In the far north of Finland, a sensitive, dreamy young boy is the son of a reindeer herdsman within the Sami community.  When the time comes for him to undergo his community’s traditional coming-of-age ritual, he refuses to stab a young doe to death.  The young boy’s failure to fulfill this masculine rite of passage stems from his deep connection to nature: he enjoys wandering through the tundra and singing with the birds.  His activities are frowned upon by the local population.  Even his relatives begin to wonder if he’ll ever be a real man.  However, he has a mission. This mission takes him far from his native landscape out into the world, where he becomes known by the name of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää.  Caught between local prejudice and the national mainstream, this determined young boy grows into a groundbreaking pioneer of his ethnic culture.  The play paints the portrait of a self-doubting, soul-searching artist, who discovered both the joy of art and the bitterness of fame.  A powerful, beautifully poetic study of one man’s destiny, the production also tells the tale of Lapland’s Sami people, their art and struggle for survival.  The tale expresses a yearning for beauty and purity in a world blindly propelled towards ecological disaster.

  • Actors: Jarkko Lahti, Mary Sarre, Iŋgor Ántte Áilu Gaup, Tiina Weckström
  • Playwright: Ari-Pekka Lahti
  • Artistic directors: Ari-Pekka Lahti and Hanna Brotherus
  • Stage design by Katri Rentto
  • Costumes by Berit Marit Hætta
  • Music by Tuomas Rounakari
  • Choreography by Hanna Brotherus
  • Lightdesign and sound supervisor: Harri Kejonen
  • Literary assistant:Jarkko Lahti

The performance is in Finnish and Sami language, with English/Sami/Finnish surtitles.

Duration of the play: 1:45 (intermission included)

Press: These images are available in print quality. To print the image, right click on the image, and it will pop up in a larger version Then click on “download/save image as” in order to store the image in your computer. For any use of the images, the photographer must be credited. Photographer: Nico Bäckström