NÄTY’s operations allow for a direct link between teaching and research. The entire teaching staff also engages in research. Many courses include research aspects or occur in a research environment, thereby making research a natural part of acting studies.

The degree programme involves multidisciplinary, artistically focused research collaboration with national and international partners. Our closest partner is the Centre for Practise as Research in Theatre T7.

Through research collaboration, the Degree Programme in Theatre Arts strengthens the dialogue between arts and sciences and makes research visible, also outside the university.

“NÄTY’s operations weave art, pedagogy and research together into a seamless whole”

– Pauliina Hulkko


The research interests of Pauliina Hulkko relate to the theatre arts, dramaturgy, performing and ethics. The dramaturgy of an actor that she outlines in her research offers a way to analyse and teach the special physical thinking of an actor. It also serves as an avenue for the application of various acting techniques.

The research interests of Minna Hokkanen are related particularly to applied drama and, within this field, playback theatre. She investigates the ways in which playback theatre could serve as a tool for the development and analysis of theatre arts, first in a student’s examination of their own identity and the world, later as an actor’s avenue for social influence. Her goals also include researching the actor’s role as mediator in a rapidly changing world. In addition, Hokkanen is interested in female acting and the meaning of gender in theatre arts, theatre work and its hierarchies, in the past and in the future.


Mikko Kanninen researches actors, their physicality and its various possibilities in a continuously changing reality. At the moment, changing realities involving the modelling of digital realms and data communication connections also pose questions for the research of performing arts: Kanninen’s particular points of interest include telepresence in the pedagogy of theatre arts and virtual realities as platforms for performance.

Samuli Nordberg started his doctoral studies in the research of arts at the beginning of 2017. The title of his doctoral dissertation is Jaettu tekijyys: ruumillinen näkökulma. The research focuses on the physicality of collective working, particularly the physical thinking of the performer and its effects on the decision-making of an individual and a group.


Tiina Syrjä’s key research interests focus on acting in a foreign language and the (gendered) physicality of voice. Acting in a foreign language can also help students to analyse the musical and physical meaning levels of their native tongue and the effects that voice and language have on an actor’s body image, physical perception of presence and self-esteem.

Research projects and networks