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14 June Action Day Screenwriters Everywhere: Dutch screenwriters and directors in solidarity with striking US colleagues

On 14 June 2023, the Authors' Association's Screenwriters Network and the Dutch Directors Guild are joining the global day of action Screenwriters Everywhere. In doing so, we support the 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East, who have been on strike since 2 May. Actions are planned in more than 20 countries. Screenwriters in the... 

On the death of a teacher (on Wil Hildebrand and the fate of the theatre scholar)

Learning is less about what you learn than from whom you learn it. Not that what you learn doesn't matter, but you simply learn more from an inspired person than from a teacher who completes his list. Fortunately, I have had many good teachers. Some of them are now demented or dead, with almost all of them... 

Children's music saved, but relationship between North Brabant and philharmonie zuidnederland remains 'cool'

What exactly was said remains unknown for now. That there was considerable discussion is clear. In any case, the result is clear: the Philharmonie Zuidnederland (which does not want to be written with capital letters) is back in business with the arts education projects in North Brabant. The brass band and kettle music, with which the Limburg-Brabant merger orchestra earlier announced all the little kids, together with three smaller youth theatre institutions, in... 

Why I suddenly missed the writers in Den Bosch @tfboulevard

Usually when I speak to someone who calls themselves a playwright, they say they are 'only' a supplier of a 'half-product'. I never get that answer from a young actor, and certainly never from a director. It is they who make theatre out of the half-products supplied by writers. Actors and directors prefer to be addressed as 'theatre-makers'. Nothing wrong with that.... 

Martin Crimp on Lessons in Love and Violence at the @hollandfestival: 'The past is a playground, in which I can escape from the rolling news.'

No love without power relations. And certainly not when that love takes place in a royal bedroom. That bedchamber is now the setting for a tragic love triangle between a king, his lover and his wife in Lessons in Love and Violence, the third opera by English composer Georges Benjamin and playwright Martin Crimp. The Elizabethan drama Edward II... 

A fertile repertoire landscape.

Performing arts policy greatly determines what can be seen and heard on Dutch stages. It underpins government funding of theatre and music. This policy pays a lot of attention to the quality of performances, but it hardly discusses the choice of pieces played, let alone what kind of repertoire landscape... 

Playwrights and cultural exploration (3): 'Contemporary musical, a new tradition among writers?'

On 25 January 2018, the Musical Awards were presented with, as we are used to, many translated reruns and calibrated repertoire. Also notable was the appreciation for new Dutch work. Many a writer will have been cheering on the sofa when 'Was Getekend, Annie M.G. Schmidt' won the awards. Does that bode well for the future? Can today's (small)... 

Playwrights and cultural exploration (2) Sophie Kassies: 'A pool of plays that don't find an audience is an erosion of the profession'

The previous cultural exploration among playwrights gives cause for further exploration. From the earlier article, we take away that further privatisation only partially captures public money and objectives. See also from elevation ideals to efficiency thinking. We also take away that a public as all-important leads to one-sided popular culture, entertainment and false competition with the free circuit. It all has very little... 

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dutch proverbs, oil on panel, 1559, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

'Playwriting is flourishing,' says the Language Union. Time for an exploration among playwrights.

On 6 December 2017, the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs was awarded to poet, writer and playwright Ilja Leonard Pfeiffer. With his play about Bram Moszkowitcz, titled 'The lawyer', he was the preferred original work among 47 submissions. According to the Taalunie, Pfeiffer's play 'balances magisterially on the fine line between tragedy and comedy, realistic drama and meta-thought, slapstick and emotion.... 


Stagehands, stay away from that theatre!

The longer I walk around in the theatre sector, the more I find out that this so-called crisis in the performing arts is not down to the people who make theatre, nor to the people who come to see it or not. Good will is omnipresent. The only real cause for a breach of trust between actors and audiences that I can point to is the nineteenth-century invention we call 'theatre'. Let me explain.

Theatres were rather intimate soci...

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Why you should go to Snorder (while you still can)

The theatre project 'Snorder' once began as the soap opera that closed the long evenings at the festival Hollandse Nieuwe. A festival for new playwrights, first in theatre Cosmic, later in MC. Both Amsterdam theatres no longer exist in the meantime, neither does Hollandse Nieuwe. But director John Leerdam and his crew have now been given the space for a revival at de Balie.... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (4): 'Broadcasters squeeze out artists'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Next hot issue. Copyright is mentioned in a few passages of the Cultural Exploration. I am also affected by that in various ways. There is, of course, that new author's contract law, which is going to be discussed in the chamber one day, maybe. Nice about that is that the creator's position in that law has been strengthened.' Marathon interviewAfter the fuss around... 

Martin Wuttke makes Berlin museum night worthwhile at @hollandfestival

Holland Festival

There are those who spend nights queuing for a ticket. After all, the Berliner Ensemble is mythologically big. As big as the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, or La Comédie Française in France. Monuments to cultural history, dedicated to one writer, like Brecht or Shakespeare, or to an entire history, as the French are used to. We Dutch have

Zwischenfälle is a breathtaking barrage of 54 hilarious, short scenes about clumsy humans. You rarely see it this virtuoso #hf12

Two men are sitting together at a table eating spaghetti. One is wolfing down the plate of pasta in no time, while at the same time telling an amusing anecdote - just barely intelligible - with fierce gestures and self-righteous grunts. The other, an elderly guy, is totally ignored. Despite frantic attempts, the poor man just cannot manage to... 

#HF11: With The School for Scandal, Deborah Warner gives a gleeful kick to an arch-conservative theatre tradition. The British are not amused.

Photo: Neil Libbert

That was a bit of a grind for British theatre critics. The celebrated director Deborah Warner (1959) recently pulled Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The School for Scandal out of the closet. A play from 1777, and an untouchable part of the British theatre canon. Building on the style of her earlier production Mother Courage (2009) Warner also indicated The School for Scandal - goddamn - a quirky, contemporary twist.


"With many video, light, music and noise - like a rock concert, " grins Warner in the office of the Barbican Theatre In London. "Mother Courage had an incredibly populist, exciting atmosphere. I love that arrogant theatricality immensely, and I wanted to continue that style in The School for Scandal. For me, the big challenge was to explore the Brechtian theatre style of Weimar - which I got through Mother Courage had discovered again - to collide with an eighteenth-century theatre text."

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