Marijn de Langen

Marijn de Langen is currently a PhD student in the Department of Theatre Studies at Utrecht University. She graduated cum laude in Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2001. Since 2002 she has been teaching Theatre History and Theory in the Mime Department at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. She occasionally teaches in the BA and MA program of Theatre Studies in Utrecht, and in the past also taught several BA courses at the Department of Theatrestudies at the UvA. Since 2012, she is also working at ArtEZ (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem, Enschede, Zwolle), as a teacher and researchcoach in the ‘Honours Program’ of ArtEZ: an interdisciplinary course for BA students that focuses on developping research in and through the arts. Besides, she works as a dramaturg for theatre and film, with such diverse artists as Gienke Deuten, Danielle van de Ven, Sam Boogaerts, Natasja André de la Porte and Menno Vroon.

Reizende Determeyer met treinkaartje in borstzak
Fotografie: Bewth

Marijns teaching at the Mime department at the Amsterdam University of the Arts led directly to her PhD project. This project developed out of her growing understanding of, and fascination with Dutch Mime; a little-researched, but rich field  in the Dutch post-World War II theater landscape. 
Inspired by approaches to the writing of (local) theatre histories by theoreticians such as Mike Pearson (Mickery Theatre) and Heike Roms (‘What’s Welsh for Performance?’); Marijn is searching to create an archeology, a memory for/of Dutch Mime 1951-2010.

There are interesting and striking contrasts between ‘Dutch Mime’ and what ‘Mime’ refers to in a more international context. This contrast raises important questions. What exactly ‘is’ Dutch Mime? Or, more precise: what does it do? How does it think and create? What are cornerstones in this way of thinking, this approach to theatre?

From the 1950's the field of Mime evolves in the Netherlands, closely related to visual arts and questioning the poetics of text-based theatre. Dutch mime performance situates the body-in-space, or - maybe more correctly- the body and space as explicit centers of a performance’s focus.

In the process of writing and researching, several projects and are being created such as Mimedenktank (2007) a two day - think tank, where mime-performers of different generations met and, in an intimate setting, rethought several aspects of the mime discourse and heritage. In 2010 Marijn published 'Het Is-It Is' (RTRSRCH vol. 1 no. 2), a collection of dialogues between theatre makers in the mime field, of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

In 2012, thoughts were developed around archiving; is it possible to create an archive of essential sources on mime, simultaneously evolving and accessible? A first step towards shared thinking about this was taken in may 2012, when Marijn organized ‘Mime Memory Boom’: an event where all students and teachers of the mimeschool were invited to think together for a day on how historical knowledge might ‘work’ in the present, how (and why) a possible archive might be created. During this meeting, a first collection of relevant historical sources was assembled (a Sourcebook nr. 1.0) : articles, reviews, quote’s, writings. Besides current teachers and students, also Frits Vogels was invited, founder and first artistic leader of the Mimeschool (1968). This event will have a follow-up in 2013.

Hein Vrasdonk
Palais de Justice, Brussel 1970
Fotografie: Jacques Evrard
1969 Larf partituur

selected publications

  • undefinedHET IS – IT IS (negen ontmoetingen tussen theatermakers), edited by Marijn de Langen, RTRSRCH Vol. 1 No. 2, 2010.
  • ''We call it Mime.'' In: Go West, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, Hotel Dramatik, Theater der Zeit, 2010.
  • Mime: de ontwikkeling van een unieke Nederlandse theatervorm.'' In: Theater Topics 1: Multicultureel drama? Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 127-129, 2005
  • ''Geräuschmacher, Klangkünstler und Musikarchitecten: das komponierte theater im Experiment.'' In: Theater der Zeit, 9, 32-33, 2005