Janne's self portrait

Janne Saarakkala (1972) is a Finnish Director, Writer and Performer with a broad experience in both traditional and experimental ways of making performances, particularly documentary theatre and immersive performances. Besides working for theatres, free groups, independent productions and radio, he is also one of the founder members of Reality Research Center and a published writer.

50-vuotishaastattelu, HS 16.7.2022

Contact: janne.saarakkala@kolumbus.fi


Puhuva pää / Talking Head, stream of consciousness solo performance since 2001.


1997Master of Arts in Theatre and Drama
Department of Directing and Dramaturgy, Theatre Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki
Minna Canth High School, Kuopio

Major positions

2001—Charter Member, Director & Performer of Reality Research Center, Helsinki
* Artistic Director 2018—2020
* Writer and Editorial Staff Member of Taiteen paikka (2020), Ice Hole (2015—), Esitys (2007—2017)
* Artistic Research Leader with Pilvi Porkola in 2007
* Chairman of Administrative Board 2003—2006, 2015—2016
2015—2019Artistic Programmer for Riihimäen Teatteri, Riihimäki
2009—2011Theatre Director in Lappeenranta City Theatre, Lappeenranta
2005—2011Charter Member of @work Network, European Performance Research Project
1999—2000Artistic Director of Ylioppilasteatteri, Helsinki
1997—2000Charter Member & Director of Kallio Theatre, Helsinki
1990—1991Member of Kuopio Student Theatre, Kuopio

Confidental posts

2011—Chairman of youth theatre project Nuori Näyttämö Advisory Panel
2017—2022Member of Theatre Museum delegates
2019—2020Chairman of Eskus—Performance Center Aministrative Board
2016—2020Member of Dance Theatre Minimi Administrative Board
2010—2014Member of National Council for Theatre
2012Member of Baltic Circle—International Theatre Festival Advisory Panel
2008—2013Member of Union of Theatre Directors and Dramaturges Finland Administrative Board
2002—2006Vice Chairman of Theatre Centre Administrative Board
2000—2004Vice Member of PAND—Artists for Peace of Finland Administrative Board

Group prizes

2022Jätkäsaariteko Honorary Award for Teater Viirus, Jonna Wikstrom and Janne Saarakkala by Jätkäsaari-seura & Jätkäsaari-Ruoholahti Magazine
2017Theatre of the Year 2017 Prize for Riihimäen Teatteri by The Assiciation of Finnish Theatres
2015"Kiitos kotimaisesta näytelmästä" Price for Nuori Näyttämö youth theatre project by Finnish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild
2014Cultural Magazine Quality Price for Esitys-magazine by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture
2010TINFO-prize for Communicating Theatre for Esitys-magazine by Theatre Info Finland
2010Honorary Award for Esitys-magazine in Quality Magazines Competition of The Association for Cultural, Scientific and Advocacy Magazines, Kultti
2008Third Prize in manuscript competition of Finnish Institute of Occupational Health about "changes in working life during the last 200 years". Prize texts: Lure—Exhibition of Infinite Possibilities (Pilvi Porkola) & Portrait of a New Worker (Janne Saarakkala), Reality Research Center
2002Theatre State Prize for Reality Research Center


2012—Part-time Teacher in directing, radio fiction, workers' theatre and live art in Theatre Academy, University of the Arts, Helsinki
2011Teacher in “Crash Course in Site Specific Performance” at Turku University of Applied Sciences, Theatre Studies, Turku
2006Teacher in “Writing for Stage” -course, Open University, Theatre Academy, Helsinki
2005Tutor in Directing. Theatre Academy, Helsinki & Arts Academy at Turku Polytechnic, Turku
2001—2003KOMteksti project for developing and promoting new Finnish drama; part-time Dramaturge, Workshop Director (2001) and a Personal Dramaturge (2001-2003). KOM-teatteri, Helsinki

Other works

2020Kansa elää näyttämöllä!
Exhibition Text Writer. An exhibition celebrating the centennial of Association for Amateur and Professional Theatres in Finland.
* Theatre Museum, Helsinki, 2020
* Finnish Labour Museum, Tampere, 2020
2015—2016Jussi's Last Tape—waypoint report no.1
Director & Cameraman. Video installation. Reality Research Center, Helsinki.
* Eskus—Performance Center, Helsinki, 2015
* Myymälä2 Gallery, Helsinki, 2016
* Ars Auttoinen, Padasjoki, 2016recension arvio

Image: Self portrait 2020