The documentary theatre piece ‘Transformations’ rewrites masculinity. At the same time it explores womanhood and
gender plurality. Who is allowed to define gender? What are the consequences of those definitions? The performance is
based on the many experiences of the gender diverse cast of performers, transmasculine and other. The methods used
in the performance are standup, interviews, dictionary, dance and theatre.
The theatre piece tells five true stories of the people on stage each with their own experience of defining their gender.
Amongst them there are people who have changed their sex and others who don’t want to define their gender. The
performance will be conducted by Helsinki based stand-up comedian Jamie MacDonald. Jamie, a transgender man of
Canadian origin, tells the story of his sex change.
Two extracts from the texts spoken in the performance:
“It is estimated that one out of 500 is transgender in USA. They are not a huge part of the population, but on the other
hand it means that the number of transgender people in USA is bigger than the population of Helsinki in Finland. In
Europe there are about 1,5 million transgender persons.
In Finland every year about 400 persons start the gender reassignment process. The process is good, but otherwise they
belong to a mistreated minority. Trans people are bullied, discriminated, beaten up and killed much more often than
what’s the population average. Suicide risk of the transgender people is also very high.
It can be difficult to live a transgender life, but according to the research practically no one regrets making the transition.
The treatments can be hard and the results vary, but over 90 % of those who have received treatments are happy with
“If all goes well transgender people become an encouraging example of how everyone is free to transform oneself into
what one really wants to be. No one has to settle for what one already is. No one has to look for one’s imaginary,
authentic self, if one doesn’t want to. One can also create oneself.”
Written by Teemu Mäki, with the performers.
Directed by Teemu Mäki.
Annu Kemppainen (only on video)
Lexie Matheson (only on video)
Jennah Vainio (only on video).
Assistant choreographer: Pia Lindy.
Video direction and edit: Teemu Mäki.
Cinematography & color grading: Jarmo Kiuru.
Sound recording & mixing: Ville Katajala.
Light design: Anton Verho.
Photographs (used in the play) by Teemu Mäki, assisted by Erica Nyholm.
Producer: Annu Kemppainen / www.transforces.fi
Co-producers: Vaba Vorm
Performances: September 25th and 26th 2017 in Tallinn (Vaba Lava) and September 28th in Tartu (ERM)
On September 26th, after the performance an open discussion takes place between the performers, the audience and the
representative experts of the subject.
The performance is brought to Estonia by the newly-made non-profit organization Vaba Vorm.
The performance is in Finnish and English with Estonian and English subtitles.
Teemu Mäki – http://www.teemumaki.com/
Transformations – http://www.teemumaki.com/theater-transformations.html