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The current political climate in The Netherlands has led, once more, to a fundamental dispute about the value of art and culture. Fresh public support must be won for this topic. By hosting two symposia, CREATIVE PRODUCING and LOCATION, LANDSCAPE, THEATRE, de Theaterschool hopes to stimulate a debate about new forms of cultural enterprise and art practices in the public domain. The symposia target not only students, alumni and teachers but also colleagues from the professional field.


De  Theaterschool regularly takes the initiative to investigate social and artistic developments together with the professional field and translate these to augment the study programme. On 26 and 27 April, the  Production and Stage Management course (OPP) of de Theaterschool Amsterdam will organize a two-day symposium on the subject of CREATIVE PRODUCING - the role it plays and the opportunities it offers - in the cultural field, both now and in the future. 

In the current climate of fundamental rethinking of our economies, social values, power and decision-making processes, cultural expression is more relevant than ever as one of the ways of catalysing our understanding of complex public issues in the context of how these affect our individual and collective personal lives. The performing arts offer a live cultural interaction, not only as a backdrop to social issues but also as an expressive agent of enlightenment, reflection or simply release. Theatre above all operates within a social contract by providing the physical location as well as the content and staging of public encounters, where public meetings of people take place around a collective cultural experience. The places where these experiences happen have an often under-valued contribution to make to wellbeing and the social fabric of the civic environment.

What makes a cultural producing organisation into a creative place; a place for local, regional, national or international encounters; a cultural hotspot; an incubator of innovative and dynamic ideas, projects, people and events; where audiences can expect the unexpected and the familiar; where public share-holding and cultural experiences come together?

This 2-day symposium will research and discuss these issues by focussing specifically on the roles and opportunities for creative producing in the cultural sector in the Netherlands, and pose questions for the future development of the performing arts.

The programme of 26 April is organised within the framework of CREATIVE PLACEMAKING & CULTURAL ENTERPRISES. Guests are:

  • New York Theater Workshop, Jim Nicola & Linda Chapman
  • The Chocolate Factory, Sheila Lewandowski & Brian Rogers
  • Battersea Arts Centre, David Micklem - National Theatre Wales, Matt Ball
  • Tolhuistuin, Chris Keulemans
  • De Nieuwe Oost, Eve Hopkins

Moderator: Jan Zoet, Artistic Director Rotterdamse Schouwburg

The morning programma of 27 April
is organised in collaboration with the Symposium SITE, LANDSCAPE, THEATRE. This two-day meeting on art practices in the public space is organised on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 April 2012 at DasArts, Amsterdam. . It forms part of de Theaterschool’s research on contemporary artistic practices and creative producing in education, particularly Masters courses. This event is a collaboration with Atelier Oerol, DasArts, the Art Practice and Development research group and the Production and Stage Management course.

Site-specific theatre and landscape theatre have built up a unique tradition in the Netherlands, where there is an extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise on art in the public realm. Increasingly, theatre makers and artists across the generations make an emphatic choice to operate outside established venues for arts and culture, instead placing their work directly into the urban environment, the landscape or the community.

It is notable that the social contract of theatre  – involving gatherings of people in public – is particularly fertile in this area and is being applied in a range of contemporary contexts: everyone from Jeanne van Heeswijk to Jonas Staal, and from G1000 to Occupy. Increasingly, we are assuming that people can contribute to each other's ideas about society, that they want to be involved and to meet one another.
Over the two days of SITE, LANDSCAPE, THEATRE, De Theaterschool will examine this recent development. Is this form of ‘theatre without frontiers’ particularly suitable for bringing people together to bring democratic principles out into the open, to connect with other public domains and to reach new audiences? In what ways does theatre that employs these methods interact with its direct environment? What types of relationship does this create with the often hidden social, political and cultural conflicts in public space?

On 27 April we will explore a number of strategies relating to Making Places. Guest are:

  • Brian Roger en Sheila Lewandowski, Chocolate Factory, New York City (US)
  • Matt Ball, National Theatre Wales (UK)
  • Jan Goossens, KVS, Brussel (B)
  • Brett Bailey, Third World Bunfight / Infecting the City, Cape Town (SA)
  • Markus Ambach, B1/A40 Die Schönheit der grossen Strasse, MAP, Düsseldorf (D)

On the last day , 28 April, we will examine more closely a variety of approaches to the landscape in Reading Landscapes. Guest are:

  • Edwin Becker, , Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  • Hans van der Meer, fotographer, Amsterdam
  • Daniel Jauslin, landscapearchitect TU Delft
  • Lotte van den Berg, OMSK, Utrecht
  • Gerardo Naumann, Ciudades Paralelas, Buenos Aires (ARG)

The afternoon programme also features an introduction/screening on Ciudades Paralelas, the mobile festival organised by Lola Arias and Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll) in which Gerardo and Lotte are involved.
The symposia take place at de Theaterschool and DasArts – Master of Theatre in Amsterdam.

More information about  SITE, LANDSCAPE, THEATRE:
More information about CREATIVE PRODUCING:
The symposia are only accessible for invited guests.