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'We really thought it would only take three weeks' - Young actors on graduating at Corona time

Susannah Elmecky and Emma Remmelts were in the third year of the Utrecht School of Theatre when Covid struck. Now they have both graduated and started careers on stage. In this podcast, they tell how they experienced the time of lockdowns. Also joining us is Victorine Plante, director of theatre group Aluin, where Susannah Elmecky now plays a beautiful role in 'Don't f*ck with Artemis'.

Listen here:

Emma Remmelts faced lockdown in the middle of her internship: "In the third year, you really want to go into practice. You look forward to that from the first year, but just as my internship started, everything was cancelled.'


Victorine Plante saw it happening: 'The whole idea of such a drama school is that you learn such a profession in four years. The first two years you are mostly learning techniques and at most you play a few times for teachers and parents. Only in your third year do you learn what it is to play in series, to make it repeatable. They missed that now, although I can see that they pick it up quickly.'

For Susannah, the prospect of zooming sessions was not appealing: 'We were lucky that our daily classes could go on. We were not asked to sit in front of our laptops all day because I personally wouldn't pull that off. All our projects dropped out and I felt that school was completely confused, because what were they supposed to do with those students? Then we got the opportunities to make something ourselves. I then made a radio play. Once a week, we had a mentor lesson via zoom, and I especially remember from that that everyone was crying.'


Graduating in corona time creates handicaps, Emma says: 'Normally, when you do your graduation performance, there are lots of critics and producers in the audience, and now there weren't any. I do believe in eventually ending up where you have a good time. But there is so much being played now that has been sitting in the fridge for a long time, and there is also a lot of safe production. Sometimes I do think, how on earth am I going to get in amongst this? Fortunately, I've always had work so far.'

Listen to the podcast here, which also talks about how important it is that your cradle was in a home where theatre plays a big part. Susannah Elmecky has two parents who are actors. Emma Remmelts is granddaughter of then-famous actors Joan Remmelts and Elisabeth Versluis. Her father was not happy with his childhood as an actor's son and became a doctor. That is an option Emma also still has.

Ultimately, it is about what keeps a young actor going in a world that is in lockdown.

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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