The Nuori Näyttämö (‘A stage for youth’) concept is a unique undertaking focusing on art education and performance art for children and young people. It provides young theatre enthusiasts with an opportunity to strengthen their own skills or encourages them to take up a new hobby inspired by Nuori Näyttämö events.
The project seeks to find all types of groups for participation, regardless of their skill level, from all different backgrounds and areas throughout Finland.
The Nuori Näyttämö project gives young theatre enthusiasts the chance to work systematically with experienced theatre professionals. The professional theaters involved have the opportunity to expand their audience base, to inspire young people to develop a lasting interest in theatrical arts and to offer quality theatre-related services. Furthermore, the project will produce new, first-rate plays for young theatre groups and audiences.
The main organizer of this nationwide project spanning multiple years is the Association for Amateur and Professional Theaters in Finland (TNL).
For playwrights, the project provides an exceptional opportunity to see numerous interpretations of their own texts. Published as an anthology, these plays represent new drama literature specifically written for young people, which is otherwise rather scarce in Finland.
For children and young people, the project provides strong support for their interest in theatre and dramatic arts by giving them the opportunity to work directly with professional theaters and dramaturges. More than 400 young people will be included in the network, which extends to all reaches of Finland.
For professional theaters, the concept offers the chance to implement collaborative projects as required by the Ministry of Education and Culture. At the same time, Nuori Näyttämö helps to boost audience outreach work at the theaters. The theaters gain new, direct contacts with local youth, thereby lowering the threshold for future theatre attendance.
Playwrights Gunilla Hemming, Pipsa Lonka and Veikko Nuutinen write new plays intended for young people aged 13–19 years.
In March 2017, Helsinki City Theatre, the Finnish National Theatre, the city theaters of Kotka and Kemi, the theaters of Mikkeli and Varkaus, and the TTT Theatre in Tampere will all select young theatre groups for the project from within their own operational areas. The theaters will assign professional artists and support personnel to serve as mentors throughout the performance process.
Directors from each group will participate in a training weekend in Helsinki on 26-27 August 2017. During the weekend, they will meet with the playwrights and receive a substantial amount of information on different areas of theatre production.
The young groups create performances based on the newly written plays and perform them on professional stages at five local theatre festivals during spring 2018. At least one performance from each local festival will be invited to participate in the national festival, which will be organized in co-operation with the Tampere Theatre Festival and held on 5-6 August 2018 at the TTT theatre in Tampere.