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.
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
Yuval Noah Harari
Adaptation and performance script
Finnish translation of the original work
Heidi Soidinsalo and Jussi Matikainen
The Finnish National Theatre, W A U H A U S, and Zodiak – Centre for New Dance
English captioning available by mobile app.