Reino Bragge, who has run the Tampere Theater (TT) since 2010, has retired. Retirement was celebrated on TT's main stage on Wednesday.

In addition to his career, Bragge managed to be the director of the city theaters of Joensuu, Pori and Jyväskylä. In his thank you speech, Bragge did not have a bad word about his former employers, but a clearer thank you to Tampere.

- Tampere is the best place to be a theater director. There is no need to justify the existence of a theater here, Bragge summed up.

64-year-old Bragge's long career in departmental theaters ended sadly at a time when the doors of TT's stages were also closed due to a coronavirus. The performances ended like a wall in mid-March.

- Of course it was annoying when the world collided with its crown and the sold-out performances were canceled. But fortunately, the government compensated for the lost ticket revenue, which the Tampere Theater received the second most, almost one million euros, Bragge thought about the special end of his leadership term.

Artistically, the coronavirus did not ruin Bragge’s last meters.

- Future plans are more or less the same. The autumn program is still my choice - anytime the performances can be prepared.

During Bragge, TT got its finances in order and the number of spectators clearly increased. Bragge’s strength was especially in the musicals, which are remembered by Les Miserables, Cats and most recently Notre Dame’s bell ringer.

In addition to the rise in the level of musical theater, Bragge, who retired four days, made the maintenance of domestic contemporary theater one of the highlights of his leadership period. Of the new interpretations of Finnish classics, Bragge especially remembered the Swaying House directed by Antti Mikkola and the Niskavuori Heta directed by Liisa Mustonen, who came into the program last season.

The congratulators thanked Brage for, among other things, people-oriented leadership and creating a team spirit.

Reino Bragge retired in a hilarious mood. In Bragge’s own words, his talent is mediocrity and the ability to find skilled people around him.

Photo: Terho Vuorinen

In his career, Bragge worked as a theater manager at the University of Tampere's Department of Actress (Näty).

- The theater keeps seniors off the street. That is why we give you, Reino, an eternal guest ticket to our screenings, Pauliina Hulkko, Professor of Näty's Theater Work, laughed at the party.

The Confederation of Finnish Theater Organizations awarded recognition to Bragge by awarding him his highest possible recognition, a gold medal with a white ribbon.

A portrait of Bragge, written by photographer Harri Hinka, was also unveiled at the event.

Bragge's career as a theater director is one of the longest in Finland. Prior to joining the Tampere Theater, he was the Director of the Jyväskylä City Theater (2007–2010), the Director of the Pori Theater (2000–2007), the Administrative Director of the Tampere Theater (1999–2000) and the Director of the Joensuu City Theater (1996–1999).

Mikko Kanninen started at the beginning of August as Bragge's successor as the theater director and CEO of Tampere Theater.