Tartu Student Theatre (TÜT) was established in the autumn of 1999. It carries on the tradition of theatre played by students, which has its roots in the middle of the 1960s. Throughout the years, TÜT has had more than 140 students as members, but every semester there are about 25 active members.
Our theatre works like that: every autumn we accept new students, mingle them with the old members, work in studio (we have had very different teachers starting from experts on improvisational theatre to masters of Suzuki technique) and try to bring out a new production every semester. As TÜT doesn't have its own premises, though we are working hard to get them, we have to find very different places to perform. Despite the fact that it is quite stressful for a theatre, it has been stated in the reviews that our roomlessness as a defining feature of TÜT is a very interesting phenomena – it has opened many rooms never considered appropriate for theatre and has added to the productions' atmosphere quite a lot.
Our theatre is known for its alternativity. We have staged many authors almost unknown to Estonian audience before that – these include for example Sarah Kane, Daniil Kharms, J. M. R. Lenz. We have also performed plays and adaptions from the texts of Eugene Ionesco, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, George Büchner. Also it is important to mention a number of Estonian authors, whose texts are not so often staged in the state theatres. Moreover we have had movement-based productions, zen-collage's from Buddhist and Japanese texts, poetry-performances and of course lots and lots of clowning. To generalize, our productions have been taken into one sentence like that: „What is it that we see here? Lots of death, love and a bit of circus. But that is what life mostly is...“
Our theatre is lead by Kalev Kudu, a freelance actor and director, a member of the Association of Estonian Producers and international university theatre association AITU-IUTA. He has staged almost all of the productions of TÜT. Although our members are not so-called professional actors (but quite many of the alumni are studying or have graduated from theatre schools), the critic reviews have often consireded TÜT as semiprofessional theatre for its high-quality productions. Also TÜT has collaborated with many acknowledged artists from Estonia.
What is perhaps more most important of TÜT, is our participation of international festivals. We have showed our performances in Belgium, Belorussia, Canada, Colombia, Czech, Finland, France, Great Britain, Lithuania, Morocco, Russia and Sweden – and in some of them, even many times. We believe that we have had quite important acknowledgements from these festivals; also we believe that such trips are important to keep a fresh eye on everything else going on in the world. Theatre can never be just about itself.

If you want to read Kalev Kudu's manifest „Student theatre as rebellion“ performed in Urbino on the 6th International World Congress of Student Theatres (21.- 26.07.2006), click here!