Tampere Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Finland. Kaarle Halme, a pioneer of dramatic art, founded the Tampere Theatre with the help of the city’s businessmen and indrustrialists in 1904.
The Theatre’s first production was ”Kullervo” by Aleksis Kivi, a play based on the Finnish national epic ”the Kalevala”. Eino Leino, the great Finnish poet, wrote a poem entitled ”Prologue” especially for the occasion, and it was given a public recitation after the first performance.
At first, plays put on by the Tampere Theatre were staged in various temporary premises. Then in 1913, an impressive new theatre was completed in the centre of the city. The Theatre’s main stage is still located in this building. Today the Tampere Theatre has three stages: The Main Stage, the Culture Restaurant Kivi stage and the Frenckell Theatre which is situated beside the Satakunta-Bridge and was opened in 1982.
Altogether the theatre will hold about 800 spectators. Unlike several other Finnish theatres, which were started by amateur groups the Tampere Theatre is a private company and has functioned as a professional theatre from the start. The company’s repertoire is versatile and artistically of a high level. It stages a wide range of musicals, Finnish plays, world classics and modern premieres. Annually, over 100 000 spectators attend some 450 performances in the Theatre and every year 6-8 plays have their premieres. The Theatre has approximately 120 employees, a third of them belonging to the artistic staff.