Field Guide To Estonian Theatre Audiences

Estonians are among the least religious people in Europe, however, one can assert without a shadow of a doubt that we are of theatre faith. The average Estonian attends the theatre more often than the church. In 2016, the total audience numbers at professional theatres topped 1.2 million. Considering the relatively small size of our population, with a bit of rough-handed rounding it nearly adds up to one attendance per every inhabitant. Not bad, is it? In reality, not everyone goes to the theatre. The share of the population that has attended a theatre performance in the last year...

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Theatre Series “Tale Of The Century”: How Do You Trace The History of the Nation?

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018, The Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions is bringing the century-long story of the Republic of Estonia to the stage. All productions will be created in cooperation between at least two theatre companies–one big and one small–bringing together 24 organizations within the project. In terms of themes, we have divided the century into decades as well as added a piece about the future–hence 13 new theatre pieces will be created under the aegis of the comprehensive production project. Preparations for the series have already been going on...

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Attempts at Self-Surprise: An interview with Ene-Liis Semper, the Artistic Director of Theatre NO99

Theatre NO99 is a theatre in Tallinn, Estonia with a troupe of 10 actors at the centre of it, lead artistically by Tiit Ojasoo and Ene-Liis Semper. Theatre NO99 is a serial work of contemporary art. At the beginning of it was an idea that considering the inherently finite nature of time and its finality, time should instead be measured backwards. This served as the impetus for Tiit Ojasoo and Ene-Liis Semper’s idea for a theatre where only 99 stage productions will open and which thus moves along sequential numbers to zero, towards oblivion. This, in 2005, brought into...

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“No 43-Filth” Trapped In Our Useless And Muddy Reality Of Being?

A production from Tallin, Estonia: the winner of XIV Europe Prize Theatrical Realities, 2017. The end of the world has come, there is nowhere to go, we are trapped in our uselessness and the muddy reality of being…that is the message that Theatre N099 and its performance No 43–Filth want to convey.  The statement is not new, the passion it carries is not surprising, the methods it uses are curious. The collective “we” the company uses–both in its promotional material and on stage–is recognizable but bothering. Do we really come from mud and die in it? Are we all the soul-less golems...

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Contemporary Estonian Drama

Land of Drama With almost one million theatre visits per year from a population of only 1.3 million, Estonia is The Land of Drama – draamamaa in Estonian. Born in the wave of a national awakening, and holding a position of a truth-teller when the country was occupied, today Estonian performing arts is more diverse and ready to discover the world than ever. But how much do you know about Estonian contemporary performing arts? The export portal of Estonian performing arts is The site has information on Estonian productions ready for touring abroad and profiles on people connected to...

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