15th B&W Theatre Festival 6.-10.6.2018

This year one of Finland’s most international theatre festivals -and the biggest in southeastern Finland- is celebrating its 15-year-long journey. The theme of the festival is “15 1/2”. The year of celebration will be cherished with both finnish and international high level artists. The Black and White Theatre Festival also celebrates together with Imatra’s 70th birthday, taking it into account in festival programme. The festival will present many varieties of professional theatre: drama, dance theatre, street theatre, children’s theatre, experimental theatre, opera, mime and circus. Especially dance performances have reached a great popularity at the Black and White Theatre Festival, which is why we continue representing dance theatre to the festival audience in the programme. During the festival will be arranged workshops; for example workshop in dance, and other programme and events for all ages. Finnish and foreign artists will again meet in Imatra from all over the world.

Artistic Director Kamran Shahmardan.

Open internship for assistant

Open internship for producer’s assistant!

Interested in the management of an international, high-level theatre festival?

Black and White Theatre Festival is looking for a producer’s assistant for the 2018 festival. The job description includes assisting the producer in marketing, press communication, sponsorship and volunteer coordination, among other things.

During the internship you will get first-hand work experience on all levels of event management, you’ll get to witness exceptional theatre performances and have the opportunity to build new contacts in a theatre network that’s worldwide.

The theatre festival is organized by non-profit association Theatre of Black and White, annually since 2003. The 15th edition of the volunteer-work based festival is set on June 6-10, 2018.
The internship can be a part of your studies, or a work trial agreed with the TE Services. The duration of the internship is 3-6 months, emphasizing on spring 2018 and ending on the festival’s afterwork in June. However, the duration can be resettled if needed.

The Black and White Theatre association has no permanent office, so the work is mainly telecommuting in tight contact with the festival’s producer. During the festival week (June 4-10) we expect the assistant to participate in festival work at Imatra. The internship is unpaid, but the necessary travel costs, food and accommodation during the festival week will be compensated.

We are looking for someone with good coordination skills, commitment to given duties, flexibility, openness and ability to work with people from different cultures and a good knowledge of both finnish and english languages (knowing russian is an advantage). Also any previous experience from theatre work is beneficial. Ability to work under pressure is important, especially during the hectic festival week.
Internship suits well for students of cultural management, for professionals returning to work after a break, or to those making new career choices and needing a trial.
Don’t hesitate to ask more, or send a free-form application by e-mail to mustanjavalkoisenteatteri@gmail.com. The last date for applications is January 31st, 2018.
For more information:

We are now a member of the EFFE

Black and White Theatre Festival is now a member of the EFFE Label.

Black and White Theatre Festival is now part of the EFFE festival community, facilitated by the European Festivals Association, which consists of festivals that stand for artistic quality and have a significant impact on the local, national and international level.

Press release – Wiesbaden 4 May 2017

Europe’s remarkable festivals honored with EFFE Label 2017-2018

715 festivals from 39 countries received the EFFE Label 2017-2018 as ‘remarkable festivals’ in Europe. On 4 May, the Label 2017-2018 results were announced by the International Jury chaired by Sir Jonathan Mills. EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, is Europe’s Label for remarkable festivals initiated by the European Festivals Association. It is an international festival community connecting festivals that are deeply committed to the arts, their communities and Europe. At the same time, it serves as a searchable online Festival Calendar on www.effe.eu for all international audiences interested in the arts of all kinds.

“The International Jury is convinced to give the greatest diversity of festivals the opportunity to be part of and strive in this new community of festivals. During its deliberations, the Jury was impressed by the immense quality, diversity, exposure of festivals towards the public and their commitment to access and inclusion of all people in society. They also underlined the consistent artistic choices made by festival makers programming both emerging and established artists.” The Jury also “invites the Label holders to join hands for a common movement of festivals stimulating solidarity, the arts, artists, and open conversations.” (find the entire statement on www.effe.eu).

Following an open call to apply for the EFFE Label 2017-2018, hundreds of festivals submitted applications to demonstrate their excellence concerning artistic commitment, community involvement and international/European engagement. 95 national experts, appointed by EFFE’s national contact points, scored the applications and presented the findings to the EFFE International Jury. They were impressed by the consistent artistic choices made by festival makers, programming both emerging and established artists, taking innovative or regenerative approaches.

“The European Festivals Association is convinced about EFFE’s potential: to embrace and breathe Europe as an idea of community and reciprocal understanding and responsibility towards the world. That is why we are looking forward to develop this new European Label further”, says Darko Brlek, EFA President.

The EFFE Label 2017-2018 recipients are now featured in the online European festivals calendar. www.effe.eu offers audiences worldwide a window to Europe’s vibrant cultural scene.

In Europe the arts are just a festival away!


Naima Delaere


+32 2 644 48 00

www.effe.eu – www.efa-aef.eu

Our program is ready. Welcome to Imatra

14. International Black and White Theatre Festival in Imatra 7.-11.6.2017. Theme of the festival: “All the world`s a stage”

Art director of the festival: Kamran Shahmardan

International Black and White Theatre Festival,that has been held annually since 2004 and will take place in Finland, Imatra, is the largest international festival of professional theatres in the South-East Finland and one of the most significant international theatre events in the whole Finland. Over the years, the festival rightfully has taken its place among the biggest events in the region, attracting more and more viewers and participants.

Black and White Theatre Festival has become a famous event in the field of theatre art around the world. In the whole, there have been more than 200 different plays and performances and the festival itself has featured theatre groups from 40 countries around the world.

For 13 years at the Black and White Theatre Festival we have seen different theatrical genres: dance theatre, ballet, pantomime, circus, drama, opera, puppet theatre and various street performances. The idea of ​​the festival is to show the international theatre in all its manifestations.

On the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence, the 14th International Black and White Theatre Festival will present a festive thematic program, including theatre and circus performances, street actors and musicians, modern dances, children’s theatre, drama and cinema. Due to the symbol of the Anniversary of independence “Suomi100” (“Finland 100 years”), Imatra will have fun and celebrate with invited artists from Finland and other countries. During five days, 16 theatre from 11 countries (Argentina, Italy, Japan Canada, Greece, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia) will perform in Imatra . They will present 18 performances and concerts in total 33 times. Theme of the festival: “The Whole World is a Theatre”.

In the new Theatre Imatra small plays and visual theatre performance will be shown, larger performances will be held in the Culture House Virta. On the pedestrian street of Koskenparras, in the vicinity of the Culture House Virta and in the Vuoksi fishing park o- street theatre and music will be available.

1. “On the Way to the Heart” (La Strada Cuore).

“Giraffe Royal” (Royal Theatre, Estonia) – more than 25 years of specializing in street theatre performances.


2. At 19:00 in the Culture House Virta in the Karelia Hall will take place the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony is called “Suomi 100 Tango goes White and Black”. In the first part the audience will enjoy Angelika Klas and Tanguedia Quintet with the Tango program from around the world. The rhythms of tango will be heard during the round-the-world tour of Tanguedia Quintet in Italy, Finland, Argentina, Germany, Estonia, France, – wherever tango is loved. The Virta House of Culture.


3. The second part of the ceremony will be opened by the performance of the Municipal Dance Theatre from Zaporizhia, Ukraine “White and Black”.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4KEp4Ig418

4. The musician from Imatra Hanna Saarela and the teacher of the stage movement Katja Paakki will show the musical performance “Can’t sleep! Can’t sleep!” Poem written by Kirsi Kunnas.

5. “Maurangas”.Clown Mauro Volynski Ayala from Argentina will perform on the pedestrian street of Koskenparras (Thurs-sat)


6. Italian Galiro-Lorenzo Gianmario Galli will perform (wed-sat) on the pedestrian street of Koskenparras, in the Vuoksi fishing park, as well as in the neighborhood of the Virta Culture House (and possibly inside) POOM-CHA



7. Finnish artist Reetta Honkakoski will present a play without words in the Theatre Imatra. “A Duet for One” is a nagging story about how difficult it is to be together

Reetta Honkakoski is the only mime in Finland who is able to convey the drama of the relationship with body language, rather than gestures, as in pantomime.


8. On Thursday, June 8 in the Culture House Virta will take place Concert program “pohjonen alanko”.

Ismo Alanko and Kimmo Pohjonen unite for the new project “pohjonen alanko”. In the centre of their attention – vocal experiments and sound improvisations with controlled chaos and lyrical melody, with colour effects, samples and their own instruments. The third member of the team is the sound engineer and manipulator Tuomas Norvio.


9. On Friday, 09.06 v. 18:00 in the Culture House Virta, Karelia Hall, submission of Susanna Leinonen Company SEE | OBEY – a dance show about the absurdity of life, with music of Casper Line and beautiful visual effects.

SEE | OBEY – this is also a dance film from Leinonen and Jouko Valkama, which tells three independent parallel stories about human emotions, everyday events and conflicts through the expression of dance movements.

Choreography by Susanna Leinonen


10. 19:30. “Gary goes Black and White with Summer Camp 2017”. For the first time in the history of the festival the Ice show in the Ice palace of Imatra.

11. Saturday 10.06, The Marionette Theatre  E.Demenni will show the play for children and adults “Piero and Colombine Theatre”

A musical performance without words with big puppets, with elements of clownery and pantomime.


12. In the Small Scene of the Imatra Theatre, the play “Noone’s Land”, the Greek-German Merlin Puppet Theatre will take place.

”Noone`s Land” – is a visual performance of the Merlin Puppet Theater

The dream, creativity and power of imagination against reality by scarecrow’s eyes – a lonely creature, forever pinned to one place, without the chances of changing its destiny.



13. At 18.00 in the Culture House Virta there will be a jazz concert of the Swiss Fischermanns Orchestra “Liberty-Tour 2017” The title of the tour is due to the 100th anniversary of independence of Finland –  Liberty of Finland.

Fishermanns Orchestra, while touring the world has performed both on the best stages of Europe, Russia, Colombia and in the streets.It immerses listeners in an unforgettable world of free improvisations and ready-made compositions.


14. On Sunday 11.06, the Finnish Livsmedlet-duo, a visual theatre group, will present the geographical striptease “Invisible Lands” in the Small Scene of the Theatre Imatra.

Geography and politics are intertwined and become life habits which help us to cognize reality and test it for strength by touching it . In the show “Invisible Lands” duet Livsmedlet shows a unique meeting between puppet theatre and choreography.


15. The Estonian Giraffe Royal Theater will present at 6 p,m, in the Culture Centre Virta a visual play  “Dreams of a Storyteller”

A performance is in the traditions of white clownery, a rare genre, subtle and refined, now almost disappeared. In the formation of the image of the performance intertwined:



16. The festival will be completed by the world-famous Finnish theatre W-H-S’s  circus show Lähtö / Départ in the Theatre Imatra .

W-H-S Theatre is the most successful and well-known group of visual theatres in Finland. Inspired by scenic stunts of the illusionists of the 19th century, Nio creates a mysterious atmosphere in which absurdist humor and tragedy take turns. Directed by: Kalle Nio.


Welcome to Imatra!

Kamran Shahmardan
Art director of the Festival and the Theatre of Black and White

The whole program is  on our website: www.blackandwhitetheatre.net

See you in 2017

 14th Black and White Theatre Festival 7.-12.6.2017


Warm-hearted thanks to all the supporters of the 13 International Black and White Theatre festival. We thank the Ministry of Education and Culture, the city of Imatra, Culture Support Fund of Karelia, Oskar Öflunds Foundation, other partners and sponsors who have supported the festival. Thanks to all the festival visitors, spectators and volunteers, who have done everything possible for this event.

We shall meet again in 2017! Happy summer for everyone!

Artistic director Kamran Shahmardan
Administration of Black and White Theatre Association

A Blog of A Madman

Nikolai Gogol, Kamran Shahmardan “A Blog of a Madman”
Social tragicomedy ”A diary of a Madman” is produced in collaboration with the  Polygon Theatre

Director Kamran Shahmarda
Actor Tamur Tohver
Scenography Pekka Kettunen
Lights and video Aleksander Erstu

Director Kamran Shahmardan, Actor Tamur Tohver. Originally written by Nikolai Gogol and dramatically adapted by Kamran Shahmardan, ”A diary of a Madman” is exploring the inner world of a small official, which admires of his boss and his large property. ”No, he is not an ordinary director! He is a real stateman.” And at the same time he despises the gentle people who were socially below him by title and position. Being sick, he is afraid of aliens and strangers. Our hero is virtually a mirror of our society, that only exists, relying on the information of ”yellow press” and television. He is certainly waiting for a great career, and perhaps, if God is willing, even more. For that kind of selfish person will progress the illness of a wounded pride. He despises those people who are socially higher than him, and envied them. Same time the desire to be like them intensifies his platonic love to the daughter of the director of department. The illness of unconsciousness leads the hero to a complete internal disorder and madness. He becomes a victim of a personal disturbance, which sends the burnable poison to those who make fun of him and maniacal dream to be like those who have unearned rights and privileges. Produced by: The Theatre of Black and White (Finland) and Polygon Theatre (Estonia).

The performance is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland

The Threepenny Opera in Kemerovo

The Threepenny Opera in Kemerovo Regional Drama Theatre.
On January 30th and 31st in Siberia, Kemerovo Regional Drama Theatre has presented a new musical comedy based on Bertold Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera”.
The play was directed by the artistic director of the Black and White Theatre Festival and Theatre of Black and White, Kamran Shahmardan.
“Our characters are thieves and prostitutes. They steal and sell their bodies to survive. We repeat the idea after the author of this opera: the life breaks people, making them adjust to the conditions defined by strongest. So you cannot expect any good from it (life), no point, it’s not a kind godmother, and it’s not giving you anything. You have to come and take it by yourself. See the problems in your own head and solve them with a sense of humor. “The Threepenny Opera” is a song opera, sung by amateur singers. We have professional actors singing. And they are quite good, in my opinion. All songs are sung live. But the audience should not expect perfect and complex vocal, it’s a cabaret, or more a cabaret theatre. This comedy is a grotesque image of our life, like a reflection in a distorting mirror. If theatre reflects society, then Brecht’s theatre is this distorting mirror. Brecht interests me a lot, I’m going back to his works, for sure! ” – Kamran Shahmardan told us.
This is already the fifth performance of Kuzbass-Finland project. Before this one, there were “Beckett” (Samuel Beckett), “The House of the Dead” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky), “Marriage” (Nikolai Gogol), “Macbeth” (William Shakespeare) and now comes cabaret play “The Threepenny Opera” (Bertold Brecht).

14. Black and White Theatre Festival 7.-11.6.2017

14th Black and White Theatre Festival 7.-12.6.2017

  The main festival theme – ‘All the world`s a stage`

In 2017, the year marking the 100th anniversary of Finnish Independence, 14th International Theatre Festival of Black and White presents the gala programme, which includes theatre, circus, street performances, contemporary dance shows, children theatre, drama, and cinema, of corresponding themes.


Finlandi100 will gather the greatest national and international artists in Imatra for a big joint celebration. Koskenparras will host street theatres, and there will be many other happenings around the town, such as circus and theatre performances, dance shows, workshops and seminars, for people of all ages to celebrate the anniversary. The whole family can join the celebration of Finnish 100 centenary year: from babies to their grandmas and grandpas. The Theatre Festival of Black and White will take place in Imatra in June 2017. The theme of this year is “All the world’s a stage”. The artistic director of the festival is Kamran Shahmardan.

All festival program will be ready at the beginning of April.