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Department of Theatre Studies, University of Amsterdam, UvA, The Netherlands

Coordinator: dr. Peter Eversmann & drs. Josefien Schuurman


Department of Theatre Studies

The department and research group of Theatre Studies is housed in the University Theatre in the centre of Amsterdam. It has an extensive BA and MA program. At the UvA, Theatre Studies is mainly about theatre in Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, and countries where Dutch is spoken. The focus is not solely on drama, but also on opera, cabaret, mime and dance performances.
The collection of the Department of Theatre Studies consists of a small, valuable group of video registrations of contemporary theatre performances. All from leading companies in the Netherlands.

University of Amsterdam

A modern university with a rich history, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) traces its roots back to 1632, when the Golden Age school Athenaeum Illustre was established to train students in trade and philosophy. Today, with more than 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and 250 study programmes (Bachelor's and Master's), many of which are taught in English, it is one of the larger comprehensive universities in Europe. It is a member of the League of European Research Universities and also maintains intensive contact with leading research universities around the world.
Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted in seven faculties: the Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry, with programmes offered in almost every field. Over time, the UvA has risen to international prominence as a research university, gaining an excellent reputation in both fundamental and socially relevant research.  The UvA's thriving doctoral programmes provide an excellent foundation for engaging in high-quality teaching and research.
The UvA seeks to offer an inspiring international academic environment in which both staff and students can develop their talents optimally. Characterised by a critical, creative and international atmosphere, the UvA has a long tradition of open-mindedness and engagement with social issues, in keeping with the spirit of the city with which it is inextricably linked.

Eclap content

In between 1990 - 2010 and in close collaboration with directors and choreographers Theatre Studies of University of Amsterdam has recorded several performances of Emio Greco | PC, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, ZTHollandia, and Veenfabriek. Three hundred video fragments of these selected performances will be published. A large part of the selection belongs to the artistic heritage of Emio Greco | PC,  Gerardjan Rijnders, Johan Simons and Paul Koek. One example of the content of Theatre Studies UvA is embedded at the bottom of this page.

Emio Greco | PC
After the internationally successful dance productions that Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten created between 1996 and 2001 (Bianco, Rosso, Extra Dry, Double Points 1&2, Conjunto di Nero), they shifted their perspective and that of their company, to opera, music and film. At the request of the Edinburgh International Festival they directed two operas: Orfeo ed Euridice and The Assassin Tree. Together with Dutch leading theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam, they staged Pier Paolo’s Pasolini’s Teorema. In 2004 a continuous project, Double Points: + , about dance, music and interactivity with contemporary Swiss composer Hanspeter Kyburz followed. These interdisciplinary excursions gave rise to the trilogy that is inspired by Dante’s La Divina Commedia. In 2006, the first part, the highly acclaimed dance production HELL premiered, in 2008 the second part [purgatorio] followed in the Holland Festival. The final part, you PARA | DISO, premiered in 2010.

Gerardjan Rijnders
Director, actor and playwright Gerardjan Rijnders (1947) studied law at the University of Amsterdam and drama at the Theatre School Amsterdam. In 1973 he started directing performances at the Amsterdam based theatre company Baal and FACT in Rotterdam.  In 1977 he was invited to lead Globe in Eindhoven where he directed provocative and acclaimed performances like The Three Sisters and Troiles and Cressida. In 1987 he became artistic leader of Toneelgroep Amsterdam where he was able to radically change theatre in the Netherlands. His plays, method - theatre of montage - and performances influenced a whole generation of young directors and actors. Since 2000 he works as a freelance director and playwright and in 2003 he received the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Theatre Award for his complete work.  

Johan Simons
Director Johan Simons (1946) studied dance at the Dance Academy in Rotterdam and acting at the Theatre Academy in Maastricht. He started Hollandia in 1985 and in 1987 Paul Koek joined company. Hollandia became famous for their social political engagement and monumental performances outside theaters in old factories, greenhouses, locks and farms. Some of these productions like Two Voices, Val van de Goden and Sentimenti were performed around Europe and in 2000 Simons received in Taomina the European Theatre Award New Realities in Theatre. After his artistic leadership in Eindhoven (ZTHollandia) he moved to Belgium to become director of NTGent. Meanwhile he directed operas and repertoire for large companies in Europe (Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Münchner Kammerspielen, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Opéra National de Paris) and his performances were frequently selected for renowned festivals (Salzburger Festspielen,  Festival d'Avignon, Berliner Theatertreffen).

Paul Koek
Composer and musician Paul Koek (1954) studied percussion at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. He was member of several ensembles like Hoketus with composer Louis Andriessen. After his graduation he worked several years for Toneelgroep De Appel and in 1987 he joined Hollandia and in 1993 he joined the artistic staff as composer/musician. In Europe he became known for his collaboration with Johan Simons in De Val van de Goden and Sentimenti. Within (ZT)Hollandia he initiated Veenstudio for the further development of music theatre also to be able to stimulate young composers, actors and musicians to collaborate, create and develop interdisciplinary work. Since 2005 he is the artistic leader of the Veenfabriek; a laboratory and producers company in Leiden to create performances at the crossroads of modern music and theatre/drama. As director he created The Supplicants for the Veenfabriek and Candide and The Three Sisters for Schauspielhaus Bochum. Since 1991 he teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and in 2010 he received the Prins Bernhard Cultuuurfonds Award for his complete work. 

In July 2010 Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten presented their perormance "you PARA | DISO" at Salle Garnier de l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo. You PARA | DISO is the last performance around Dante’s Divina Commedia. Similar to the last part of the book the subject of this performance is paradise. In the run up to the première of you PARA | DISO they will take you along their journey to paradise. But what is it that we call paradise? By means of ten questions, with which they have also been confronted in their artistic process, they try to get closer to the essence of paradise. Let’s all go to Paradiso!


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