The 51st Tampere Theatre Festival
5–11 August 2019

Tampere Theatre Festival is the oldest and the largest professional theatre festival in the Nordic countries, serving as a display window for the most interesting and up-to-the-minute productions in Finnish theatre, and attracting leading international guests from all corners of the globe. Annually in the beginning of August the city of Tampere becomes Finland’s theatre capital as local and international performing arts troupes take over the city’s stages and squares.

Below you will find the contact information of Tampere Theatre Festival office and staff. You will also find a list of the members of the board and the artistic team.

If you are interested in taking part in the festival and you would like to propose a production, please click "how to apply".

The Facts & Figures section includes background information about Tampere Theatre Festival, as well as information about the different programme categories.

On the Accommodation section you will find information about local hotels which cooperate with Tampere Theatre Festival.


    Tampere Theatre Festival
    Tullikamarin aukio 2
    33100 Tampere, Finland


    Ticket Sales (May–Aug)
    +358 3 223 1066

    +358 3 222 8536

    +358 3 214 0992

    +358 3 223 1064


    Emails of staff members (marked with *): firstname.lastname(at)

    Executive Director
    Hanna Rosendahl*

    Office Manager
    Seija Parviainen*


    Head of PR and marketing
    Tiina Hurskainen*

    PR and Marketing Coordinator
    Elina Valkama*

    PR Assistants

    Salla Hokkanen

    Sanna Stenberg


    Jonni Pantzar*

    Production Coordinator
    Leo Van Aerschot*

    Production Coordinator
    Mikko Sorrela*


    Mervi Paavilainen*

    Production Coordinator
    Elina Valkama*

    Production Assistant
    Fanniina Tuomola


    Production Coordinator
    Susanna Koskimaa*


    Production Assistant
    Laura Katajala


    Production Coordinator
    Leo Van Aerschot*

    Production Assistant
    Aarni Koivisto


    Coordinator for International Guests
    Emilia Kiuru*

    Assistant Coordinator for International Guests
    Lotta Salomaa


    In charge of ticket sales
    Heidi Lakaniemi



    Artistic team (Main Programme)

    Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen

    Aleksis Meaney

    Tanjalotta Räikkä
    Actor, director, writer


    The Board of Directors
    Reino Bragge
    Otso Kautto
    Elisa Piispanen
    Pauliina Hulkko
    Jussi Kareinen
    Joni Lehtimäki
    Mikko Närhi
    Jarmo Puskala
    Panu Raipia
    Aku-Paulus Sajakorpi 
    Riitta Ollila

    Artistic Team 2018 –
    The performances for the Main Programme are always invited to the Festival by the artistic team, which currently includes Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen, Tanjalotta Räikkä and Aleksis Meaney.  (Photo Carolin Büttner)

    Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen

    Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen (b. 1980) has graduated from Theatre Academy in 2010 with a Masters Degree in Theatre, from the Directing degree programme. She has also studied theatre and performing arts in United States, Chicago. At the moment she is studying in Master’s Degree Program of Futures Studies in Turku School of Economics.

    In 2010–2012 she had a contract with Kotka City Theatre (Kotkan Kaupunginteatteri). From 2016 Iivanainen has worked as the artistic director of Teatteri Jurkka. The directions of Iivanainen are in general premieres of modern dramas and multi-artistic stage works, but also mini operas. The directions of Iivanainen have been performed in Finnish theatres and concert halls, and abroad in Drama Fest Mexico, among others.

    She has also made radio plays to Radioteatteri of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and taught in Theatre Academy.

    Iivanainen was selected to the Tampere Theatre Festival’s artistic team in August 2017.

    Aleksis Meaney

    Aleksis Meaney (b. 1979) has graduated from Theatre Academy in 2010 with a Masters Degree in Theatre, from the Directing degree programme. In addition he has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Tampere.

    He is known for example from his directions Juurihoito (2016) and Metsäjätti (2013) to the Finnish National Theatre. Meaney has directed also to Svenska Teatern, Kokkola, Joensuu and Turku City Theatres and Ryhmäteatteri. He has also made reading drama directions and play translations.

    He has directed to four different languages (Finnish, English, Hungarian and Swedish) and his works have been performed abroad, including Scotland (at Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Hungary and China. In 2014–2015 Meaney worked as a member of STAGE Festival’s artistic group.

    Meaney was selected to the Tampere Theatre Festival’s artistic team in August 2017.

    Tanjalotta Räikkä

    Tanjalotta Räikkä (born in 1962) is a Tampere-based freelance actor, scriptwriter and director. During her career, she has worked in several theatres across Finland both as a permanently employed actor and as a guest actor.

    Räikkä’s long career has included involvement in independent groups and projects as well as about 20 movie roles and a great deal of TV and radio work. She is also a founding member and a member of the artistic team of Theatre Telakka, which received the Finnish state prize for performing arts in 2013.

    In recent years, Räikkä has worked as a scriptwriter and as a dramaturg. She has also taught acting and held positions of responsibility in the theatre field, such as the role as a member of the National Council for Performing Arts.


Räikkä has also participated in international projects and festivals in Germany, Mexico and Estonia among others. In addition to acting, she has sung backing vocals on several artists’ albums. Hospital clownery is also very close to her heart.

    Räikkä was selected to the Tampere Theatre Festival’s artistic team in August 2018.



    In 2019 Tampere Theatre Festival runs from the 5th–11th of August.

    Main Programme

    The performances for the Main Programme are always invited to the festival by the artistic team, which currently includes director-writer Hilkka-Liisa Iivanainen, director Aleksis Meaney, actor, director Tanjalotta Räikkä and Executive Director Hanna Rosendahl.

    Instead of an open call, the programming of the festival is an ongoing process led by the artistic team. If you are interested in proposing a production for the Main Programme, please provide us with sufficient information about your company and the production by e-mail: info(at)

    If the artistic team is interested in your performance and wants to know more, they will contact you.

    The decisions will be made by the end of March. The Main Programme is announced annually at the beginning of May.  

    Photographs, reviews, recommendations and DVD's only by request.


    See also the other programmes below:

    OFF Tampere

    Alternatively you could take part in the OFF Tampere Fringe Festival, which is open to all who wish to perform in the festival at their own expense. The online application for OFF Tampere 2019 opens on the website in May.
    For more information, please contact off(at)

    Programme Tent

    Performances for The Programme Tent are by invitation only. If you would like to propose your production for the Programme Tent, please contact info(at)


    Welcome to Tampere Theatre Festival 2019 as an international guest or a member of international press! Please fill in the guest form below to help us make your visit here as comfortable as possible.



    Tampere Theatre Festival

    Tampere Theatre Festival is the oldest and the largest professional theatre festival in the Nordic countries, serving as a display window for the most interesting and up-to-the-minute productions in Finnish theatre, and attracting leading international guests from all corners of the globe. The festival programme includes new drama, modernised classics, dance theatre, contemporary circus and street theatre.

    The 51st edition of Tampere Theatre Festival takes place 5th–11th of August 2019 around the city of Tampere.

    The Festival Consists of Five Programme Categories

     The Main Programme

    The Main Programme forms the artistic framework of the festival. Every year, approximately 20 theatre companies are invited to perform in Tampere. About 13 of these are Finnish and around 7 arrive from abroad. The performances for the Main Programme are always invited to the festival by the artistic team. Instead of an open call, the programming of the festival is an ongoing process led by the team.

    The Programme Tent

    A wide variety of performing arts, drama, dance, monologues, vocal performances and concerts appear in the Programme Tent, which is located at the Central Market Square. The tent has become the landmark of the festival.

    Encorebaana Club Festival

    Also the restaurants have their share of festivities as the Club Festival Encorebaana brings small-scale performances to different restaurants around Tampere.

    OFF Tampere

    What would a festival be without fringe? OFF Tampere fringe festival is open to all who wish to perform in the festival at their own expense. Every year about 35 companies participate in OFF Tampere.

    The Great Nocturnal Happening

    During the night between Thursday and Friday, the Great Nocturnal Happening and its carnevalistic atmosphere take over the city of Tampere as different co-operative parties, such as associations, companies, parishes and the City council itself, arrange happenings and events around Tampere.

    ... and also meetings, seminars and discussions

    Besides performances, various meetings, workshops, seminars and discussions are also organised during the festival week. Some of them are open to the public, some for professionals only, but all of them bring together theatre lovers from different corners of the world.

    More Information

    PR Team
    tel. +358 3 214 0992

    tel. + 358 3 222 8536

    Postal Address

    Tampere Theatre Festival
    Tullikamarin aukio 2
    33100 Tampere


    The First 50 Years of the Festival

    The Birth of Tampere Theatre Festival

    When Finnish theatre got its own festival, Tampere was a natural choice with two strong theatres, Pyynikki Summer Theatre with its world-renowned rotating auditorium and a local journalist, Olavi Veistäjä (known also as Parras) who was passionate about theatre. Tampere Theatre Festival was born from this combination.

    The Festival got a push from the cultural revolution of the 60’s. During this time period, various new festivals sprouted up and in the midst of this wave, Olavi Veistäjä presented the idea of the Theatre Festival to the City’s Mayor Erkki Lindfors. During the autumn of 1968, Tampere City Council became the founding member of the Festival and started to make plans for the event to take place in August the following year. The other founding members were The Theatre Club of Tampere, TTT Theatre, Tampere Theatre and two actors unions. The goal was to present an overall view of Finnish theatre and this is exactly what happened. The festival offered an opportunity to compare and create an overall picture of Finnish theatres. The festival was also an ideal setting for seminars, discussions and meetings.

    The budget for the first Festival forced the organisers to limit their selection to local talent, which gave the amateur  theatres the opportunity to join in. The real surprise did come from the amateurs; a big hit amongst both the audiece and the critics was Tampere Pop Theater’s sensational musical, Hair, which was an economic saviour as well.

    Olavi Veistäjä’s season was formed from four three-year-periods. The first period introduced Finnish Theatre and the Festival soon became national. The plays were mainly Finnish in the mid 70’s, and in the late 70’s the Festival concentrated in the ”Best of theatre year”. The last 3-year-period was named ”The review of reforming Finnish Theatre”. Some selected theatres brought more than one of their plays to the festival to show their versatility. There were also some international visitors.
    Veistäjä had no prejudice with his programme choices. Even when he was 70, he was full of innovative ideas for the festival, but he also stayed realistic. He understood that the Festival would die out if the ideas – themes and performances – didn't draw in the audiences.

    Olavi Veistäjä was helped by an Executive Committee, (1969-1989) with members like Leena Lindfors, Simo Tavaste, Kai Savola, Rauli Lehtonen, Simo Johansson, Veli Sandell, Lasse Pöysti, Hannu Partala, Kaarina Suonio, Leena Vihola, Esko Roine, Mikko Majanlahti and Aila Manninen. Veistäjä’s closest associate was the Executive Director, Veli Sandell.

    The Festival was important to Veistäjä from the beginning to the end - he controlled its finances better than his own. In 1987 he withdrew from the roles of Debuty Chairman and Chairman of the Executive Committee after 19 years. Headlines screamed ”A Vacancy for the Pope”, theatre makers were shocked. The Executive Director, Sandell resigned as well.

    For a year the Festival was led by the Executive Director Markku Kontro.

    Tampere Theatre Festival Becomes International

    The grand old lady of the theatre world, Vivica Bandler, took the reigns in her hands in 1989. New winds blew during Bandler’s season as the Artistic Consultant and Artistic Director of Tampere Theatre Festival. The ”local feeling” disappeared and  the festival became a fresh mixture of Finnish, Scandinavian and other international theatre. Like Veistäjä, Bandler was a strong personality and didn’t lack ideas. Having worked abroad for a long time, Bandler was one of the most innovative characters of the theatre world and made Tampere Theatre Festival truly international.

    Together with the Executive Director, Leena Vihola, she marketed the Festival more efficiently and especially international contacts were multiplied. International press got interested and in addition to that, international festivals came over to source productions for them. More professionals from different sectors of theatre arrived year after year, when the word spread of the individual programme.

    It was decided that the programme shouldn’t be limited into certain themes. It should be given a chance to breathe easily and reflect the phenomenona of the time. Vivica Bandler built a strong bridge between Scandinavian countries and Europe. ”Vivica’s kitchen” was a well known concept around the world, where theatre folk, including the likes of Bertolt Brecht, had discussions about culture and planned the Festival programme.

    Bandler’s goal was to organise a festival that attracts its audience from Tampere and surrounding areas, as well as nationwide. These goals, which were successfully met, created a foundation for the event. It included a varied and high quality programme – the foundation that enabled the group of three and the new Executive Director to develop the Festival further.

    Tampere Theatre Festival – the present

    After Vivica Bandler’s distinguished season, the Executive Director of Theatre Center, Raija-Liisa Seilo, was chosen to be the Executive Director of Tampere Theatre Festival and the artistic team developed a functioning system that still operates: A team of three or two people together with the Executive Director are in charge of the programme. Their task is to view hundreds of theatre performances and choose the best ones through a tight sieve. After Raija-Liisa Seilo’s season, the Executive Director of Dance theatre Mobita/Dansco, Hanna Rosendahl, was chosen to be the next Executive Director of Tampere Theatre Festival in 2007.

    At present the proportions of the Festival are completely different from the beginning. The programme is more extensive and number of performances has increased dramatically – alongside with the audience numbers. The Festival has changed from Olavi Veistäjä’s small team to an organization with proficient people from different professions who work together with the valuable volunteer workers.

    The fundamental principle of Tampere Theatre Festival has been preserved: In Tampere we see an extensive selection of the best Finnish theatre. In addition it is possible now to see an international programme, which has covered a third of the Main Programme since Vivica Bandler’s season. Over the fifty years Theatre Festival has risen to be one of the most significant festivals in Scandinavia and the Northern Europe.



    Sokos Hotel Ilves
    Hatanpään valtatie 1
    33100 Tampere

    tel. + 358 20 1234 631


    Sokos Hotel Villa
    Sumeliuksenkatu 14
    33100 Tampere

    tel. + 358 20 1234 633


    Sokos Hotel Torni
    Ratapihankatu 43
    33100 Tampere

    tel. + 358 20 1234 634


    Radisson Blu Grand Hotel Tammer
    Satakunnankatu 13
    33100 Tampere

    tel. + 358 20 1234 632



    Click here for other accommodation options


    Hämeenpuisto 28 D
    33200 Tampere

    Hällä-näyttämö (Hällä Stage)
    Hämeenkatu 25
    33200 Tampere

    Laikunlava (Library Stage)
    Kulttuuritalo Laikku (Cultural House Laikku)

    Puutarhakatu 1
    33100 Tampere

    Pakkahuone ('Old Customs' House Hall')
    Tullikamarin aukio 2
    33100 Tampere

    Programme Tent
    33100 Tampere

    Tampere-talo (Tampere Hall)
    Yliopistonkatu 55
    33100 Tampere

    Tampereen Teatteri
    TT Frenckell

    Frenckellinaukio 2
    33101 Tampere

    Tampereen Teatteri
    TT Päänäyttämö (Main Stage)

    Keskustori 2
    33100 Tampere

    Tampereen Työväen Teatteri
    TTT Eino Salmelainen

    Hämeenpuisto 28
    33200 Tampereäyttämöt/vanha-päänäyttämö

    Tampereen Työväen Teatteri
    TTT Kellariteatteri

    Hämeenpuisto 28
    33200 Tampereäyttämöt/kellariteatteri

    Tampereen Työväen Teatteri
    TTT Suuri näyttämö (Main Stage)

    Hämeenpuisto 32
    33200 Tampereäyttämöt/suuri-näyttämö

    D Wing of the University Main Campus
    Kalevantie 4,
    33100 Tampere


Main Partners


In Co-operation With


In Cooperation With the Programme Tent

  • Tampereen Teatterin Palvelu Oy