photo: Mikko Kelloniemi 2018

Janne Saarakkala (1972) is a Finnish Director, Author, Scriptwriter and Performer working for institutional theatres, free groups, radio theatre and independent productions. He is one of the founder members of Reality Research Centre (2001-) where he got into live art, site specific performances, immersive theatre, journalism and international collaboration.


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

1997 Master of Arts in Theatre and Drama,
Department of Directing and Dramaturgy, Theatre Academy of Finland
1991 Baccalaureate, Minna Canth High School, Kuopio

Artistic activities
2001- Charter Member, Director & Performer of Reality Research Centre, Helsinki
– Artistic Director 2018 – 2020
– Editorial Staff Member of TAITEEN PAIKKA (2020), ICE HOLE – the Live Art Journal (2015 -) & ESITYS -magazine (2007 – 2017)
– Artistic Research Leader with Pilvi Porkola in 2007
– Chairman of Administrative Board 2003 – 2006, 2015 – 2016
2015-2019 Artistic Programmer for Riihimäen Teatteri
2009-2011 Theatre Director in Lappeenranta City Theatre
2005-2011 Charter Member of @work Network, European Performance Research Project
1999-2000 Artistic Director of Ylioppilasteatteri (Student Theatre of Helsinki)
1997-2000 Charter Member & Director of Kallio Theatre, Helsinki
1990-1991 Member of Kuopio Student Theatre

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

Group prizes
2017 Theatre 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
2014 Cultural Magazine Quality Price for Esitys-magazine by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture
2010 TINFO-prize for Communicating Theatre for Esitys-magazine by Theatre Info Finland
2010 Honorary Award for Esitys-magazine in Quality Magazines Competition of The Association for Cultural, Scientific and Advocacy Magazines, Kultti
2008 Third 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
2002 Theatre State Prize for Reality Research Centre

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

Other works
Exhibition Text Writer. An exhibition celebrating the centennial of Association for Amateur and Professional Theatres in Finland. Theatre Museum, Helsinki; Finnish Labour Museum, Tampere
2015-2016 JUSSI’S LAST TAPE – waypoint report no.1
Video installation. Director & Cameraman. Reality Research Centre
* Eskus – Performance Center, Helsinki 2015
* Myymälä2 Gallery, Helsinki 2016 -> recension
* Ars Auttoinen, Padasjoki 2016 -> arvio