DutchCulture
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Theatre

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Johan Simons and Ivo van Hove, the Flemish leader of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, are two of the world-class theatre makers in the Dutch-speaking world. The youngest generation of theatre makers is also active outside the Netherlands. Many young theatre makers, such as Dries Verhoeven, produce so-called ‘experiential theatre’.

Simons worked together with Paul Koek to help theatre on location flourish in the Netherlands, with Hollandia, which performed in former factories and churches as well as a breaker’s yard. After his stint in Eindhoven with ZT Hollandia, Simons became the director of NT Gent, and from autumn 2010 he will be artistic leader of the Münchner Kammerspiele. Twee stemmen (Two voices), featuring Jeroen Willems, performed at the time by Hollandia, was the beginning of a glorious international career that has been played out on distinguished European stages including Paris, Vienna and Berlin. In the 1990s Van Hove created much-talked-about theatre at the Zuidelijk Toneel. Since 2001 he has been the leader of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, also a company that has regularly toured Europe and beyond. Furthermore, Van Hove has produced several theatre pieces for the Theatre Workshop in New York.

A tier below these top performers, there are many theatre companies in the Netherlands working in the theatre-in-the-round circuit. Companies such as Orkater, Dood Paard and Kassys, makers of mime performances, have performed regularly outside the Netherlands in the past ten years. The Netherlands has made its mark in the field of theatre on location with the internationally renowned but now disbanded company Dogtroep. However, kindred spirits such as Vis-a-Vis, Warner & Consorten and The Lunatics are very active on this front and continually performing outside the Netherlands.

The younger generation of theatre makers, aged around thirty, also includes members who are active internationally, in particular Lotte van den Berg, Jetse Batelaan, Boukje Schweigman and Dries Verhoeven. Their performances include mime, theatre on location, experiential theatre and combinations of all these genres.

In 2009 Van den Berg started her own company in Dordrecht under the name Omsk. Batelaan created his own productions at first, then directed at Max and now has a permanent appointment at the Ro Theatre. Verhoeven worked as scenographer for a number of companies and also directs his own productions. Boukje Schweigman leads her own company, Schweigman&.