The present Tallinn City Theatre is going through a phase of transition in more ways than one. Elmo Nüganen, the artistic director who has led the company for the last three decades, making it the vibrant ensemble it is today, has announced that he will resign his position at the end of the season 2020/2021, in order to give the next generation a chance to fill the theatre with fresh energy and ideas. Also, Tallinn City Theatre has temporarily moved out of its unique medieval building on Lai Street while it’s being reconstructed to accommodate a bigger audience. If all goes according to plan, the renovated theatre complex will open for public in 2023.
Since then, Tallinn City Theatre plays mostly at the Salme Cultural Centre, where we can use their big stage for nine months a year, and two black boxes on the top floor all year round. By the way, Salme Cultural Centre is the place where the theatre started off in the mid-sixties, and their theatre hall remained our main venue until early 1990ies. We will, of course, also continue playing in our historical Horse Mill at the end of Lai Street. The theatre workshops have moved to a freshly built modern production complex in Suur-Sõjamäe and the offices will be situated at 20 Pikk Street, sharing the building with Kanuti Gildi SAAL.
Tallinn City Theatre usually produces seven or eight plays each season and there are around twenty productions in the repertory at any given time. The theatrical season lasts from August round to June. In addition to productions created by Elmo Nüganen and the resident director Diana Leesalu, we cooperate with very different theatre-makers from Estonia and the rest of the world, which has made Tallinn City Theatre a blend of classical and contemporary. Although Tallinn City Theatre’s resident company includes thirty-two actors, ranking it among the biggest theatres in Estonia, it has always differed by being able to enjoy more artistic freedom with fewer official expectations to the repertory than the large national theatres. The company of actors, many among whom have worked together for many years, decades even, form an ensemble, where emphasis is on collaboration, not individual glory. Great acting is one of the theatre’s celebrated strong points.