Jaan Tätte (born 24 March 1964) is an actor, playwright, stage director and singer.
He was born and went to school in Viljandi, studied biology at Tartu State University (1982–1984), theatrical direction at Tallinn Pedagogical Institute (1985–1986) and graduated from the Drama Faculty Tallinn Conservatoire in 1990 as an actor. Was an actor (1990–2003) and playwright (2003-2007) at Tallinn City Theatre. From 1988–1991, he played in the troupe of the Pirgu Development Centre. Jaan Tätte is a member of the Estonian Theatre Union and the Estonian Actors Union (1993–2013).
As one of the most popular playwrights of the 00s, he attracted lively attention with his debut play Ristumine peateega ehk muinasjutt kuldkalakesest (‘Crossing with the Main Road or Fairytale about the Golden Fish’, 1997), which was also made into a film directed by Arko Okk in 1999. By transferring the motif of the well-known fairytale into the present day, the play ponders on the eternal questions and choices when money and love are confronted. The opposition between the material and the spiritual can also be found in the play Meeletu (‘The Crazy One’) where a successful businessman flees into the solitude of the forest, creating bewilderment by his choice. This play was also made into a film (2006, director Elmo Nüganen). The sitcom Palju õnne argipäevaks (‘Happy Everyday!’) is based on a quadrangle of relationships.
Using various metaphors and images, Tätte’s plays treat timeless themes – searching for love, self-fulfilment and self-discovery, choices between the good and the evil – usually concentrating on the present day and present-day people. A characteristic of Tätte’s songs and plays is their simple everyday philosophy by which he has won the support of his audiences.
He has earned the Suur Vanker (Ursa Major) cultural award in 1997 as author of song lyrics and in 1999 as playwright, the Estonian Cultural Endowment scholarship Ela ja sära (Live and Shine) in 2000, the annual award of the Estonian Theatre Agency and the literature award of the Baltic Assembly for his collection Näidendid (‘Plays’, 2002). He received the 2nd prize at the play contest of the Estonian Theatre Agency in 1997 (Ristumine peateega ehk muinasjutt kuldkalakesest) and 2001 (Palju õnne argipäevaks) and their annual award in 2002. In 2010, he earned the Estonian Music Award in the category of ethnic and folk music. He has been decorated with the Order of the White Star, class V (2001).
A. K. (Translated by I. A.)
Books in Estonian
Näidendid. Tallinn: Tallinna Linnateater, 2002, 239 lk.
Näidendid II. Tallinn: Tallinna Linnateater, 2008, 189 lk.
Jaan Tätte laulud. Tallinn: Tänapäev, 2002, 87 lk.
Laulud akordidega. Tallinn: J. Tätte, 2014, 39 lk.
Hülgeviga. Jäljed. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2019, 14 lk.
Vaikuse hääl. Tallinn: Pilgrim, 2014, 75 lk. [Mõtisklused.]