T H E D U T C H O N T O U R - Theater Instituut Nederland


T H E D U T C H O N T O U R - Theater Instituut Nederland


3 Foreword

4 Physical, object & site-specific theatre

12 Andrea Bozic

14 Bambie

16 Boukje Schweigman

18 Dries Verhoeven

20 Duda Paiva Puppetry and Dance [DPPD]

22 Gienke Deuten

24 Golden Palace

26 Hotel Modern

28 Jakop Ahlbom

30 Jetse Batelaan

32 Kassys

34 Lisa

36 Lotte van den Berg

38 Space

40 Stuffed Puppet Theatre

42 Théâtre Espace/Judith Nab

44 The Lunatics

46 Ulrike Quade

48 Vis à Vis

50 Warner & Consorten

52 Youth theatre

58 Beumer & Drost

60 Het Filiaal

62 Het Waterhuis

64 Huis aan de Amstel

66 Jeugdtheater Sonnevanck

68 Kalebas

70 MUZtheater

72 Speeltheater Holland

74 Stella Den Haag

76 Stichting Caspar Rapak/Peter Zegveld

78 Tamtam objektentheater

80 Theater Artemis

82 Theater Terra

84 Theatergroep Kwatta

86 Theatergroep Max.

88 Theatergroep Wederzijds

90 Xynix Opera

92 Colophon

The Dutch on tour Index


Dear Reader,

Dutch theatre and dance are popular in other countries. This is not only true of the big names,

such as the Nederlands Dans Theater or Johan Simons and Ivo van Hove, but also

of the smaller companies and theatre-makers from the new generation. The Dutch tradition in

diversity and small-scale theatre goes back for decades. This applies to all disciplines, aimed at

both adults and young people: drama, dance, expressive theatre, location theatre and so on.

Theater Instituut Nederland (TIN) has an equally long tradition in promoting Dutch theatre at

home in the Netherlands and abroad. It is our job to keep the international theatre world up-todate

on developments in the Netherlands by means of publications, DVDs, our

website, electronic newsletters, the international visitors’ programme and showcases.

This edition of The Dutch on tour (with accompanying DVD) is a good example of how we work.

In compiling this publication, we made a very conscious selection: the companies mentioned

(and their productions) all have international experience or international ambition that we are

keen to support. They are companies that have already made an impression, or are set to make

one, on the international stage. In this book we focus on physical, site-specific, object and youth

theatre, in the next book the focus will be on drama and dance.

This publication is designed to provide information and hopefully stimulate (budding) enthusiasm.

The next step is to see a live performance for yourself, get to know the companies and

the makers or find out more about the possibility of programming Dutch theatre and dance on

your podium or at your festival. Please do not hesitate to contact my colleagues at the Theater

Instituut Nederland. We are here to provide information and facilities, including for international

collaboration opportunities. And we are very happy to do this.

Henk Scholten

Director Theater Instituut Nederland

The Dutch on tour Foreword

The 1000 faces of

visual theatre

If you were to try and draw the Dutch theatre landscape, you would need not only a pencil, but also

a huge rubber. That’s because the squares and circles for text and improvisation drama, classical and

modern dance, youth theatre and made-by-youth theatre, movement theatre and site-specific theatre

would soon turn out to be harder to define than you’d think at first glance.

So it is not surprising that the genre division in this book is purely a practical division; in each

category there are some groups which could easily have been placed in another chapter.

That said, we can take a look at the categories site-specific theatre and movement or physical

theatre, and at the whole spectrum between drama and dance which doesn’t do traditional

theatrical plots with a-to-z-stories. These theatre forms are an important part of the Dutch

theatre landscape.

Let’s clear one thing up straight away: mime should not be confused with pantomime (that

funny clown with hands tracing an imaginary window), just as site-specific theatre should not

be generalised as street theatre. What can we expect then?

Expressing through movement

In the area of mime – also described as movement theatre or physical theatre – there are such

talented theatre makers as Bambie, Boukje Schweigman, Jakop Ahlbom and Golden Palace.

Many of them were taught at the special mime department of the Amsterdam High School

of the Arts, which attracts students from far beyond the Dutch borders. Inspired by the mime

corporel, developed by Etienne Decroux at the beginning of the twentieth century, this school

builds on a strong mime curriculum, where the central idea of movement is keeping the body

in balance. Students learn how to make theatre, but apart from that they focus on expressing

themselves through movement. Performances are not made on the basis of repertoire, but

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

Let’s clear one thing up straight

away: mime should not be confused

with pantomime (that funny clown

with hands tracing an imaginary

window), just as site-specific theatre

should not be generalised as street


come from actuality; what is occupying the performer here and now. Text is not necessary to get

a message across or to evoke an atmosphere or a certain feeling, and if text is used, it is often

developed ‘on the floor’, during the rehearsal process. The power of body language is

used as a source of expression for performing. Unlike in dance, mime must communicate something;

there is no pure, aesthetic movement. A mime player’s aim is to touch people personally

and directly.

Most contemporary mime groups established in the eighties (Nieuw West, Suver Nuver, De

Daders) have their roots in the mime school, and many of them have been directly or indirectly

influenced by the mime companies of the sixties and seventies – such as Waste of Time, BEWTH,

Griftheater and Carrousel – from which the popular Carver split off in 1989. René van ’t Hof,

Leny Breederveld and Beppie Melissen named their group after their first performance together,

about Raymond Carver. Since then, they have been producing successful, original movement

performances about daily life with a comic or tragi-comic character.

Jeannette van Steen, who worked with Bewth for several years, started her own company,

De Groep van Steen, in 1994, and developed a kind of mime theatre that combines elements

from the Japanese Noh theatre with Western movement theatre. At the moment, her company

makes sober performances in museums or other architecturally interesting places. Writing on

her website, Van Steen puts the basic idea of mime aptly: ‘I investigate the possibilities of pure

movement as an independent means of expression, as well as those possibilities presented by

the interaction of music, design and movement.’

Nieuw West, a company set up and led by Marien Jongewaard, started out around 1980 with

confrontational, radical, raw performances that drew heavily on people’s stamina. Many people

rejected Jongewaard’s theatrical views, but just as many loved the way he searched out the

borders of theatrical experience, and the conflict between cruelty and beauty, chaos and

emptiness, existential despair and shameless pleasure. Jongewaard makes use of existing texts,

specially written by author Rob de Graaf. In the production Spartacus (2004), they appeared to

investigate the mentality of ‘crime for crime’ and upcoming terrorism by showing a group of

people becoming brainless fighting machines under the influence of a café boss, while a hard

porno videotape was shown in the background.

One of the younger generation of mime companies, Bambie, invited Marien Jongewaard as

a guest performer for their tenth performance, Bambie 10 (premiere December 2005), which

was about cynicism. Bambie may be regarded as the younger brother of Nieuw West, although

Jochem Stavenuiter and Paul van der Laan (the two Bambies) seem more sensitive, or less cruel.

Their performances are rich in fantasy and are precisely choreographed. But their beautiful images

are interrupted by explosive actions, their disarming and humorous scenes by cruel fights.

Impulses and desires, dreams and frustrations are extremely magnified, until the figures on stage

almost collapse under them. No wonder that this company chose to cooperate with Marien

Jongewaard (among others) for this production.

The consciously naïve

Another young generation is that of what a journalist at NRC Handelsblad has labelled ‘the

consciously naïve’ movement. They include Boukje Schweigman & designer Theun Mosk, Jetse

Batelaan, Gienke Deuten & Bram de Goey, and Elien van den Hoek. The term ‘consciously naïve’

is a reference to the emphasis that these theatre-makers put on aesthetics and beauty, producing

a show on the basis of imagination and a ‘consciously naïve’ fascination for the world. The

makers treat the world as if opinions were not guided by societal, social, economic or political

interpretations. For example, for one of her shows (Wervel/Whirl), Boukje Schweigman sat her

audience in a ring and made them watch for a full hour as she spun faster and faster on her

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

The consciously naïve makers treat

the world as if opinions were not

guided by societal, social, economic

or political interpretations

axis in increasingly wider circles, without even mentioning the topics that dominate the

theatre elsewhere: the integration of ethnic minorities, the hardening of society, extremism,

xenophobia, radicalism, terrorism, or even love, loneliness or death. It is up to the spectators to

decide whether they want to take up the exciting challenge of these or any other topics that

are introduced, and which they find themselves unable to set aside.

Jetse Batelaan created the production Broeders/Brothers, an almost silent fairytale with no beginning

and no end, whereby each actor continually alternates between the role of ‘brother’ and

‘patient’. The patients can only move, act and exist thanks to the help of a ‘brother’. If the ‘brother’

lets go of his or her hand, the patient collapses. But there is no indication of the setting for this

production; it could be a hospital, a hospice or even a metaphor for life itself (which we cannot

live in isolation). So the show takes on a specific, personal meaning in the mind of each and

every unsuspecting person who sees it.

Regular theatre and dance-makers are also often keen to allow their audiences to interpret

what they see. Having said this, the makers’ own interpretation is almost always unavoidable

and rarely without personal motivation. This is how the consciously naïve aim to differ; they

consciously refrain from all forms of interpretation, perhaps because they are all too aware of the

full extent of their personal influence. They know that when they tell a story from A to Z, every

point of cohesion and even the chronology itself implicitly includes an interpretation of the

world according to the maker. Their shows are shades of images and movement, in a seemingly

random order, often moving in circles and a-linear lines.

Their shows have almost no text at all, using only the body in a specially designed space that does

not exist in the real world. This might be mime at its purest – and perhaps, but this is tricky – this is

the final point of the mime that was developed in the twenty years before: this is what the mime

has strived for all the time but that only now has become possible. A landmark in mime.

Theatre outside

Movement aspects are also important in site-specific theatre, though it involves more than

just that. The genre, started some forty years ago as a means of bringing theatre to a non-elite

audience often without money, now fulfils a less idealistic but still optimistic goal: instead of

adapting to the limitations of theatres, theatre makers can choose their own place, rebuild it into

a theatre and make something that can only exist in that particular place. Whether that place is a

forest, tent, passengers’ terminal or supermarket, it will be exclusive. The audience feels a certain

solidarity with the performers, as they share in the secret of performing in a non-theatrical place.

There are theatre groups who only make theatre for special locations. But many regular groups

also create site-specific performances, alongside their work in theatres, especially in the summertime.

Whereas until a few years ago, the month of June marked the end of the theatre

season, last year’s summer invitations were posted to theatre lovers from May to September.

A lot of summer festivals invite theatre and dance groups to perform in open spaces, in tents,

on the beach and in the woods.

During the Festival Oerol (started in 1982), almost every corner of the island Terschelling is used

for plays, dance performances, research presentations or music concerts. A visit to Terschelling’s

Oerol means, apart from waiting in long queues and bumping into other visitors, experiencing

theatre in the open air, where the environment and the weather contribute to the performance.

You can watch a dance performance in stormy rain on the coast at night, and the next morning

watch a theatre piece shielding yourself from the burning sun with a newspaper. A few years

ago, Oerol even started a workshop for site-specific theatre, where the genre can be researched

and developed by young inspired artists. Making theatre for a special location is more than just

taking account of the technical needs, the audibility and the weather; it is also important that

the environment fits the play and vice versa.

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

Site-specific theatre makers can

choose their own place, rebuild it

into a theatre and make something

that can only exist in that particular

place. Whether that place is a forest,

tent, passengers’ terminal or supermarket

But Oerol is not the only open-air festival; there are many more, some of which also take place

in the cities. De Karavaan travels through the province of Noord-Holland and shows its performances

on streets and squares. Festival Over ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, Festival aan de Werf in Utrecht

and Theaterfestival Boulevard in the south of Holland put emphasis on young site-specific

talents. And De Parade descends for a few weeks each year on the cities of Rotterdam, Utrecht,

The Hague and Amsterdam, with a lot of special site-specific and regular theatre in tents or in

the mud. And the audience loves it; the highest theatre attendance figures are always during

the festival season in the summer months.

The best-known theatre groups who only make theatre on special locations are The Lunatics

and Vis à Vis. The latter makes large-scale outdoor summer performances where image and

action play a larger role than dialogues and plot. In visual comedy, the performers show ‘the

fight of modern man with the stubborn reality of everyday life’. In Picnic (2000), the group gave

the audience the opportunity to see what happened both on and off stage. On stage, a couple

decides to go for a picnic and meets a wounded passer-by. Instead of helping him, they take

his luggage, with all the consequences. Behind the scenes, the technicians and actors struggle

hard to create a cinematic illusion on stage. Apparently simple effects turn out to be extremely

complicated to bring about. The eight hundred visitors saw half of the show backstage, and

half of the show on stage – a sublime and humorous invention.

Warner van Wely left his former company Dogtroep in 1990 and started a new company three

years later: Warner & Consorten. It’s a group of sculptors, musicians, dancers and actors who all

prefer unusual locations, indoors and outdoors. In the summer of 2005 they performed Clockwork/Guerilla,

a double production for public spaces. In Clockwork they explored the boundary

between man and machine. The scenery was formed by a living, twenty-metre-long installation,

where the actors endlessly repeated everyday actions (making bread, feeding the fish, washing

socks). Man seemed to be transformed into machine.

There is a new generation of theatre makers who don’t choose to work only in theatres, on

location, for young or adult audiences. They do it all, which leads to beautiful performances.

Dries Verhoevens recent production U bevindt zich hier/You are here was a hit at the summer festivals

of 2007. People checked in in a hotel-like setting, were guided to their rooms and cordially

requested to lie down on their beds. What started as a one-on-one performance changed all of

a sudden into a one-on-one-on-all performance when the mirror ceiling started to rise, offering

the spectator a peak in every other room.

Lotte van den Berg offers the spectators a complete new view on what seemed normal up

until the moment they stepped into her performance. In Gerucht/Rumour (spring 2007) she

blended the street and city traffic into the performance; the audience watched it through a

huge window in their temporary wooden home. The dividing line between what was real and

staged was so thin that the audience was kept in constant doubt.

Many more groups, like The Lunatics, Théâtre Espace or Space, explore what drama can do to

everyday locations. And it can do a lot, as most of their audience members will agree! It should

come as no surprise that the work of these companies is also extremely popular at festivals

outside the Netherlands, as the visual language of this theatre genre can be understood all the

way from Holland to Japan.

Lonneke Kok

10 The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Andrea Bozic

T +31 (0)6 – 41 24 75 27

E andboz@yahoo.co.uk

I www.willmsworks.net

A union of old and

Andrea Bozic

new media

Andrea Bozic produces interdisciplinary and multimedia shows that balance on the border

between podium art and media art. They are compositions made from fragments of movement,

music, video, film and (sometimes) text. She usually works with video artist Julia Willms and

composer Robert Pravda.

She is fascinated by presence, embodiment, fiction and narrative, and what happens to these

elements when a space is configured with technology: how does our media-obsessed living

environment affect how it feels to live in this world?

In her projects, Andrea Bozic has developed several strategies for addressing these questions:

It’s Me But I’m No Longer There was an installation for two active spectators, but without a protagonist;

Ways To Multiply Yourself was a production for a far removed body that was being observed

by two cameras; Still Life With Man And Woman was an existential thriller, a film set within a live

performance. The new production Nothing Can Surprise Us (June 2008) follows on from the use

of film material as a ‘script’ for a show, whereby two art forms unite to produce an interdisciplinary

theatre discipline.


Over the last few years, Andrea Bozic has worked throughout Europe at festivals, conferences

and on exchange programmes. The production Still Life With Man And Woman, a co-production

made with Theater Gasthuis (Amsterdam) and the Plateaux Festival, Mousonturm (Frankfurt),

was performed in various European countries. Ways To Multiply Yourself appeared in Tanzhaus

NRW (in Germany) and the Dance Week Festival in Croatia. Pulse Line, a dance film produced

in collaboration with Julia Willms, toured countries including Israel and South-Africa.

She was given good reviews in various European newspapers. For example: ‘Brilliant theatrical

essay on contemporary image culture’ (De Morgen, Belgium); ‘Abseits der dummen Videokonfektion

auf vielen Theaterbühnen glänzt das feinsinnige, ruhige und konzentrierte Still life’

(Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, Germany).

Still life with man and woman

Photo: Andrea Bozic

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



On request


Artistic directors: Paul van der Laan en Jochem


T +31 (0)20 – 463 67 21

E postbus@bambie.demon.nl

I www.bambie.org

Agency: Bureau Berbee, Inke Berbee,


Extreme, physical



Bambie is the theatre company led by Paul van der Laan and Jochem Stavenuiter, which works

with alternating guest actors. Apart from the numbering, Bambie’s productions stand out for

their extreme physical style. Bambie ‘speaks’ in effects and actions, in fights and embraces.

Source: the human body, mirror of the soul, manager of impulses, urges, dreams and frustrations.

Inner motivation is magnified to the extreme, showing how it can rule people’s lives,

making them cling on until it almost kills them. Mankind as a Don Quixote: magnificent in his

drive for action, but diminutive in his fears. A challengingly endearing view of mankind; there is

good reason for the company choosing the name Bambie.

The company’s productions show how images from outside can influence mankind. The attitude

and clothing of the powerful earthmen in Bambie 6. The pile of lifeless bodies in Gorilla

meets Bambie. They suggest the most bizarre scenes, purely by movement. The physical illusionism

of mime in optima forma.

The characters in Bambie productions can pant and scream, mumble and spout. And if required

by the scene, an actor may even use his voice.


During the last few years, Bambie has performed in South-Africa (the Klein Karoo Nasionale

Kunstenfees, Bambie 6), Brazil (Bambie 6), Croatia (Bambie 6), Iran (FADJR festival, Bambie 8), Switzerland

(Bambie 9), Germany (Bambie 7), Bolivia (Oleg Oleg Oleg). Bambie also gave workshops in

Brazil, Egypt and Iran. At the 2004 Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Bambie’s

production of Bambie 8 won prizes for best production and best direction. Bambie 10, in which

four absurd characters barricade themselves behind the conviction of their rightness, has not

yet toured internationally.

Bambie 8

Photo: Ben van Duin

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Boukje Schweigman

Agency: Via Rudolphi, www.viarudolphi.nl.

For Slagschaduw: www.jeugdconcerten.nl

T +31 (0)20 – 627 75 55

E info@viarudolphi.nl

I www.boukjeschweigman.nl


Authentic, poetic,



Productions by theatre maker Boukje Schweigman and set designer Theun Mosk cannot easily

be compared with other theatre existing today. These two young people ‘speak’ the same silent

theatre language, characterized by incredibly strong imaginative powers and an approach that

makes serious demands on the senses. Movement, design, lighting, sound and manipulation of

the space; they all contribute to create an authentic, poetic and intimate experience. The pair

invites spectators to become a physical part of their surrealist world. The audience sometimes

dresses in white robes to form a fairy ring around the stage (Wervel), and sometimes they float

on a lake in a large red ball (Dreef). Schweigman and Mosk do not only use the stage as a vehicle

for conveying their message, they also consistently break down the theatrical fourth wall,

transporting the audience into a state of mental confusion that allows them to enter their

astonishingly alienating world.

‘Theatre is the perfect platform for sharing an experience that activates the senses and

challenges our imagination’. (Boukje Schweigman)


Experience has already proved that the body language in work by Schweigman/Mosk makes

it universal. In 2007, Wervel/Whirl by Schweigman/Mosk toured successfully in Lebanon, Iran

and Jordan. Benen/Legs by Schweigman was performed at the Cairo International Festival for

Experimental Theatre 2003, in White Russia at the International Monoplay Festival I in Minsk and

in Belgium during the 2004 festival Voix Gras in Leuven. Various productions have won Dutch

awards; Benen/Legs received the 2003 Top Naeff prize, the public award at Voix Gras Leuven

and the Performance Prize in Minsk, White Russia. Grond/Ground, Dreef and Slagschaduw/Cast

shadow are also suitable for international tours. In its review of Dreef, the Volkskrant newspaper

even wrote: ‘hopefully, it will not be long before [the float] also docks in foreign waters’.


Photo: Jochem Jurgens

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



On request


Artistic director: Dries Verhoeven

Producer/agency: Huis aan de Werf,


T +31 (0)30 – 231 58 44

E info@huisaandewerf.nl

I mid 2008: www.driesverhoeven.com

Gestures that overawe

Dries Verhoeven

and leave an impression

Dries Verhoeven makes experiential productions: installations, happenings and performances

in which the spectator is the pivot. The audience is often physically involved in the show.

Performers do not feature in his productions; they merely act as ‘staff’ helping to guide the

spectators through their experience. The projects are on the interface of expressive art and

theatre, and can be appreciated by wide audiences.

In a busy, chaotic world, Dries Verhoeven goes in search of gestures that will overawe and leave

an impression, that will allow the spectators to rediscover their inner self. Within the reality of

day-to-day life, he manages to create intrusive, poetic and confusing moments, moments that

allow you to experience reality from a different perspective. The projects are often presented

in the context of a festival or on location. A lot is left to chance or input from the audience.

Over the past few years, Dries Verhoeven has produced work including Thy kingdom come,

featuring two spectators who have never met, in the same room but separated by sound-proof

glass; Trail tracking, in which spectators speak to a performer on a mobile phone while walking

through a deserted train station; and You are here, in which a spectator lies on a bed in a hotel

room, with a view of the other ‘guests’ via a large mirror.


Thy kingdom come has already toured in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany, and is

due to appear in other countries. Trail tracking was performed as Mobile/immobile in a shipyard

in Ramonville, France. You are here will be touring Europe in the summer of 2008. The large movement,

in which the audience sits in a small cinema in the middle of town watching the outside

world, is also suitable for other countries. And so is Hartstocht/Passion, produced in collaboration

with Roos van Geffen, featuring a bus trip that allows the audience to experience the world


Thy kingdom come

Photo: Dries Verhoeven

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Creative director: Duda Paiva, co creative director:

Paul Selwyn Norton

T +31 (0)20 - 421 21 65

E info@dudapaiva.com

I www.dudapaiva.com

Agency: two six – kleine spui, www.kleinespui.nl

Duda Paiva Puppetry

Poetic and flowing

and Dance [DPPD]


DPPD makes a mix of dance and puppet theatre for adults. By performing their productions

and giving master classes and workshops, the company has put this wayward form of theatre

on the national and international map.

The person behind DPPD is Duda Paiva. He aims to use his research into combining modern

dance with classical puppet theatre to develop new techniques that will enable the puppeteer’s

body language to heighten the powers of imagination. The use of movement and voice as

storytelling instruments in this very specific form of choreography generates an intense relationship

between the puppet and the puppeteer. The result is a poetic and flowing illusion, which

both challenges and entertains the audience.

Together with choreographer Paul Selwyn Norton, Duda Paiva has produced a great deal of

varied, inventive work including productions comprising an unusual mix of voice, movement,

video, light, live music and puppetry.


DPPD has a particularly strong international focus. Over the past few years, the company has

worked in every corner of Europe as well as in Bolivia, Brazil, Singapore and Australia. They do

not only perform, but also give workshops and master classes. In 2007, Duda Paiva Puppetry

and Dance made Fasada together with actors from the Bialystok Theatre Lalek, Poland.

The next solo production is to be co-produced with the Agder Theatre in Kristiansand, Norway.

The shows Angel and Morgenster/Morning star made off with various prestigious international

prizes, such as the Critics’ Choice FITAZ in Bolivia, the Prize of the Polish Artists’ Association for

the mastery in animation and the Grand Prix and Public award of Spectaculo Interesse Ostrava

in the Czech Republic.


Photo: Frantisek Reznicek

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Gienke Deuten

Agency: STIP theaterproducties

T +31 (0)20 – 623 06 23

E johanna@stipproducties.nl

I www.stipproducties.nl

From concrete

Gienke Deuten

to absurd, even idiotic

Gienke Deuten produces expressive shows for young and adult audiences, on location or in the

theatre. In her physical productions, whereby language is never the main vehicle, she creates

weird and wonderful worlds where the characters struggle with the question of how mankind

relates to the world in which he lives. They touch upon issues such as powerlessness, astonishment,

feeling lost and territorial behaviour.

The shows are not a commentary on current events. They serve to translate universal topics into

the transitory world of the individual characters. The basic principle is always concrete, clear and

simple. And this can lead to absurd, sometimes even idiotic situations.

Gienke Deuten’s characters are trapped in their own little worlds. On occasion, they are even

literally trapped; stuck in the scenery. In Schmiere/Ham it up (Deuten & De Goeij) for example,

a clown is tied to a caravan, and Korte termijn geluk/Short-term happiness features two goldfish

trapped in their bowl. The characters are real people, but they are unpredictable and psychologically

unrealistic. They are anxious beings, driven into a corner, trying to defend their territory.


Shows by Gienke Deuten are mainly performed in the Netherlands and Belgium. The show specially

devised for toddlers, Vuurtoren Wacht/Lighthouse Guard, appeared at the IPAY in Cleveland,

US, where she was awarded the prize for the best production by programmers and fellow theatre-makers.

An American tour is being prepared for 2009. Gienke Deuten is currently seeking

contact with Rumanian puppet theatres to organize a travelling street show for the summer

of 2009. Korte termijn geluk/Short-term happiness (production house Bellevue in collaboration

with the Grand Theatre, Groningen) and Schmiere/Ham it up (Festival Over het IJ in collaboration

with STIP theaterproducties) are both suitable for the international stage.

Vuurtoren wacht/Lighthouse Guard

Photo: Annemarie Klijn

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Ingrid Kuijpers

T +31 (0)20 – 412 39 78 / +31 (0)6 – 20 61 84 70

E mail@goldenpalace.nl

I www.goldenpalace.nl

Agency: Via Rudolphi, www.viarudolphi.nl

Golden Palace

From physical to fantasy

Golden Palace productions are built on improvisation and revolve around subjects that lurk

just below the social surface. They always have a realistic foundation, but the acting from

movement produces amazing swings towards the absurd. The theatre company is renowned

for its distinctly physical style of acting.

Artistic director Ingrid Kuijpers is searching for a gateway to fantasy from within the realms of

the physical. Improvising from movement allows the subconscious to produce its own acting

material, and this is precisely what gives Golden Palace’s performances their own specific

magical-realistic quality.

To Kuijpers, the theatre is a place where there is still room for compassion. People are fundamentally

kind, but sometimes find themselves unable to express their kindness. Despite their

clumsiness, the characters in Golden Palace productions are basically trying to do the right

thing. Tragic and hilarious at the same time. Kuijpers knows how to create a fascinating mix of

body language, singing and live music on stage. The NRC Handelsblad newspaper referred to

Golden Palace as ‘total theatre that cannot fail to move you’.


Although the physical nature of Golden Palace productions makes them highly suitable for

theatres outside the Netherlands, very few have been exported. This is mainly due to the large

casts of eight to twelve actors. The ‘smaller’ production De Buikspreekster/The Tummy Talker, which

only needs four actors, is a good candidate for touring abroad. The show Dolores (2008) will also

be part of Golden Palace’s international repertoire. It revolves around a single father who will go

to any lengths to protect his daughter from the evils of the outside world.


Photo: Ben van Duin

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Herman Helle, Arlène Hoornweg,

Pauline Kalker

T +31 (0)10 – 425 95 88

E info@hotelmodern.nl

I www.hotelmodern.nl

Small, but larger

Hotel Modern

than life

Hotel Modern welds puppet theatre, animation, expressive art, performance, mime and music

together to form a single organic entity. The company believes that imagery can be directly

confrontational and emotive. Although they are not afraid to use scripts, imagery is their chosen

theatre language: puppets, objects, actors, sounds and music are used in a variety of combinations

to create exuberant, grotesque or happy worlds. Hotel Modern’s productions cover a broad

emotional spectrum: from tranquil and tragic to energetic and comic.

For the last few years, De grote oorlog/The great war en Kamp/Camp have formed the mainstay

of Hotel Modern’s repertoire. Both are ‘live documentaries’. The first is a reconstruction of the

First World War; the Western Front on a miniature scale, using sawdust, potting soil, rusty nails

and parsley as trees. Rain emanates from a plant sprinkler, and bombs from a gas-jet. A friendly

field gradually mutates into a poisonous wound of mud. Small, but at the same time larger than

life. Camp is played in a stage-filling scale model of Auschwitz. Overcrowded barracks, a railway

track, a gateway with the words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’. With thousands of handmade puppets and

actors moving across the set like giant war reporters, Hotel Modern attempts to imagine the



Hotel Modern has recently toured in Spain, Singapore, Hungary, Lithuania and Germany. Canada,

America, Switzerland and Portugal are also on the agenda. The company made international

waves with its production De Grote Oorlog/The Great War. The Daily Post commented: ‘World War

I letters and diaries are brought to life in a theatrical experience that is poignant, powerful and

yet so simple that, at times, it brings tears to the eyes’. Their work has won various prizes, including

the Swiss Prix de Coppet for outstanding European artists.


Photo: Ralph Prins

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Jakop Ahlbom

Agency: Alles voor de Kunsten,


T +31 (0)20 – 423 58 26

E wilma@allesvoordekunsten.nl

I www.jakopahlbom.nl


Jakop Ahlbom

in optima forma

Movement is the agent Jakop Ahlbom uses to blend music, acrobatics, dance, illusionism, slapstick

and theatrical effect into one. Combining imagination with a sense of drama, the images

he creates immerse the stage in a film-like atmosphere. As if in a surrealistic film, the audience

is conveyed from dancing duets to comic acts, and from tricks to pure slapstick.

Born in Sweden, Jakop Ahlbom graduated from the Amsterdam School of the Arts in 1998, specializing

in physical theatre. In that same year, he was awarded the Top Naeff prize, an incentive

prize for the most promising student. His first three productions received much attention, but it

was his fourth production, Vielfalt, that was selected for the Theatre Festival (TF) 2007 and really

put him in the spotlight. The Volkskrant newspaper wrote: ‘…pure magic. Imagination running

riot, illusion and ‘make believe’ in optima forma. A magic show that casually raises the question

of what theatre really is and reminds one of the hidden meaning of fairy-tales’.


Jakop Ahlbom took his first steps in international theatre during a festival in Rumania and is keen

to explore this world further. Not only with the highly-acclaimed Vielfalt, but also with his new

production (premiere December 2008).


Photo: Stephan van Hesteren

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



None/on request


Artistic director: Jetse Batelaan

T +31 (0)6 – 42 23 06 26

E jetsebatelaan@hotmail.com

Agency: Frans Brood Productions

I www.fransbrood.com

Compact stories

Jetse Batelaan

with long-winded titles

Jetse Batelaan hides compact stories under long-winded titles such as Pas als zaagsel krijgt een

boom applaus/A tree only gets applause as sawdust, Ergens staat er nu een iglo leeg/There’s an empty

igloo somewhere now and Echte vrouwen joggen in regenpak/Real women jog in waterproofs. His

productions seem to be documentaries of human weaknesses. However, his encyclopaedia of

powerlessness is defensive rather than judgemental. He stands up for frightened souls by explaining

them. In clear, absurd scenes, where language is often unnecessary, he vindicates their

powerlessness. It’s all right, we’re all in the same boat.

As from 2009, Jetse Batelaan will be joining the Ro theater in Rotterdam as permanent in-house



Echte vrouwen joggen in regenpak/Real women jog in waterproofs and Toe vader, drink/Come on

father, drink were performed at the Belluard Bollwerk festival in Fribourg, Switzerland. During the

past few years, Voorstelling waarin hopelijk niets gebeurt/Performance in which hopefully nothing

happens (for Theatergroep Max) has been performed at various festivals in Germany, Austria,

Great-Britain, Canada and the United States. Broeders/Brothers was taken to Chalons and next

year, this production and Toe vader, drink/Come on father, drink are scheduled to appear at the

Wiener FestWochen. Jetse Batelaan has already received a number of prestigious awards for

his shows in the Netherlands, such as a VSCD prize for Toe vader, drink/Come on father, drink and

the Gouden Krekel (best production) for Voorstelling waarin hopelijk niets gebeurt/Performance

in which hopefully nothing happens.


Photo: Sanne Peper

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Liesbeth Gritter (director) and

Mette van der Sijs (dramaturge)

T +31 (0)20-6949933

E info@kassys.nl

I www.kassys.nl

Agency: for the United States: Multi Arts Projects

Productions, NY, www.multiartsprojects.com



‘leering theatre’

Kassys was founded in 1999 by Liesbeth Gritter and Mette van der Sijs. Their differing backgrounds

in expressive art and dance have allowed them to develop a perceptive, detailed,

familiar and confrontational pictography. Most of their productions combine theatre and film

and can best be described as ‘leering theatre’.

The shows produced by Kassys are about human (group) behaviour and manipulation. Kassys

uses the conventions of the theatre to confront a group of good-natured people (the audience)

with themselves, or with their species at the very least. The company deliberately plays with

mood and expectations of the people watching. Kassys sees the audience as a character, who

wilfully lets himself be directed.

With a large dose of self-mockery, the company exposes the hidden messages in human

communication. Disenchanting and sometimes hilariously recognizable, the beauty of human

success and failure is revealed for all to see. This is accomplished with a minimum of words and

using distinctive body language, but without distractions and superfluous extras like storylines,

fictional figures and caricatural acting. The performances do not work towards an (expected)

dramatic climax, but provide a profusion of drama shrouded in subdued excitement.


Kassys took Kommer to Belgium, Germany, France and the United States. Liga and Good

cop bad cop will also go on international tour. The productions received good reviews in the

international press. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: ‘Art doesn’t just mirror life in Kommer.

Each refracts and reflects upon the other in facets that continue to engage the mind and make

one hope that this won’t be the last we’ll see of Kassys’.


Photo: AX710

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic direction: Nicole Beutler, Hester van Hasselt,

Ivana Müller, Paz Rojo and David Weber-Krebs

T +31 (0)6 – 12 93 54 32

E info@associationlisa.com

I www.associationlisa.com

Platform for reflection


and exchange

Lisa is an Amsterdam-based maker’s initiative and production facility belonging to the independent

dance and performance makers Nicole Beutler, Hester van Hasselt, Ivana Müller, Paz Rojo

and David Weber-Krebs. Lisa also serves as a platform for reflection and artistic exchange.

Ever since it was founded, lisa’s aim has been to initiate discussion. The company does this

on the basis of its conviction that reflecting upon one’s own work and that of others, as well

as upon developments in the world of art as a whole, is both necessary and productive.

It is difficult to translate lisa’s work into words. It sometimes features dance, sometimes video.

It is sometimes light-hearted, sometimes funny, and sometimes philosophical. Although all the

various lisas have their own specific, well-defined theatre language, their work also displays similarities.

For example, lisa productions always leave as much room as possible for the audience’s

imagination. And they always pose questions, about perceived reality, for example,

or the effects of theatricality.


Lisa focuses as much on the Dutch theatre world as on foreign audiences. During the last

few years, lisa has performed in almost every country in Europe (England, Belgium, Germany,

Spain, Scandinavia, etc). This is how things stand at the moment and little is expected to change.

On request, David Weber-Krebs will for example tour Brazil with various projects. Ivana Müller

is taking While We Were Holding It Together from Finland to Hungary and from Switzerland to

Singapore. Nearly all lisa shows are made in co-production with foreign theatres/organizations.

Ivana Müller was recently presented with the Charlotte Köhler prize, and lisa regularly receives

favourable reviews at home and abroad.

Enter Ghost, Nicole Beutler

Photo: Anja Beutler

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



None/on request


Artistic direction: Lotte van den Berg

Via Toneelhuis, Belgium

T +32 3 224 88 821

E info@toneelhuis.be

I www.toneelhuis.be

Looking and feeling,

Lotte van den Berg

not understanding

Lotte van den Berg makes sober, muted productions that focus on looking and feeling, and not

usually on understanding. And if she does lift a tiny corner of the veil, it’s because she wants her

audience to look from a different angle, allowing them to see other things or to see the same

things differently. Lotte van den Berg makes sharp observations, with a keen eye for telling

details and apparently unconscious gestures. From a searching viewpoint, right through the

surface of the accepted conceptualization. Genuinely conscious innocence.

Lotte van den Berg creates much of her work on location, such as Het blauwe uur/The blue hour,

Braakland/Fallow grounds and Gerucht/Rumour. She does this for children and adults, choosing

not only to work with professional actors, but also with young people and amateurs. The

production Begijnenstraat 42, for example, was performed in a prison and the prisoners finally

ended up on stage together with the wardens and professional actors. She describes her own

reaction: ‘The reactions were so intense, it really stirred people up. ‘This is how it should be! This

is worthwhile!’ was what went through me’.


International programmers are watching Lotte van den Berg’s work with growing interest.

In 2007, Het blauwe uur/The blue hour appeared in Wiener Festwochen (Vienna). Braakland/

Fallow grounds toured Brazil, Germany, France and Spain. Stillen/Sate had an Italian during

the Drodesera festival and was the opening number for the Off Limits festival in Dortmund.

In 2008, Winterverblijf/Winter residence will be performed in Hamburg. The internationally

acclaimed Stillen/Sate will be travelling to Norway and France amongst other countries, and

Gerucht will probably tour from Turkey to the Ukraine.

‘She accentuates insignificant gestures and events that would usually go unnoticed. This is her

way of creating space to allow the audience to see beyond the confines of their imagination’,

wrote De Standaard newspaper (Belgium).


Photo: Koen Broos

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre




(and on request)


Artistic director: Petra Ardai

T +31 (0)20 – 423 58 26 / +31 (0)20 – 422 59 86

E post@spaceworld.nl

I www.spaceworld.nl

Agency: Alles voor de kunsten,


Social issues


under the knife

Space is the theatre company belonging to Petra Ardai and Luc van Loo. Since the 2007/2008

season, the company’s numbers have been boosted by Nienke Rooijakkers and Wilma Kuite.

Space performs ‘keyhole surgery’: they make interdisciplinary theatre documentaries in which

social issues come under the knife and politics are made personal. On the subject of new

Europe, for example, Space asks the question: who am I in relation to where I live? Space

removes taboos from their singular context, thereby exposing the world behind the facts.

The company tries to find theatrical ways of overstepping documentaries.

Space designs events in which the boundary between spectator and actor are erased; the

makers, actors and audience together form a community undergoing research. Space always

adapts the concept to suit the location and the occasion, thereby allowing several different

versions of the same idea to emerge. Many of Space’s shows are performed out of doors.


Space is a Dutch theatre company with roots in two cultures: Hungarian and Dutch.

The company initiates projects in both countries and develops (adaptations of ) productions

together with local artists. This intercultural, yet local, approach is typical of Space’s work.

Holland Tsunami, a Hungarian-Dutch joint project, will have its in Budapest in 2008.

Space took The Place Where We Belong to Germany; in 2008 it will tour Hungary. Design God

will be performed in 2007 in Budapest and Berlin, before going to Italy. Just like the worldwideheroshow,

both productions can in principle be performed world-wide. As from 2009, Space

will be working on FutureCity, a multi-annual inter-local joint project between the Netherlands,

Hungary, Germany, Turkey and Serbia.

The place where we belong

Photo: Marc Pohl

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Neville Tranter

T +31 (0)20 645 7568

E info@stuffedpuppet.nl

I www.stuffedpuppet.nl

Stuffed Puppet

Theatre /

Visual and emotional

Neville Tranter

adult puppet theatre

Neville Tranter moved to the Netherlands after Stuffed Puppet had taken part in the Festival of

Fools in Amsterdam in 1978. In his new homeland his visual and emotional adult puppet theatre

developed to assume its present form. In his own brutal, ruthless but poetic way, he confronts

the audience with their fears and dreams, urges and desires, personified by what are often

life-size talking puppets. A minimal decor, solo on stage, with nothing but his puppets, Neville

Tranter is capable of evoking images that the audience will not forget for a long time. His combination

of down-to-earth humour, deadly seriousness and virtuoso puppetry has already made

permanent converts of many who had presumed that for them, puppetry had nothing to offer.


Neville Tranter has performed throughout Europe, from Portugal to Norway and from Poland to

Ireland. But he was also well received in Japan, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Israel, with

productions such as Molière, Schicklgruber alias Adolf Hitler and Vampyr. He has been awarded

prizes in various countries, including the FigurentheaterFestival Erlangen prize in Germany, the

Best performance at the World Festival of Puppet Art in the Czech Republic, the Sirene d’oro in

Italy and the Grand prix of the PIF in Croatia.

Schicklgruber, alias Adolf Hitler

Photo: Wim Sitvast

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



On request


Artistic director: Judith Nab

T +31 (0)20 – 427 24 09 / +31 (0)6 – 22 58 84 18

E judith@theatreespace.nl

I www.theatreespace.nl

Spectators as

Théâtre Espace

the centre point

Although the installations and expressive productions put on by Judith Nab/Théâtre Espace

sometimes feature actors, mostly they do not. The spectators are often the centre point.

They may follow a course or find themselves literally surrounded by the performance. Mankind

and his surroundings form the basis.

In much the same way as in real life, many elements play a role in the process of observing

and experiencing the environment in productions by Théâtre Espace. Judith Nab uses a wide

range of resources to intensify the confusion with reality: new and old media, mirrors and lenses,

noise samples, all kinds of manual and electronic animated objects and figures and most of all...


Judith Nab works on the performances together with other artists, including composers,

inventors/technicians, a draftsman, painter or choreographer. In the main role, and almost

forming a duo with her, is Han de Jonge, inventor and technical help and stay.

The Belgian newspaper De Standaard made the following comment about Violetstraat 35

(a production in a deserted house): ‘In Violetstraat 35, you come to realize that Judith Nab and

her team know exactly how to stir your imagination (...) Anyone not going in here is missing a

real gem’.


Théâtre Espace was founded in Paris and moved to the Netherlands in 2000. Judith Nab’s

productions and installations are performed everywhere, often arising from a commission

on location. For example, the installation Black Box, which was inspired by the architecture

and history of a specific building. Tailor-made projects came into being in various European

countries, particularly in France. She sometimes creates pieces suitable for ‘black box’ theatres

or for an exhibition context, such as Nightshot, a non-stop installation for one person,

in partnership with the composer David De Buyser.

The new project All the people I didn’t meet (release summer 2008) is a non-stop installation

for forty people at a time in large halls, and will be taken to Italy, France, Belgium and Scotland.

Black Box

Photo: Christophe L’Oiseau

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Koos Hogeweg

T +31 (0)6 - 55 14 59 87

E info@lunatics.nl

I www.lunatics.nl

The Lunatics

Poetic spectacle theatre

For the last fifteen years, the Lunatics have been producing raw yet poetic expressive spectacle

theatre in unusual locations throughout Europe and beyond. Always packed with stunts and

special effects. Humour, fantasy and the elements water, fire, air and earth battle for supremacy,

often in the literal sense. A mixture of absurdity and realism creates an outlandish reality in

which nothing is what it seems. Their productions, which have no text, provide an inspiring

platform for social issues such as nature and human emotions. Realistic situations meet the

unexplainable, logic meets mystery.

The Lunatics’ higher aspiration is to breathe new life into ‘the art of fantasy’. They want to force

people into allowing their imagination to take them beyond the bounds of reality. In the wild

hope that fantasy will run away with reality, making it more hopeful, exciting, better and richer.

Because today’s reality is so excruciatingly boring, frighteningly small-minded and increasingly

devoid of imagination.


The Lunatics perform across the world. From 2000, Sandman was performed in Venezuela, Brazil,

Mexico, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and Poland. Other productions were performed in

countries including South-Africa, Poland and Germany. Some of them even had their across

the national borders: Black Moon in Indonesia, Lunagua in Mexico. Black Moon was produced

and presented in partnership with an Indonesian company, and Ku-Do together with a Korean

group. The Lunatics also boast a number of prestigious awards. Joint first prize for Sandman at

the International Straßentheater Festival in Holzminden, Germany. This honour was also bestowed

on Sputnik at the International Straßentheater Festival in Detmold, Germany. Quote from

the jury report: ‘Even before the performance has begun, no-one can mistake a Lunatics set for

the work of any other company, and the audience is filled with curiosity about the comical/

poetical events which will unfold’.


Photo: B. Moyron

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Ulrike Quade

Agency: Bureau Berbee,


T +31 (0)20 – 627 04 55

E info@ulrikequade.nl / info@bureauberbee.nl

I www.ulrikequade.nl

Ulrike Quade

Intense, innocent, open

Productions by Ulrike Quade are directly engaging thanks to their intensity and innocence, their

open character and the astonishing way she brings objects and characters to life. It is expressive

theatre with powerful musical elements, which makes optimum use of the eloquence of effect

and body language.

Quade considers it important to merge form and content to create to single entity. This corresponds

with a contemporary worldview whereby boundaries are fading and people and the

world itself are constantly on the move. By assigning the terms content and form an equal status

on the main issue, she is embracing a dynamism that becomes both inspirational and questioning

due to the very absence of this distinction. She searches for creative room and inspiration

from a whole range of angles. By keeping personal control of the direction, scenography and

the acting, she allows these individual components to flow into each other unchecked.

As Quade & Paiva (2003-2005), she and the dancer Duda Paiva created the successful

productions Dead Orange Walk, (based on the diaries of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo),

Two Old Ladies and the double programme Nude Volume/Angel.


Ulrike Quade has spent a lot of time touring abroad during the past few years. She has put

on shows in countries including Great Britain, Canada, US, Germany, Switzerland, France,

Scandinavia, Bolivia and Brazil. In 2004, she was the first Dutch director to receive a Directors

Lab stipend from the Lincoln Center in New York. In June 2007, she was made artist in residence

at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts in the United States, where she devised her

production The Wall (2008). She produced the show The Second Goodbye (2007) together with

the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company in Taipei, Taiwan under the direction of Jos van Kan.

Me Too – a sideshow

Photo: Sergio Gridelli

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre



On request


Artistic director: Arjen Anker

T +31 (0)294 – 41 15 86

E info@visavis.nl

I www.visavis.nl

Petty bourgeois style

Vis à Vis

of humour

The Vis à Vis theatre company mainly produces large-scale, ingenious summer shows and

projects on location. Visual, dynamic and often just plain spectacular productions, in which

effect and action are more important than the dialogue.

The visual comedy produced by Vis à Vis represents a poetic but chiefly funny commentary on

modern-day man. The company puts the unruly everyday reality of life into an enlightening perspective.

Their approach is indebted to the ‘language’ of film and the rich vocabulary of slapstick.

The company is renowned for its use of special effects and stunning scenery, which often

undergo awesome metamorphoses during the performance. Their technical ingenuity is mainly

intended to underline the message contained in their productions and to supplement their

subtle, petty bourgeois style of humour.

Since it was founded in 1990, the company’s nine productions have attracted a faithful following

of diverse audiences, and they have performed at large-scale festivals in fourteen countries from

Scandinavia to New Zealand. Vis à Vis has acquired valuable experience of outdoor theatre in

very differing conditions.


Vis à Vis’ last foreign tour was in 2002, when they performed Picnic in Wellington, New Zealand

(International Festival of the Arts). The company had previously toured in England, Austria and

Switzerland. More recent Vis à Vis productions are also entirely well-suited to foreign tours; there

is little text and they rely heavily on effects. Groenland/Greenland is a bitter visual comedy about

the issue of climate change; Kooiboys is a traditional Dutch drama about two peasant sons vainly

attempting to escape their tyrannical father.


Photo: Bob Eshuis

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre





Artistic director: Warner van Wely

T +31 (0)75 – 631 19 80

E info@warnerenconsorten.nl

I www.warnerenconsorten.nl

Abstract collages

Warner & Consorten

of everyday elements

Warner & Consorten is a theatre company that consists of artists, musicians, dancers and designers.

They perform in places that are not normally intended for theatre. Their work is the fusion of

working methods and processes from visual art, music and physical theatre. Abstract collages

based on recognizable everyday elements. Their performances are without dialogue, but

communicate in an original visual language, thereby appealing to the spectator’s imagination.

An adventure of the senses. Simple and transparent; provocative and surprising.

Warner & Consorten was founded in 1993 by Warner van Wely, who was the artistic director of

the internationally acclaimed performance theatre company Dogtroep from 1975 until 1990.

Right from the start of Warner & Consorten, he has worked with (wild) young artists from a

variety of backgrounds, as a laboratory company researching new methods for performance

art and street theatre.

This approach has resulted in a wide and varied range of productions: street theatre productions;

location-based productions for a walking audience; international workshop productions

with local artists: international co-productions. The newest development in the work of Warner

& Consorten is a shift towards improvisational object theatre and choreographic theatre.


Warner & Consorten has performed throughout Europe, in Africa, South America and Asia.

From important festivals in France, China and Columbia to co-productions in Kenya, England

and Germany. All their productions have been performed abroad, apart from the location-based

performances. The ‘work in progress’ street theatre production Bokkesprongen/Jumping of the

Goat previewed in Erlangen, Germany in spring 2007 and is highly suitable for travelling further

abroad. Warner & Consorten’s Straatstaal was awarded the ‘prix de la critique’ at the MIMOS

festival in Perigueux, France.


Photo: Jeroen Daniël Leonhard

The Dutch on tour Physical, site-specific and object theatre


Dutch youth theatre

is far from childish

Youth theatre in the Netherlands has grown up in recent years. Youth theatre groups make artistically

valuable plays, combining different genres and sources of inspiration, for audiences ranging from

toddlers to teenagers.

With drama, dance, music, mime, cabaret, puppetry and opera, the doors of the theatres in the

Netherlands are wide open to a multicultural public, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. The

diversity of the work on offer and the age range provided for are becoming increasingly wider.

At one end of the growth curve, the repertoire for age 15 and up merges with that for the adult

theatregoer. At the other end, the repertoire for age 3 and up is on the increase, providing

theatre for an audience that is barely out of nappies yet.

Art for a young audience has undergone enormous expansion, partly because of the influence

of government policy. Since the inception of the government project Cultuur en School

(Culture and School), looking at art has formed part of the national curriculum in schools, and

cultural institutions work in close collaboration with educators. In this way, children from all

levels of the population can develop an eye for art. Secondary school pupils even visit museums,

concert halls and theatres with culture coupons provided by the government for their final

exam in Cultural and Artistic Education.

As a consequence of this development, every theatre company for adults regularly stages

performances for a young audience. Established companies such as the Onafhankelijk Toneel

and the ro theater put on family performances. The established youth theatre companies are

spread throughout the country and, in principle, every province has at least one company of its

own that specialises in a young audience. They receive structural subsidy from the government

for four-year periods to make performances for the school circuit and theatres. The largest workplace

for youth theatre, Het Lab, ensures the rise of new talent and offers space for experiments,

as do a lot of of other companies on a (slightly) smaller scale. In total, subsidised youth theatre

in the Netherlands embraces some thirty youth theatre companies and work places besides the

performing arts for a young audience created by companies from the adult circuit.

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre


With drama, dance, music, mime,

cabaret, puppetry and opera, the

doors of the theatres are wide open

to a multicultural public, ranging

from toddlers to teenagers

Questions of life

A bird’s-eye-view of the artistic landscape reveals a mixture of theatre, dance, music and new

media and all the possible hybrids between them. Though it may be possible to differentiate

between individual theatre companies and music-theatre companies, many performances are

multi-disciplinary. Speeltheater Holland, for instance, makes performances with puppets,

actors, dancers, musicians and film images. And Theater Sonnevanck gives voice to primal fears

in the scary forest of fairytales, such as Hansel and Gretel, with a combination of physical performance

and modern music. But there are also theatre companies that specialise in a specific

genre, such as textual theatre. The subject matter in the performances is equally varied and may

deal with anything from the colourful imagination of a toddler or a young person’s questions

about life to the dark realities of the world news. The work of the theatre company Huis aan

de Amstel, for instance, ranges from the marvellous winter fairytale Wolf! or the production

Storm*Gek about the experiences of a girl with divorced parents, to the life of homeless children,

shoe-cleaners and film stars in a show about the hectic city of Bombay. Youth theatre is a place

where children and adults are confronted with both the large and small questions of life.

International and intercultural

Dutch youth theatre is often known abroad for breaking new ground. International exchanges

extend from Europe to America and even to Russia and Korea. Companies such as Huis aan de

Amstel, Het Waterhuis, Theatergroep Wederzijds, Theater Artemis, Stella Den Haag, Theatergroep

Max., Speeltheater Holland, Theater Terra and Het Filiaal are guests that are welcomed abroad

with open arms.

For example, in the 2006-2007 season Het Filiaal took the theatrical family concert Baron

Rabinovitsj to Broadway, New York. And in St. Louis, a remake of De Oceaanvlucht van Kapitein

Lindberg/Captain Lindbergh’s Ocean Flight attracted a staggering 60,000 visitors. The company

is not alone in enjoying this American success. Artistic director Onny Huisink of Speeltheater

Holland is a regular guest director with The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis and his

colleague Moniek Merkx, from Theatergroep Max., also directed a performance in Minneapolis.

Dutch youth theatre makers regard working in the technically well-equipped American youth

theatres as a challenge, and the subject matter of Dutch youth theatre is likewise a challenge

for the Americans. Individual tours by a company usually take place because of the specific aura

of the performances. Stella Den Haag appeals to the imagination of international audiences

by creating musical theatre packed with weird and wonderful effects. And Theatergroep Max.

can always count on a warm welcome abroad thanks to the astonishing way the company approaches

its productions.

This international collaboration covers international workshops, foreign tours and exchanges

between guest directors and other theatre makers, and it regularly results in groundbreaking

co-productions between companies.

Experimental theatre

Youth theatre makers in the Netherlands love to cross existing boundaries. In the last thirty years,

youth theatre developed from the traditional fairytale theatre to engaged, less didactic, and

artistically valuable work. Such writers as Pauline Mol, Ad de Bont, Hans van den Boom, Heleen

Verburg and children’s author Imme Dros developed a repertoire for a young public, and later,

young writers such as Esther Gerritsen and Benny Lindelauf followed in their footsteps.

The tendency to tailor classic texts from the world repertoire to suit children is still popular.

Theatre makers who adapt texts for children from the Ancient Greeks to Shakespeare, or the

absurdist Ionesco, assume that children are well able to understand the underlying meaning.

In daily life, the young public is also confronted with classical themes such as power, death or

sexuality, and just like adults they recognise themselves in great emotions such as love, hate, fear

54 The Dutch on tour Youth theatre

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre


Youth theatre is a place where

children and adults are confronted

with both the large and small

questions of life

or aggression. The reinterpretation of classic scripts represented a prelude to a personal style of

writing for youth theatre. Within the framework defined by these stories, the actors were able

to experiment with the dramaturgy, the narrative style and the use of language for young audiences.

The range is now as extensive as in youth literature, which was in turn also a huge source

of inspiration.

A relatively new instrument in this respect is the use of scripts that reflect children’s lives in a

contemporary family setting. Lives that include biological parents, step-parents, and brothers

and sisters that can also be half-brothers and sisters or step-brothers and sisters.

The habit of telling logical and linear stories to children has largely been abandoned in youth

theatre. Children appear to be very susceptible to performances that, like dreams, are full of

imaginative and leaping associations. In recent times, the repertoire has been set in a picturesque

and daring way. Theatre makers allow themselves to be inspired by literature, poetry,

music, dance, cabaret and puppetry, and they experiment with all sorts of performance styles.

The design is exuberant and mirrors the styles in the visual arts.

The development of the national Jeugdtheaterfestival (Youth Theatre Festival) into the children’s

arts festival Tweetakt is exemplary for the recent history of youth theatre. It began in 1984 as a

festival of drama, music-theatre and puppetry. Later, it grew into an experimental arts festival

which, in addition to theatre, presented dance, music and film for children. In 2007 it had grown

into a festival covering the entire gamut of arts disciplines for the young, ranging from interactive

multi-media theatre to a ‘Little Biennale’ with visual art for children.

A look at the future

The future of youth theatre is looking good. For many years, people worried about where the

next generation of youth theatre-makers would come from, but the tide has now turned and we

are seeing a growing group of new and exciting theatre-makers. These youthful producers are

not simply following in the footsteps of their predecessors; they are following their own hearts.

They are paving a wonderful, theatrical path out through a city or creating a show full

of water-creatures in a spherical, floating theatre. They design a Mensenmuseum/People Museum

or produce a Voorstelling waarin hopelijk niets gebeurt/Performance in which hopefully. And they

do not envisage a future dominated by an eternal bond with young audiences. To them, it is

only natural to switch between adults and children. This concept is in line with that of numerous

experienced theatre-makers who have been making this cross-over for many years. More and

more companies catering to both types of audience are starting to emerge. Huis aan de Amstel

is now producing shows for adults as well as youth theatre. Wederzijds, which specialises in

shows for the classroom and the gym, also produces target group theatre about civil servants,

the army or healthcare institutions. And in much the same way, het Onafhankelijk Toneel or

Toneelgroep Amsterdam also creates youth theatre productions.

The boundaries between theatre for children and theatre for adults are blurring. Youth theatre

performances are no less enjoyable for parents than for children, and alternatively, young people

readily go to see adult theatre. In the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, theatrical concerts for

children and youngsters are performed. The large festivals reflect this trend and they often have

a ‘children’s department’ in addition to their regular repertoire.

Companies, theatres, concert halls and festivals increasingly programme for the young, the old

and the entire family and some youth theatre makers even entertain the idea of making performances

for an adult audience about the life and experience of children. A child’s outlook is, after

all, an inspiration for young and old alike.

Anita Twaalfhoven

56 The Dutch on tour Youth theatre

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



On request


Artistic directors: Loek Beumer and Peter Drost

T +31 (0)6 – 23 97 89 94

E info@beumerendrost.nl

I www.beumerendrost.nl

Agency: Hummelinck Stuurman, for Belgium:


Beumer & Drost

Scintillating originality

Toneelschap Beumer & Drost is a company of theatre makers that allows the opportunity to

escape from reality by offering boundless fantasy and infectious onstage pleasure. Since 1997,

the company has been producing family shows for wide audiences of 8 years and above for

theatres in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Beumer & Drost signature is apparent in everything

they produce; in their approach to acting, in fantasy, in mime and in song. They devise,

develop, write and compose all their own work. Toneelschap Beumer & Drost has declared a

never-ending quest for scintillating originality.


During the last few years, Beumer & Drost has performed in England, Austria, France, US, Canada,

Switzerland and Germany. In 2008, Beumer & Drost will be performing Hobbit de voorstelling/

Hobbit the play at the IPAY festival in Tampa Bay, Florida. In Hobbit, two men make a miraculous

journey on and under the stage of their imagination; they become entwined in a comedy film

in which everything makes a noise and sound is given a colour. The shows Ingeblikt/Canned and

Gasten/Guests are also highly suitable for touring. Ingeblikt/Canned is a complicated embroilment

about a rusty old can containing a few film fragments that have stuck together, but which are

otherwise unconnected. At least ... this is how it seems. The Gasten/Guests build one last changing-room

alongside the 205,212 that already exist in the Netherlands. A light-hearted, bouncy,

strange, bizarre, and yet poetic show about sporting affairs.


Photo: Anne Boeschoten

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic direction: Monique Corvers

T 31 (0)30 – 273 49 56

E info@het-filiaal.nl

I www.het-filiaal.nl

Agency: Theaterbureau Slot, www.totslot.nl

Lively and full

Het Filiaal

of loving precision

Het Filiaal produces youth and music theatre for wide audiences, for young and old, for families

and schools, at home and abroad. Het Filiaal’s work varies from spectacular music theatre for audiences

of a thousand people, to well-considered art projects on a much smaller scale, designed

to give children an intensive introduction to every facet of theatre. Music, theatre and expressive

art are all taken equally seriously as disciplines.

The working relationship between director Monique Corvers and the Hungarian-Canadian

composer Gábor Tarján is a characteristic feature of Het Filiaal productions. The loving precision

and sense of humour with which they integrate text, music, acting and image has become Het

Filiaal’s trademark. In their productions, Corvers and Tarján clearly enjoy their close encounters

with small stage art, world music, musicals or classical concerts. But the rhythm and musicality

of their shows make even their minor excursions into stage plays unmistakeably Het Filiaal

productions. In other words: sometimes very funny, occasionally serious, but always lively.


The first theatrical family concert produced by Het Filiaal, Baron Rabinovitsj, was a huge hit at

IPAY 2005 (US) and went on to become very popular. Het Filiaal opted for serial performances in

large auditoriums, including on Broadway. Their relationship with the US started when they took

part in the TIN’s US/Netherlands Touring and Exchange Program, after which Het Filiaal made

regular flights across the ocean. Monique Corvers has meanwhile been approached as a guest

director by two of America’s largest companies (Seattle and Minneapolis); Het Filiaal will be presenting

a large-scale production in Minneapolis in the 2009/2010 season. The new production

entitled Zo plat als de wereld/As flat as the world, which was inspired by paintings by Magritte,

films by Tati and the chaos of Monty Python, is also suitable for touring abroad.

Baron Rabinovitsj

Photo: Joris van Bennekom

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



On request


Artistic director: Roel Twijnstra

T 31 (0)10-2409846

E info@hetwaterhuis.nl

I www.hetwaterhuis.nl

Setting sail

Het Waterhuis

across the world

Het Waterhuis has been producing theatre for children and young people since 1995. Rotterdam

is both the home base and the point of departure for this professional youth theatre company.

The dynamics of the city do not only inspire Het Waterhuis to explore the depths of contemporary

issues in the Netherlands, but also to set sail for other parts of the world. Under the artistic

direction of Roel Twijnstra and his young, professional actors from all corners of the earth, Het

Waterhuis puts on productions that range from moving and confrontational to exciting and

funny. Talent, technology, video, music and dance are combined to create innovative theatre

productions. International interest and involvement have encouraged Het Waterhuis to sail

abroad to devise productions with local theatre companies in other countries. The productions

are initially performed at the location where they are created, before being brought back to the

Netherlands and Belgium.


Indaba is an annual gathering of actors, directors and choreographers from the Netherlands

and South-Africa, which is organized by Het Waterhuis and Pim Broere Promotions. Aim: to swap

experiences and promote expertise amongst local amateur dramatic groups and professional

theatre companies aiming to inform and educate people about AIDS by using music and drama.

The results are incorporated into productions which are performed in the townships, in rural

areas and sometimes also in the Netherlands. In 2007, Het Waterhuis toured South-Africa with

the show Kruik/Jar. The company now wants to expand its international activities in South-Africa,

Morocco and Suriname. Up until now the production No kidding, featuring two female dancers

from two very different worlds, has only been performed in the Netherlands and Belgium,

but the company is keen to take it further across the national borders.


Photo: John Hogg

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



German/English on request


Artistic director: Liesbeth Coltof

T +31(0)20 – 622 93 28

E info@huisaandeamstel.nl

I www.huisaandeamstel.nl

Agency: Via Rudolphi, www.viarudolphi.nl

Adventurous, frivolous

Huis aan de Amstel

and complex

Huis aan de Amstel is one of the few Dutch companies that makes theatre productions aimed

at both adults and young people. Director Liesbeth Coltof has the artistic lead. Her productions

are characterized by a profound involvement with the modern world. Productions full of hope

because they offer resistance to post-modern uncertainty.

Theatre that uses the power of imagination and humour to pose questions, and to shine a light

on the major and minor events affecting the lives of individuals. Theatre that shows reality in an

unexpected perspective and which is poetic, frivolous and complex. Theatre in which the actors

clearly enjoy their work and which exudes healthy and accurate collaboration between makers

from various artistic disciplines such as film, puppet theatre and music.

Huis aan de Amstel works together with experienced and young writers to devise new scripts

and come up with ingenious and unusual interpretations of classic repertoire. Alongside work

by Liesbeth Coltof, Huis aan de Amstel introduces a new generation of directors. The basic aim

is to acquaint audiences with adventurous theatre that is both personal and universal.


Wolf!, Vernon God Little and Storm*Gek are Huis aan de Amstel productions that have recently

been performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the US. The company has been awarded

prizes including the international Victor Award for Wolf! The German press made the following

comment about Brandkoorts: ‘Feuergesicht is not intended for softy child psychologists. Liesbeth

Coltof makes no secret of this. The director and her Huis aan de Amstel from Amsterdam

successfully conveyed this disruptive, amoral sketch about the puberty of a young German

playwright […] Every word spoken by the adolescent, highly inflammable main character leaves

an explosive impression. Right from the very start’.

Most Huis aan de Amstel productions, for example Aan de overkant/On the other Side and Huisvuil/Household

rubbish, are suitable for performances abroad.

Aan de overkant/On the other side

Photo: Sanne Peper

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



On request


Artistic director: Flora Verbrugge

T +31 (0)53 – 431 54 00

E trapman@sonnevanck.nl

I www.sonnevanck.nl


A plea for staying


soft inside

Sonnevanck produces expressive and physical music theatre for young audiences between

4 and 12 years old. The style of acting is designed to generate empathy for the emotional line

of all the characters, by means of script, music, effect (costumes) and movement. The music

is performed live by musicians and singers, who also play a role in the dramatic proceedings.

Themes such as ‘individualization’, or ‘fear in a culture that has over-estimated itself’ are put into

a context that is recognizable to children via traditional fairytales or new, magical metaphors.

Flora Verbrugge, artistic director of the company: ‘I produce theatre that makes a plea for staying

soft inside. A plea to resist the hardening process, despite the pressure from the outside world’.


Sonnevanck’s attachment to good, sensitive language means that the company does not often

perform abroad, apart from at festivals. They mainly focus on co-productions or reproductions

of performances. The company looks for partners in Europe, as well as in Asia. Sonnevanck

shows are often reproduced in Germany. The productions Oroek, of: zout in je snuit/Oroek, or:

salt in your muzzle, Schaap/Sheep, Kommer en Courage/Sorrow and Courage and Roodkapje/Little

Red Riding Hood are suitable for translation and performance at foreign festivals. There are

also smaller-scale productions for the classroom or small theatres, such as Ontsnapping uit het

sprookje/Escape from the fairytale in German, Assepoes/Cinderella in English and Het lelijke kleine

eendje/The Ugly Duckling in French. In the ’08-’09 season, Sonnevanck will be presenting a largescale

Dutch-German co-production of Sneeuwwitje/Snow White with two casts.

Roodkapje/Little Red Riding Hood

Photo: Marc-Jan Trapman

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic director: Wijnand Stomp

T +31 (0)23 – 527 82 79

E kalebas@kalebas.nl

I www.kalebas.nl

Theatre of

Kalebas Produkties

world folktales

Kalebas Produkties turns world folktales into theatre for all young and old. Artistic direction is in

the hands of Wijnand Stomp, alias Mister Anansi, who creates narrative performances in which

his colourful origins play an important role. He derives much of his inspiration from the Antilles,

his mother country. His theatrical, physical style of acting and narrating brings the characters

from his stories to life, encouraging the children to use their imagination. Together with other

makers and narrators, age-old maxims and folktales are given a modern twist and related to

our everyday lives.

Shows put on by Kalebas Produkties stand out for the personal character of the narratives.

The story-teller asks himself and his audience the same question: who am I? Hearing stories

from the past or from other worlds can help to define your own self-image. The more you

know about a culture, the richer you are.

The stories narrated by Kalebas are cheerful, mischievous and compelling. Themes can

range from cunning and deception to vulnerability and identity, but regardless of the mood,

performances are always both comical and moving.


Wijnand Stomp has made various tours of the Dutch Antilles and Great Britain. Productions

such as Zus & Mathilde/Sister & Matilda, Tante Jewel’s Talentenshow/Aunt Jewel’s Talent Show, Mister

Anansi and Lisa & de Gestolen Winter/Lisa & the Stolen Winter were also performed in Suriname, on

Aruba and the Dutch Antilles. Stomp has given a number of narrative workshops abroad.

Together with Stichting Vista, he made a documentary about Anansi story-tellers in Ghana,

where he also performed in front of the Dutch Embassy. Heimwee/Homesick, a show in which

Soula Notos (Greece) tells her own story about being homesick, and Tussen Water en Wind/

Between Water and Wind, with authentic African instruments, are also suitable for foreign tours.

Tante Jewel’s Talentenshow/Aunt Jewel’s Talent Show

Photo: Roelina Holtrop,

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



English/on request


Artistic direction: Jan-Willem van Kruyssen,

Rick Nanne, Ben Harrison

T +31 (0)75 – 771 57 70

E info@muztheater.nl

I www.muz.nu


Anarchistic, bold, witty

The MUZtheater has been around for 23 years. From its own breeding ground in Zaandam,

the company produces contemporary shows that fire the imagination. The MUZtheater,

which was originally founded by Theo Fransz and Jan-Willem van Kruyssen, started out as one

of the professional theatre companies that focused specifically on 12 to 18-year-old audiences.

Nowadays, adults are also huge fans of MUZ productions.

The MUZtheater performs in secondary schools and various theatres in the Netherlands and

Flanders, but can sometimes be found in less likely (outdoor) locations, such as the river-side

village Zaanse Schans and airports.

Since its foundation, the MUZ has put on 41 anarchistic, bold, witty, tragic, confrontational

productions, varying from new (Dutch) repertoire to adaptations of well-known classics.

The shows are a theatrical reflection of modern-day reality. Raw and passionate, but moving

with a sprinkle of humour. The combination of physical acting, sound compositions and

multimedia has become a permanent feature in MUZ productions.


The MUZtheater regularly performs abroad, putting on its own productions as well as working

with fellow companies throughout Europe. The company is a member of EUnetART (European

Network of Art Organisations for Children and Young People), and therefore takes an active part

in various European exchange projects. Since 2001, the MUZtheater has also been involved in

Magic-Net, an artistic cross-border cooperative of thirteen theatres from twelve countries that

aims to create and stage co-productions in various European countries. Most of them are

English-spoken and therefore also suitable for countries outside Europe. The show Kop Vol

Spijkers/Head of nails is the product of collaboration between the Netherlands, Russia and

Portugal, and the English version could be performed in many other countries.

The Dutch newspaper Trouw wrote: ‘A European Odyssey is a brilliantly staged heroic epic in

which the dialect, which varies from Spanish and German to Greek or Russian, shows how all

corners of the earth unite within this universal story’.

A European Odyssey

Photo: Jan-Willem van Kruyssen

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic direction: Onny Huisink, Saskia Janse

T +31 (0)299 – 37 22 95

E info@speeltheater.nl

I www.speeltheater.nl

Breeding ground for

Speeltheater Holland

young theatre makers

Speeltheater Holland was founded in 1976 by Saskia Janse and Onny Huisink. Since then

it has developed into a touring theater company with a core of ten permanent members.

It is based in Edam.

Highly important in the creation of plays for (mainly) children are artistic quality and the

development of a personal style. The productions include the use of puppets combined

with theatre and/or other theatrical disciplines. For each production Speeltheater Holland

uses different (puppet) techniques and other theatrical means. However all performances

share a strong visual sense.

For each production Speeltheater Holland engages new actors, puppeteers and sometimes

guest directors, and, depending on the nature of the performance, other experts such as

composers, musicians, authors, choreographers etc. In addition to developing and presenting

performances Speeltheater Holland also aspires to being a breeding ground for young (puppet)

theater makers and a place where new forms of co-operation can be experimented with.


Amongst other prizes, in 2007 Speeltheater Holland was awarded a prize for their long and

outstanding contribution to children’s theatre in the Netherlands. They also received three

awards for the performance of Perô or the mysteries of the night.

Since 1997 Speeltheater Holland has worked closely with the Seattle Children’s theatre. This

alliance has resulted in many international productions like Stellaluna, Apple to grandma and

Nicky Somewhere Else. In 2008, Speeltheater Holland will be performing the play Niels Holgersson,

based on the famous book and has an international tour planned for Perô or the mysteries

of the night. The formerly successful production Prince Cowlick, a forgotten fairytale also has the

potential to interest international audiences. Speeltheater Holland has toured in the US, Austria,

the UK, Belgium, Croatia, Bonaire, Germany and South Africa.

Perô or the mysteries of the night

Photo: Dirk Buwalda

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic director: Hans van den Boom

T +31 (0)70 – 330 70 70

E management@stella.nl

I www.stella.nl


Stella Den Haag


Stella Den Haag has been producing youth theatre productions for young and old since 1990.

They vary from small experimental projects to shows for large audiences, many of which are

made in co-production with major organizations mainly from The Hague. Stella Den Haag

encourages budding talent and trains up-and-coming theatre makers, working closely with

various organizations and performing the productions at prominent festivals. Alongside this,

Stella Den Haag initiates innovative cross-pollination between different art disciplines and

devises high-profile art education projects, thereby exceeding the boundaries of theatrical

art. Stella Den Haag performs in the Netherlands and abroad. Home performances are given

throughout the entire building and on the square outside.


Stella Den Haag regularly performs on stage and at festivals across the national borders.

Foreign programmers are keen on work by Hans van den Boom, translated into and performed

in French, German and English. Stella Den Haag has worked with companies including Centro

Cultural de Belèm in Lisbon, Les Coups de Théâtre in Montreal, Zona Franca/Teatro delle Briciole

in Parma and Festival Blickfelder in Zurich. German and French versions of Het Jaar van de Haas/

The Year of the Hare (9+) toured Europe and Canada. In 2007, Stella Den Haag performed No Milk

Today in Paramaribo.

In the 2008-2009 season, Vuil Kind/Dirty Child (9+) is scheduled to tour in the Netherlands and

abroad. This musical theatre production features Lieve, the daughter of a shipmaster, who

struggles to find her way in her stormy existence. In 2009, Hans van den Boom will be producing

the musical theatre show Het Lelijke Kleine Eendje/The Ugly Duckling (6+), specially made for

international festivals and the international stage. All these productions are perfectly suited to

international audiences of children and adults alike.

Vuil Kind/Dirty Child

Photo: Michel Wielick

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic direction: Peter Zegveld

Agency: Frontaal Theaterbureau

T +31 (0)20 – 692 96 03

E mirjam@frontaal.com

I www.frontaal.com

Stichting Caspar

Interaction between

Rapak/Peter Zegveld

image and sound

Stichting Caspar Rapak/Peter Zegveld makes theatre productions, performances, audiovisual

productions and works of art for as wide an audience as possible.

Peter Zegveld has been producing youth theatre shows for eleven years using home-made

instruments and two and three-dimensional images. The interaction between image and sound

forms the basis of all his productions. His work relies heavily on effect and film. In his shows,

he communicates by means of an extensive sound idiom without the need for much script.

Zegveld’s visual developments share common ground with the developments in multimedia,

where the boundaries between the various disciplines are being eroded to achieve a total

experience. He deploys the principles of physics, such as the effects of light, air, sound and

gravity. They are manipulated, so that everyday situations are turned into remarkable happenings.

His shows typically stir the audience’s senses at various levels. He encourages spectators

to experience and discover absurdities, and go through sensory experiences that defy logic.

For the past five years, Zegveld has been working together with the artistically like-minded

Mark Whitelaw.


Peter Zegveld took Koken met Zegveld/Cooking with Zegveld to Canada in 2006; he had previously

toured Germany, Lithuania and Israel with various other shows. His productions Klein Duimpje

in de goot/Tom Thumb in the gutter (6+) and Binnenpret/Private joke (4+) are also suitable for the

international stage. Klein Duimpje in de goot/Tom Thumb in the gutter uses a combination of

animation, sound and acting to relate the adventures of Tom Thumb, while simultaneously

telling the story of father and son Strohuis who operate a travelling film theatre for silent

movies. Binnenpret/Private joke is a comical children’s show about the difference between

inner and outer, directed by Mark Whitelaw and Dick Hauser and performed by Peter Zegveld.

Binnenpret/Private joke

Illustration: Peter Zegveld

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



None (on request English/German/French)


Artistic direction: Gérard Schiphorst and

Marije van der Sande

T +31 (0)570 – 59 14 49 / +31 (0)6 – 23 02 27 64

E office@tamtamtheater.nl

I www.tamtamtheater.nl


Visual theatre featuring


items of lost property

Tamtam has been producing visual theatre shows without text or with very few words since

1979. Inventive theatre featuring items of lost property. Live animation with specially composed

soundtracks. Small-scale performances giving the audience a personal experience to remember.

For adults, for children, in theatres, on location, in their own Objectomania theatre or in schools.

Most performances are technically autonomous so they can be performed almost anywhere.

The press praises the shows for their subtlety, originality, humour and powerful message.


Tamtam focuses on international audiences. They have already performed their spectacularly

expressive shows in twenty countries, at festivals for various disciplines, in theatres, at summer

festivals, in schools, museums and at all kinds of unusual locations. They have toured in nearly

every European country as well as in Suriname, the US and South-Africa. The following tamtam

productions are currently on tour: To have Or Not To Have (for adults and/or children), Objectomania

(a tent offering a number of shows) and Beer/Bear, the story of a hero (successful children’s

show in English, French or German).

Survival, or how to survive Murphy’s law

Photo: Femke Teussink

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



English/German/on request


Artistic director: Floor Huygen

T +31 (0)73 – 612 32 23

E maurice@artemis.nl / annemiek@artemis.nl

I www.artemis.nl

Hopeful reflections

Theater Artemis

on life

Theater Artemis (’s-Hertogenbosch) makes productions about subjects that people take for

granted or perhaps fail to notice amidst the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Not gloomy

deliberations, but hopeful reflections on the beauty of life. Although the shows can vary enormously,

this binding factor provides food for thought for both the makers and the audience.

Floor Huygen became artistic director of the company in 2005. She has worked in the theatre

world for twenty years, initially as an actress but mainly as a director. Her style is amicably

radical; poetically hoping to cause a short circuit. Her sense of drama is sober and cheerful

at the same time.

Artemis always tries to use language with different levels that will suit both children and adults.

For every production, the theatre makers and actors at Theater Artemis repeatedly search the

depths for new meaning. The chemistry that is generated creates powerful brews based more

on our amazement than on knowing exactly how it should be done. The results vary in type and

format; from small to large-scale, at home, on tour at theatres in the Netherlands and Belgium,

and on location.


The production Z(w)ingende Bananen/(S(w)inging Bananas, directed in 1998 by the former

artistic director Matthijs Rümke, was performed at festivals in seven European countries; the

last time in 2007 at the Edinburgh International’s Children’s Theatre Festival. Priemgeval/Prime is

also scheduled for an international tour. Haast of de Kokadrielje/Haste or the Cocadrille is highly

suitable for the alpine countries, as the content of the show ties in well with this cultural context.

Artemis focuses primarily on Western Europe, resuming some of their shows specially for foreign

stages and festivals. Alongside the productions mentioned above, they have Pakman, about a

gang of school children, and Simmen, a naive commentary on computer games.


Photo: Joep Lennarts

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



English/on request


Artistic director: Theo Terra

T +31 (0)20 – 362 31 12

E info@theaterterra.com

I www.theaterterra.com

Agency: Theaterbureau Slot, www.totslot.nl

Topics dealt with

Theater Terra

honestly and sensitively

Theater Terra was founded in 1978 by Theo Terra (artistic director) and has since gained acclaim

as a Dutch company at the very top of the international youth theatre world. Using puppets,

objects and actors, Theater Terra produces visual theatre packed with humour and poetry.

Universal topics such as friendship, love, life and death are dealt with honestly and sensitively

in productions staged by Theater Terra. The basic premise of all their shows is to create unity

between acting and puppetry. The interaction between the actors and the puppets creates an

unexpected effect in comical or moving situations. The creative use of perspective and scenery

is characteristic of Theater Terra’s performances.


Theater Terra has not only achieved success in the Netherlands and Belgium, but also in theatres

and at festivals in the US, Canada, Japan, Russia and various European countries. In 2006, Kleine

Ezel/Little Donkey toured America and Canada, even playing on Broadway. Kikker/Frog is also

doing well there. On a tour of South-east Asia, the founders Theo Terra and Dick Feld acted

together with the young actresses Babbe Groenhagen and Nienke van Hassel. The sequel to

Kikker/Frog, namely Kikker in de wolken/Frog in the clouds, is suitable for international audiences.


Photo: Joey Buddenberg

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic director: Josee Hussaarts

T +31 (0)24 - 360 05 88

E info@kwatta.info

I www.kwatta.info


Theatergroep Kwatta

light-footed, yet serious

Based in Theater het Badhuis in Nijmegen, Theatergroep Kwatta has been Gelderland’s

professional youth theatre company since 2002. Under the artistic direction of writer and

director Josee Hussaarts, Kwatta puts on productions that are both light-hearted and

light-footed with a serious undertone.

Our efficient and practical world leaves little room for amazement and admiration. Kwatta’s

mission is to create this room. By asking simple questions about difficult issues and difficult

questions about things that appear to be simple. By making no assumptions and always

searching for the unknown and the absurd. By tilting reality to create a different perspective.

Productions by Kwatta are often a combination of text and other forms of theatre such as music,

song, puppetry and film. Kwatta produces two travelling shows per season. Het Badhuis hosts a

home-based family show at Christmas, and in the spring it is the turn of young talent to create

and put on their own production in Kwatta-lab. The Kwattaklas is a constant source of surprise

and enjoyment to school children.


Kwatta scored a big hit in the US with Van drie oude mannetjes die niet dood wilden/Three old men

who wanted to live forever. The production was performed at the IPAY Festival in Philadelphia. It

concerns three old men who receive a letter informing them that their lives have come to the

end. To their mind, they are still too busy to die. The next production Kwatta would like to take

abroad is Fabian, of het Land dat niet bestond/Fabian, or the Land that wasn’t (6+), a musical hike

through a magical landscape full of strange sounds, where nothing is as you would expect.

Fabian, of het land dat niet bestond/Fabian, or the Land that wasn’t

Photo: Edwin Deen

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



English (German)


Artistic director: Moniek Merkx

T +31 (0)15 – 212 29 77

E rosalie@tgmax.nl

I www.tgmax.nl

Theatergroep Max.

Clear yet whimsical

Theatergroep Max. produces theatre for anyone who feels young; on location, in small and large

auditoriums. Max. productions are close and intimate, magnificent and compelling, personal

and universal, and use a maximum variety of theatrical resources. The actors at Max. act largely

in character in stories that are often absurd or magical.

Max. is a company that combines quality with accessibility and where experiments are playful,

jolly and absurd. And where the educational basis is taken seriously as a matter of course.

Max. productions display the clarity of a child’s drawing combined with the whimsicality of

a child’s thought processes. A treat for both children and adults.


During the past few years, Theatergroep Max. has performed Love, Voorstelling waarin hopelijk

niets gebeurt/Performance in which hopefully nothing happens (8+) and Vallende meisjes/Falling

Girls (6+) outside the Benelux, mainly at international theatre festivals in countries including

Scotland, Canada and Russia. Soms verdwaal ik in een draak/Once upon a dragon (4+) and

Dochters van Lear/Lear’s Daughters (8+) are also suitable for the international stage. Performance

in which hopefully nothing happens won the Gouden Krekel 2005 as the ‘most impressive

production’. The German press wrote the following comment on this production: ‘Völlig absurd,

völlig witzig (...) ein absurdes, witziges und ironisches Stück - auf clevere Art anspruchsvoll.’

The Scottish press on Love: ‘Without being cynical, these young actors show how laughable

the whole business is. (...) A show that derives its strength from its obvious basis in the truth

of improvisations drawn from their own life experience, usually hilariously so.’

Dochters van Lear/Lear’s Daughters

Photo: Joep Lennarts

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic director: Ad de Bont

T T +31 (0)20 – 682 48 54

E info@wederzijds.nl

I www.wederzijds.nl




around social issues

Wederzijds produces theatre for children between the ages of four and twelve years old.

The company has a whole range of different styles, which is why alongside artistic director

Ad de Bont, guest directors are regularly invited to direct their shows. Productions by De Bont

revolve around social issues. ‘Anything goes for children; we are all part of the same world.

Children see it all on TV anyway. Sex. Violence. A documentary about euthanasia’, is a recent

quote from Ad de Bont.


Wederzijds is a frequent visitor to Belgium and the company performs regularly in Germany,

Austria and Canada. The production Wild Kind/Enfant Sauvage will be touring France in 2008.

Script is often very important in Wederzijds productions, but thanks to the translations, the

shows can also be performed successfully in other countries.

Wild Kind/Enfant Sauvage

Photo: Sanne Peper

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre





Artistic direction: Joke Hoolboom and

Niek Idelenburg

T +31 (0)346 – 21 22 31

E info@xynixopera.nl

I www.xynixopera.nl

Opera on location

Xynix Opera

and in the theatre

Xynix Opera, abbreviated to XX, produces opera to be performed as a cinematic family show

or as an opera on location. Performances are typically physical, eloquent and imaginative.

Alongside ‘public’ performances, XX also puts on exclusive performances for primary and

secondary schools.

The company is keen to provide a musical storyline as well as drama. Shakespeare and

mythology form a central theme.

Artistic direction is in the hands of Joke Hoolboom (director) and Niek Idelenburg (musical

direction). They work with composers including Jeff Hamburg, Chiel Meijering, Fons Merkies

and Marijn Simons, and incorporate music by classical composers such as Henry Purcell,

G.F. Handel and Claudio Monteverdi into their shows.

The scripts for Xynix operas are devised by highly experienced scriptwriters such as Imme Dros

and Jurrian van Dongen. Alongside their own compositions, XX also performs adaptations of

books by Dutch children’s authors. The movement in the shows is arranged by outstanding

choreographers, including names like Annabelle Lopez Ochoa in Orfeo and Dido & Aeneas and

the fight choreographer Jeroen Lopes Cardozo in Cyrano and Romeo & Farida.


On every tour, Xynix Opera performs a number of shows in Belgium. Most of their operas, such

as Dido & Aeneas by Purcell and Orfeo by Monteverdi, are highly suitable for touring other foreign

countries. The Shakespeare adaptation entitled Romeo & Farida has now also been translated

into German.


Photo: Ben van Duin

The Dutch on tour Youth theatre



Editor and producer

Moon Saris

Editorial board

Jennemiek Leijssen/Daniëlla Groenberg, TIN


Lonneke Kok, Anita Twaalfhoven,

Moon Saris

English Translations

Vertaalbureau Taalcentrum-VU


T2 Ontwerp

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microfilm or any other means (including

electronic means) without the prior written

permission of Theater Instituut Nederland.

Theater Instituut Nederland

Theater Instituut Nederland provides information

and advice to Dutch and foreign theatre

and Dance professionals. The activities focus

on promoting Dutch dance and theatre

abroad and providing a programme of artistic

exchange between Dutch and international

companies and theatre professionals.


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92 The Dutch on tour Colophon