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Matliisa Jansson-Lehtinen and Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

At the turn of the century the townspeople often spent their leisure in various ideological activities; programmatic evenings were organised by fire brigades, youth clubs, temperance societies and workers' associations alike. Entertainment committees arranged programmatic social evenings which gradually turned into youth club and workers' association acting clubs. One of the two famous theatres in Tampere, the Tampere Theatre, was exceptionally founded for professional actors. The major project of Tampere workers was to found Tampere Workers' Theatre in 1901; the goal of the theatre, which the Workers' Association adopted a few years later, was to ”promote theatre among the poor by performing plays in the appropriate spirit”.

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Tampere Theatre rented Joselininniemi and the rotating stand of Pyynikki summer theatre was built there in 1959; the rotating theatre, once unique in the world, still attracts audiences even from abroad. Alongside the institutionalised theatres, new theatre groups began to appear in the 1960s to take their performances to the people, in day-care centres, workers' halls or schools.

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