join us or cheer us on. Then we make a round trip to greet The House of Nobility, Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and Embassy of Sweden. The journey ends in Virka-galleria in City Hall where Helsinki City representative will greet us.

Sign up or ask more: weonallfours(at) or Facebook

Or you can also just join us at any point of the route and stop when ever you feel like it. Besides kneepads we recommend crawlers to wear trousers and gloves that can get dirty and torn.

On All Fours For Future Generations is arranged by Tuomas Tulikorpi, Janne Saarakkala and Reality Research Centre in cooperation with Friends of the Earth Finland, The Finnish Nature League and Dodo.

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p.s. I’m very happy our event coincides Global Divestment Mobilisation 2017.

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Digital Stage of Riihimäen Teatteri

My dear colleague Maria Oiva is running a digital stage of Riihimäen Teatteri this year. It’s called #digiteatteri. Yes, the project is actually called Digital Theatre but I like to see it as one of the stages. Like there’s a door to the theatre, there’s also a digital gate. Most importantly, it’s not marketing the performances but a work of art in itself inspired by what happens in the theatre (and what could happen). It is a research of the relationship between what’s live and what’s recorded or distributed digitally. Take a look of Maria’s hilarious avatar CEO Maria Virtanen Korhonen in action at the reading session of Janne Katajan Riihimäki, the performance I’ll soon start directing :-)

Every Friday, there’s a new Maria Virtanen Korhonen video in the YouTube channel or a podcast of Maria (as herself) and a guest discussing performances of Riihimäen Teatteri in SoundCloud. Besides this Maria is active in Twitter and Instagram. #digiteatteri web page collects all posts here!

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From New Work to beaking bread

Bread no.1 by Halinen, Nevantaus, Pellinen, Saarakkala, Wikström

Bread no.1 by Halinen, Nevantaus, Pellinen, Saarakkala, Wikström

In the last quarter of 2017 Reality Research Centre will sift from the glamorous (or horrendous) New Work to basic, hand-made work. We’ll be beaking rye bread in Helsinki Art Museum and anyone is invited to bake with us. While baking we’ll discuss work as it is now and what lies in the future. All bakers can take their own bread home.

It’s Work 5.0: Bread.

Now, is it art or is it just plain bread? Besides explaining the sift, this is what I ponder in my recent Reality Research Centre blog post.

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