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The story of a storytelling species

By Minna Leino, based on Yuval Noah Harari’s original work

Designed and Directed by W A U H A U S

Première on the Main Stage September 11, 2019.

Get your tickets here

Seventy thousand years ago, Homo sapiens was an insignificant mammal minding its own business in some corner of Africa. Tens of millennia later, it had established dominion over the entire planet and elevated itself to the level of a god.

A random gene mutation provided Sapiens with an ability that distinguished it from all other animals: the ability to make things up, the ability to tell stories. These imagined realities gave rise to human cooperation – to its creative and destructive potential – on a scale never before seen.

But despite all the remarkable things that Sapiens is capable of, it seems humankind is still unsure of its purpose and remains as unfulfilled as ever. It also appears to be more reckless than ever before. As Harari puts it: “is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods that don’t know what they want?”

Based on Yuval Noah Harari’s international bestseller, Sapiens is a story about us as a storytelling species. The piece, unfolding like a nature documentary, takes a light-hearted, ironic and provocative look at the history of humankind, from the dawn of time to the present – and offers a glimpse into its future.

This audiovisually striking stage production is brought to you by some of Finland’s top theatre and dance professionals: Minna Leino, dramaturg and stage director at The Finnish National Theatre; W A U H A U S, award-winning theatre collective (comprising stage director Anni Klein, choreographer Jarkko Partanen, sound designers Heidi Soidinsalo and Jussi Matikainen, and set designer Samuli Laine); as well as Jani-Matti Salo, lighting designer, and Laura Haapakangas, costume designer.

Working group


Jarmo Heikkinen


Hanna Ahti, Iida Kuningas, Aksinja Lommi, Markku Maalismaa, Karin Pacius, Ilja Peltonen, Heikki Pitkänen, Johannes Purovaara, Antti Pääkkönen, Juha Varis

Direction and choreography

Juni Klein and Jarkko Partanen

Original work

Yuval Noah Harari

Adaptation and performance script

Minna Leino

Finnish translation of the original work

Jaana Iso-Markku

Set design

Samuli Laine

Costume design

Laura Haapakangas

Lighting design

Jani-Matti Salo

Sound design

Heidi Soidinsalo and Jussi Matikainen

In partnership

The Finnish National Theatre, W A U H A U S, and Zodiak – Centre for New Dance

English captioning available by mobile app.

Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
Sapiens W A U H A U S
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