Photo by Erin Palm
Mika Laulainen is a stage director based in Vancouver and on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She holds a BFA in Theatre, with a specialization in directing from the University of Victoria. She has further trained at Directors Lab North, Directors Lab West, the Women’s Directing Intensive at the Banff Centre, and in directing ensembles with Movement Theater Studios in New York. She has begun training in intimacy direction with Intimacy Directors International and intends to continue this training. Her focus is on ensemble driven, physical work where heightened theatricality marries aesthetic minimalism. Her work is also inherently political, and asks questions of the audience to encourage a visceral response by insisting upon a dialogue, a shared experience that expands beyond the stage to the audience. Mika is also a playwright, puppeteer, and producer. She holds both Canadian and American citizenship and has directed across Canada and the US. Elle travaille justement en français et l’anglais.
Mika directs productions for professional companies and community engaged initiatives. She directs and produces her own work under the banner of star star theatre. She was the Artistic Associate at Axis Theatre, a physical theatre company for the young and young at heart, for the 2016-2017 season. She can also be found working at The Cultch.
Mika’s first professional play, Runaway, premiered in May 2015 with Theatre SKAM. The play’s development was supported through commission by Theatre SKAM and can be found through Playwrights Guild of Canada, where she is a member. She is a professional member of UNIMA CANADA, the puppeteers’ union of Canada, and a member of Equity in Theatre.
Mika is a member of the 2019-2020 SDC Foundation Observership Class.
When she is not doing theatre, Mika is often riding her bicycle. When she is not riding her bicycle, it is likely that she is drinking tea. She spends a lot of time walking her puppy, Juno, who loves everyone.