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youth theatre

Bernadette Stokvis by Fred Ernst


Bernadette Stokvis is leaving after 11 years of service as business director of Maas theatre and dance. Her successor will be recruited soon. Stokvis has been business director at Maas since 2013. Before that, she was initiator, artistic coordinator and later business director of Korzo The Hague. Thanks in part to her leadership, Maas is a BIS company and also the largest theatre and dance company for youth in... 

Scene image by Bowie Verschuuren

Sex performance HNTJong highlights insecurity

Tobogganing teenagers. If you don't have them at home, you read and hear about them in the media. The phone provides them with thousands of impressions a day, but the constant in history remained: for Generation Z, little attracts attention as much as sex. Or Sex? This language question begins the performance by HNTjong, the youth company of Het Nationale Toneel in Den... 


ROTTERDAM - On Wednesday 18 October at 16:30, the kids of the Maaspodium can be followed via livestream as they give a look before and behind the scenes at various theatres throughout the Netherlands, kicking off the first ever National Children's Theatre Week. Together with presenter Tirsa With, they will show how much fun theatre is! As a new initiative of the National Theatre Fund,... 

Pr-picture The Toneelmakerij by Rachel Schraven

Paul Knieriem on his Hamlet for Amsterdam youth: 'Here you feel what representation and recognition does to a room'.

In mid-March, I went to see the Toneelmakerij's Hamlet, a performance specially made in and for Amsterdam-West. I had some questions about that performance, I wrote in the review, and we would discuss those questions in a podcast with Abdelkader Benali, the adaptor of the text, and Paul Knieriem, the director. An hour and a half before the recording... 

Yara Piekema and Roan Ten Cate answer questions from the audience (Photo: author)

Go see good youth theatre if you no longer believe in the adult offerings.

We have a huge need for magic and a miracle in our time. Some people think you lose that when you grow up and/or have children, but nothing could be further from the truth, of course. And in case you had any doubts, I would wish that more theatre makers for adults would revisit the magic that you still had in your childhood... 

logo council for culture

Culture Council issues opinion on cultural funding application process

The application process for cultural subsidies from the state could be simpler and clearer. The sector would also benefit from a less non-committal assessment of applicable codes of conduct around fair practice, good governance and diversity and inclusion. This requires something from institutions, but it also ensures a more future-proof and resilient sector. This is stated in an opinion by the Council for Culture 

This is how to make heartbreakingly beautiful theatre about bureaucracy in healthcare

Het Houten Huis, a youth theatre company from Groningen, portrays the issue of bureaucracy in healthcare in a poetic and moving way with the performance 'If it goes differently'. This performance demonstrates that art is a powerful tool to raise important social issues and thus contribute to a more inclusive and just society.

Kwatta bids impressive farewell with beautiful 'Metamorphoses'

We always want to do the best, but usually fail horribly. Whether this is our habitual way of thinking, or whether we owe that idea to Ovid, we will never know. We can, however, say that the literary work 'Metamorphoses', published by Roman Ovid in the first year of our era, is the single most influential book of the... 

Jetse Batelaan and Bambie otherwise do quite well together in youth theatre

We like to play by the rules. That's quite OK if you're driving through a historic city centre in a tractor or truck combination, for instance, but it gets tricky when the rules stop obeying themselves one day. The actors of the rather physical theatre group Bambie, Paul van der Laan, Jochem Stavenuiter and Tessa Jonge Poerink, have worked with... 


The façade of the Maaspodium in Rotterdam will be colourfully lit with children's drawings for the next few weeks. In the idea of "theatre gives colour to life", children could submit colour plates over the past few weeks, which the theatre uses to drag its façade through the dark days and a lockdown. Business leader Bernadette Stokvis: "Children literally keep our stage alive". A lockdown during the... 

For a festive family outing in the Christmas holidays, head to Square Theatre with the theatre production Nietsnut! (6+) by theatre group Who Whale!

This Christmas holiday, the performance Nietsnut! by Theatre Group Who Whale is playing at Plein Theatre! To be seen from Boxing Day 26 December to 2 January at 13:00 and 16:00. The performance is an ode to nonsense. To a world you only see when everything falls silent and you have time to look very carefully. A world full of fantasy that you... 

Back to the primal power of magic, through youth theatre. With thanks to Jetse Batelaan.

Plays often end in chaos. An overturned liquor cabinet, a blood blade among royals, we are used to a few things. Jetse Batelaan's latest play, baroque and sharper than he showed before, also ends in beauty, but then that is actually the beginning. Indeed, the ending is sterile and stripped of any life. But that is where the performance begins. The artistic director of... 

Dance & theatre collective Movementalist, in collaboration with Plein Theater, presents the Movement Expo Aceleratio at the NDSM Fuse from 27 May (premiere) to 30 May.

The art of slowing down in times of pandemic. Aceleratio is an interdisciplinary performance installation that aims to confront online and offline audiences with struggle, freedom, courage and comfort, from the need to embody these times. Artistic directors Dayna Martinez Morales & Vincent Verburg are the initiators of Movement Expo Aceleratio. Ten experienced and very different performers in... 

A plea: stop the online sell-out of youth theatre!

Shall I just start straight to the point? I am angry with my sector colleagues. Not at all of them, but at a very large proportion. I am angry at all those big youth theatre companies that have figured out from their marketing departments with fat subsidies that a registration for youth theatre is only worth 2.99. So taking the whole family to watch... 

Nerd podcast 3: Why is youth theatre often so much stronger than theatre for big people? (With Marijn Lems and Henri Drost)

Today we are talking about youth theatre. A genre I myself first encountered in 1994, thanks to 'Mirad, een jongen uit Bosnië' by Ad de Bont, performed by Theatergroep Wederzijds. Marijn Lems got his love for youth theatre from his mother, who, like his father, was a librarian in Tilburg. What we agree on, in this podcast, the... 

Marijn Lems (NRC) on doubt and loneliness of arts journalist: 'We are all highly educated, white and from the middle class. It could be more diverse from me.'

Critics by default have a different opinion than the average audience. That, says Marijn Lems, theatre journalist at NRC and Theaterkrant, is what this research shows. Reason for us to take a closer look at this in the Culture Press Nerd podcast on the deeper details of the art journalist's profession. Another three-quarters of an hour for anecdotes and exciting revelations about the private life of the... 

Moniek Merkx bids farewell to Maas Theatre & Dance: 'I would grant it to any creator to have this audience in front of you once.'

Moniek Merkx will step down as director of Maas Theatre&Dans on 3 February this year. She co-founded this Rotterdam-based company that makes theatre for people from small to large in 2013. A forced merger with two other youth theatre houses from the Maas city, it developed under her leadership into one of the most successful and interesting theatre groups in our country. In our podcast, I talk to her for an hour about how that came to be.

With local rooting of subsidised art, you take the wind out of populism's sails

In recent days, tentative proposals for a new system to fund the arts in the Netherlands have appeared in various places. Tricky pieces, and so far not attesting to very much incisiveness. In Het Parool, a number of prominent figures, including Tinkebel and advertising man Kessels, think that we should think less in pigeonholes, and that, besides quality, we should also... 

No audience cap in theatres; playing to wider audiences possible again

From 1 July, more people will again be able to attend performances and cultural festivals. In theatres, cinemas and concert halls, a maximum of 30 people will no longer apply. From then on, the space will be leading instead of the number of visitors. However, basic rules such as 1.5 metres must be observed. In addition, a health check takes place beforehand, advance booking is necessary and... 

'At many theatres, you don't have to arrive if you don't bring your own audience.'

I spoke to Peter Pluymaekers, artistic director of Theatre Group Zep, about what it is like to make theatre for vmbo students. The occasion was the not-so-jubilant performance of Cleopatra. Listen to the podcast on anchor: 'I'm always a bit reluctant to do Shakespeare. I find him difficult, and young people often find him corny. I felt the same about the... 

New parents are born every year! (Why theatre programmers need to take much more risk)

With red cheeks, I hang up the phone a little bewildered. Just now I had a telephone appointment that took a completely different turn. I had a brief conversation with a theatre programmer who is still unknown to me. She unfortunately told me not to programme anything with our impresario, because there was really no need for artistic performances in her city. This lady stated that her... 

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