The theatre is popular art in Finland. In a country with a total population of 5,4 million, the total number of spectators in the professional theatre is over 3 million.
Finland has a comprehensive network of theatres, which receive state grants towards operational costs. In addition to professional theatre there is also a very active amateur theatre scene in Finland.
The cultural funding bill specifically the bill on theatres and orchestras it includes, set the shares or subsidies from the state. For the majority of the theatres, the municipal support is still bigger than the state contribution.
Three theatres are deemed to be national companies: the Finnish National Theatre, the Swedish National theatre in Helsinki and the TTT – Theatre of Tampere. These theatres receive over half of their operational expenditure from the government.
In addition to them, there are 56 drama and dance theatres which have professional staff and receive government subsidies (c. 30%) towards operational costs. Further, there are a number of theatres working on a freelance basis which receive discretionary subsidies.
Unlike in many other countries, Finnish theatres have a large number of permanent staff, but production-specific groups and non-permanent engagements are gaining ground.
International Theatre Exchange
A development programme for cultural exportation (2007-2011) has improved possibilities to make Finnish culture better known in the world. New projects have been launched to increase the international theatre exchange, the mobility of artists and theatre companies both in Finland and internationally. Good results have been achieved in promotion of Finnish plays.
Theatre Statistics and Database
The Theatre Information Centre publishes theatre statistics. The statistics seek to include all the regularly operating professional theatres, which employ full-time professional staf throughout the year and have regular performance activities.
ILONA database gives information on performances at the Finnish theatres. You can search
information based on the name or date of the performance, theatre or playwright. You can also carry
out searches on other team members.