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Afterword in TR8 foyer. Flnr: Brecht de Backer, Samuel D. Hunter and Erik Whien. photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Samuel D. Hunter's Proof of God at Theatre Rotterdam: "Since I'm a father, I have to be hopeful, I can't be cynical anymore."

"In America, when you put two guys on stage, the audience expects them to beat each other up, or fuck each other. In this play, neither happens, but in the theatre it's almost always about two men fighting or fucking." Legendary words from Samuel D. Hunter. He wrote the play 'A Case for the Existence... 

pr image Closed Eyes

With Closed Eyes, Alida Dors unleashes a revolution

I used the word 'revolutionary' when a camera crew from Theatre Rotterdam asked me what I thought of Closed Eyes. I don't know if my otherwise extraordinarily enthusiastic response will make it to the final edit, but a day later, that feeling is not gone. What Alida Dors, artistic director of Theatre Rotterdam, has shown is a revolution in the world of... 

Comfort Birds

Grieving well for the loss of a loved one does not lead to Prozac or a shrink. On the contrary, a little life skill helps, as in 'Grief is the thing with feathers' by Max Porter, Jacob Derwig and Erik Whien. Once, after tragedy struck my family, I used to console myself by reading aloud the picture book Frog and the Little Bird by Max... 

Erik Whien moves on the inclusion wave, in dialogue

Director Alida Dors is pushing for inclusion at Theatre Rotterdam. What does this mean for a 44-year-old white director with great success with traditional audiences, as now with 'Sadness is the thing with feathers'? A Q&A. "Erik Whien's theatre is all about the human being. About the head and everything that happens in it. Every human being has thoughts, in the mind... 

A new layer of management is not going to solve Theatre Rotterdam's problems

Rotterdam and theatre, quite tricky. I should know, I was born there and it was a subject of several working groups during my Theatre Science studies in the 1980s. Since the last theatre reform, a merger in which independent performers would work together to provide all the special theatre in Rotterdam, but... 

The BIS is dead, long live the Puppets

Let's just start with the good news: De Staat is a regular fixture in the Netherlands from now on. And so we are talking about the band De Staat. Who make fantastic music videos these days. They have been promoted from a four-year grant with the Performing Arts Fund to a four-year grant according to the Cultural Basic Infrastructure (BIS). With 55 other newcomers. All weighed... 

'I'm not the discrimination police.' Romana Vrede on her role in Gloria Wekker's team on SPOT-LIve.

'How do I make the world a little more beautiful? That's what I ask myself in everything I do.' Romana Vrede, award-winning actress with Het Nationale Theater, 'table lady' on De Wereld Draait Door and Summer Guest, likes to look positively into the world. So will her contribution to SPOT-Live, the performing arts symposium taking place in Rotterdam on 28 May, be optimistic... 

'We have become spectators rather than actors'; Philipp Blom tells performing artists on SPOT-Live what is at stake.

'We are on the brink of a new cultural revolution. We need to move away from our paradigm and art can play a role in this. Art can show us images of a different future, a different thought. Artists can help bring that realisation in.' Speaking is writer and journalist Philipp Blom. In 2017, his... 

Eric de Vroedt (Het Nationale Theater)curates at SPOT-Live: 'Let's talk about love.'

'What we so often forget is to just talk about our love for theatre.' Eric de Vroedt, artistic director of The National Theatre, wants to talk about substance for once. And then with the entire performing arts sector. Soon there will be SPOT-Live, the renewed Congress of Performing Arts, and there he wants to talk about love. 'Quite by chance, it happened a month ago.... 

Shout out! The big fill-in for the new arts plan.

The Council for Culture has just proposed the new Basic Infrastructure (BIS), and it has become a very big, in traditional terms 'prosperous', baby. Since the Council is not allowed to name names, and can only list functions, we have already made a fill-in list here, in which we list (very briefly, because little time and not knowing about everything) which existing cultural... 

Cultural sector on expedition to Zero Waste: A prelude to a circular cultural sector

Eight cultural institutions started the first Zero Waste Expedition Culture this year. During this expedition, the first steps were taken in terms of waste separation and waste prevention. The Maaspoort in Venlo, Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland, Luxor Theatre Rotterdam, Museon, Paradiso, Tivoli/Vredenburg, the Zuiderzeemuseum and the Van Abbemuseum are the frontrunners in the expedition, setting an example for their... 

Amsterdam has the @HollandFestival. Ask yourself why that is. And whether that's ok.

Last week, while walking the dog, my neighbour Stefanie asked, "What is that anyway, this Holland Festival?", and I almost caught myself wearily going to explain that it was the most important performing arts festival the Netherlands and its environs and that everyone with a bit of education should know it. But I held back. And wondered: how... 

'Fleshy, divinely bawdy at times.' - Buddingh Prize 2018 for Radna Fabias during sizzling Poetry International (#pifr)

Danez Smith is quite something. Or rather two, because the American poet likes to be addressed in the gender-neutral, or rather gender-plural plural form. A form of address not yet very common in Dutch, and thus avoided by everyone. Thursday night, 31 May at the former ro theatre, now Theater Rotterdam - Witte de With, fell around the... 

ITA is a hopeless name for an art house. But there is no alternative for Amsterdam's city theatre

Toneelgroep Amsterdam and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam will continue together as 'Internationa(a)l Theater Amsterdam' (ITA). Not to be confused with the just-removed Internationaal Danstheater Amsterdam. I find the name 'ITA' rather chilly. Maybe as cold as Toneelgroep, but at least that still contained the word 'group'. That has something cosy about it. ITA is something like ING. Great ambition and no roots. For a moment... 

Culture Council fill-in exercise offers hardly any surprises

Champagne at BAK in Utrecht, deep disappointment at The New Institute in Rotterdam: the Council for Culture has spoken. Today, Thursday 19 May 2016, the first advice after the draconian art cuts by the first Rutte cabinet came out, and heads are rolling. Amsterdam loses prestigious presentation institution De Appel, in The Hague fellow institution Stroom has to redo its homework. The Orkest van het Oosten and the Gelders Orkest have to come up with merger plans within two years....

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Theatre Rotterdam is going to do it all over again

On Monday 14 March, Theatre Rotterdam will present its plans for the upcoming arts plan period. On Thursday 10 March, Bianca van der Schoot already told about it during a public meeting with a class of Utrecht theatre scholars. What became clear from her story is that she has little desire to start bringing world repertoire with the old Ro theatre share in Theatre Rotterdam. She has a lot of... 

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