SNEAK PREVIEW - PLEINVREES#1 - ‘I always want to please people!’

Decor painting: ‘Here you see me together with our two top production interns, Lucy and Fleur.’

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‘I always want to please people!’

Technical producer Sabine Vogel (23) about PLEINVREES#1

Why are you someone else at your aunt’s birthday party than in the pub with your friends? PLEINVREES#1 investigates changing identities. Sabine Vogel (23) graduates as the technical producer: ‘That huge bowl of water is the biggest challenge.’

Briefly, what is PLEINVREES#1 about?
‘About the fact that your identity is not static. It is changing throughout your life. Who were you when you were 15 and who are you now? Why are you someone else at your aunt's birthday party than in the pub with your friends? Graduating actor Mendel van der Ploeg from the Amsterdam School of Drama & Contemporary Art (ATKA) shows us that the madman in the pub may have more in common with you than you think.’

What do you do as technical producer?
‘I make sure that everything matches up exactly so that we achieve the desired result and that the production remains realistic in terms of time and money. I always want to please people, but something must be feasible.’

You are also closely involved in the decor.
‘That's right, in the adjacent photos you can see the creative process surrounding the development of the set. From the first set sketch in December 2021 (photo 1) to a visualisation in combination with light (photo 2). After this you can see the scaffolding being built in the set design studio (photo 3). And above you can see how we – me, together with production interns Lucy and Fleur – are finally painting the set!’

Name one challenge you encounter as a technical producer?
‘The short time we will have in the theatre. Ten days is not much time to build, assemble and play everything and to leave an empty theatre behind. We have to work very closely with the team of the show before us to make both their and our plans feasible. With very careful preparation, I will make sure that we use all the time we have in the theatre.’

We heard something about a huge tub of water ...
‘Yes, our basin of water... First of all, that is a very expensive joke. All credits to Julia van Berkel, our production manager, who is graduating from the Productie Podiumkunsten department. She managed to puzzle it out in the budget! Secondly, there are many safety issues involved. Think about leakage, for example. Of course, I don't want to be responsible for a new theatre floor. But you also have to think about bacteria, slipperiness for the actor who has to walk in the basin and, as everyone knows, electricity and water don't mix very well either. I could go on like this for a while. In any case, this box makes for a fun risk inventory!’


PLEINVREES#1 is the graduation performance of Mendel van der Ploeg (Amsterdamse Toneelschool & Kleinkunstacademie), Julia van Berkel (Production and Stage Management) and Sabine Vogel (Design & Technology).
The performance can be seen from 22 to 25 June in the Theaterzaal at the Academy of Theatre and Dance.
Click here for more information and  tickets.

Text and interview: Petra Boers - Buro Vonkstof




Photo 1. First stage sketch, December 2021: ‘If you look closely, you can see that the idea hasn't changed that much at all!’

Photo 2. Digital visualisation of light and scenery: ‘We digitally test a number of lighting options before we make any final choices.’

Photo 3. In the scenery workshop: ‘We all stood there with the unreal feeling that it is all becoming "real" now!’