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The Sampo Puppet Theater is a professional theatre company based in Helsinki and was founded in 1977 by Maija and Bojan Baric. Both co-founders received their professional qualifications from the Academy of Arts of the Muses in Prague. Maija studied puppet theatre while Bojan specialized in composition and theatre music. The name Sampo is derived from Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, and means a magic mill that brings joy and happiness.
The Sampo Puppet Theater is a small but highly active theatre, staging some 300 performances yearly. Sampo's underlying aim is to combine poetry and music in puppet theatre. Sampo has established a Puppet Theater Centre in Puotila, Helsinki, to expand the scope for continuously developing and increasing its performances, and to underpin training and exhibition activities. The attractive and intimate premises receive some 30.000 spectators, visitors and trainees a year.
One of Sampo's ambitions is to strike a chord in the child's mother tongue. Everybody experiences a poem rather differently. A child often does not understand everything being said on stage but adopts unfamiliar words if they appear in the right context.