The trilogy culminates with a world premiere


Studio Total’s artistic directors Anna-Maria Lipponen and Petri Tuhkanen a creating a stage production based on Hubert Selby Junior’s novel Requiem for a Dream. The Finnish-Estonian collaboration is directed by Lipponen and will premiere on September 20th, 2024 on the big stage of Rakvere teater. The story has been turned into a famous movie in the early 2000s, but Lipponen’s direction marks the world stage premiere for Hubert Selby Junior’s novel.

“A few years ago, when we got the rights for the stage dramatization and directing of this work, I was over the moon. Also, when we heard that our version would be the world premiere, I guess it also created some kind of pressure for us,” comments Lipponen about the upcoming project. “The dramatization has been a long-span job, because there is a lot of material – and the famous film is also in the memory of many. We use a lot of video in the work, but in my opinion we are very far from a film”, adds the director who also dramatized the work.

The work is created as a Finnish-Estonian collaboration and produced by the Rakvere teater. In the team there are several artistic designers – such as the Finnish sound designer Antti Puumalainen and Swiss costume designer Coline Meret Lola Jud, who both have collaborated with Studio Total before. The video design is done by Lipponen and Tuhkanen together with Jekaterina Abramova from Tallinn who also worked already in the work Dreams for Sale (2021). The cast includes eight actors from Rakvere teater. Also, the entire implementation staff of the theatre is set to carry out the production.


At the same time, Requiem for a Dream is also an artistic summary and the final part of the Dreams trilogy created by Studio Total. The first part Dreams for Sale, asked the price of our dreams. The second part, Dreamwork(2023), reflected on the utopia of a dream team and a perfect community. Requiem for a Dream, which concludes the trilogy, brings to the stage the very essence of the concept of a dream. “For me, the most important thing in the work is hope. As long as there are dreams there is hope and when there is hope there is life,” Lipponen describes the main theme of the work.

“It’s amazing that a project that has been planned for many years is getting its premiere at this very moment. I’m about to graduate from the Zurich University of the Arts with a master’s degree in directing. This is such a great story. It’s honour to do this to the big stage.”

Collaboration with Rakevere teater is also part of a continuum for Studio Total. It is the third time that the group prepares a stage production in Estonia. The Finnish-Estonian collaboration began with the play Handless directed by Tanjalotta Räikkä and written by Lipponen, which was created in collaboration with Eesti Draamateater in 2016. Two years later the group produced together with the Estonian contemporary theater group NO99 the work NO30 Ship of Fools and directed by Tiit Ojasoo.