Piret Jaaks

Short stories


Piret Jaaks (born 5 August 1980) is a playwright and prose writer.

Jaaks has completed Kohila Gymnasium and graduated from the speciality of theatre studies at the University of Tartu and passed doctoral studies at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with the thesis Kirjutada inimesi: kogukondade uurimine ja dokumentaalteatri loomise vahendid dramaturgi töös (‘Writing the People: Community Research and Tools for Documentary Theatre Creation in the Work of a Dramaturg’, 2022). Jaaks is a member of the Estonian Writers’ Union (from 2017), of the Estonian Directors’ and Dramaturgs’ Union and of the Tartu Young Authors’ Association (Tartu NAK).

As a member of the Young Authors’ Association, Jaaks published her prose pieces in the collections Emajõe kondor (‘Condor of the Emajõgi River’, 2002) and Tule, ma jutustan sulle loo (‘Come, I’ll Tell You a Story’, 2008). The central place in the short prose collection Linnalegend (‘Urban Legend’, 2015) belongs to the magical atmosphere of different cities with characters in different mental states.

Jaaks has won several prizes at the playwriting competitions of the Estonian Theatre Agency: the first prize for Näha roosat elevanti (‘To See a Pink Elephant’, 2011), which deals with the problems of intimate relations, and Siirderiitujad (‘Participants in Transition Rites’, 2019), a play with a magical realist undertone, which observes coping with mourning. Sireenid (‘Sirens’) was awarded the second prize in 2017. Kas loomad oskavad loendada? (‘Can Animals Count?’) deserved honourable mention in 2019. A selection of her plays has been published in the collection Sireenid ja teisi näidendeid (‘Sirens and Other Plays’, 2022). Samad sõnad, teine viis (‘The Same Words, Another Tune’, 2022) has also been published as a separate book. Drawing parallels with the present, it describes the sentiments and selections during the restoration of Estonia’s independence through the eyes of female characters. As essential themes, it foregrounds the women’s position in society, loneliness and isolation and mental problems.

Among Jaaks’ books for children, Emme draakon (‘Mum’s Dragon’, 2019), has received the greatest attention. It looks at mother’s and child’s relations and harnessing of emotions through the eyes of a child. In 2020, it received the “Good Children’s Book” badge of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre and was entered into “The White Ravens” catalogue of the International Youth Library.

Jaaks is the dramaturge of several theatrical productions, one of the scriptwriters of the prize-winning television series EnsV (‘Estonia, a Republic Now’) on Estonian Television and has published articles in the press.

A. K. (Translated by I. A.)

Books in Estonian

Short prose
Linnalegend. Saarde, Pärnu: Jumalikud Ilmutused, 2015, 118 lk

Children’s books
Kadunud soki saladus. Tallinn: Varrak, 2017, 84 lk
Emme draakon. Saue: Päike ja Pilv, 2019, 36 lk
Härra Maru mustikapood. Tallinn: Varrak, 2022, 53 lk

Samad sõnad, teine viis. Näidendiraamat 37. Tallinn: Eesti Draamateater, 2022, 84 lk
Sireenid ja teisi näidendeid. Tallinn, Kiideva: FRAAS, 2022, 329 lk

Kirjutada inimesi: kogukondade uurimine ja dokumentaalteatri loomise vahendid dramaturgi töös. Tallinn: Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemia, 2023, 123 lk