When our students graduate from our programme(s), they spread out and end up in a quite polymorphous and fluid work field. This shows that theatre, dance and dramaturgy are expanding professional fields, and knowledge of contemporary theatre, dance and performance can be used for many different ends! To make this somewhat more concrete, we have listed here some of our alumni, mentioning their job(s) and field(s) in which they work.
Theatre and dance field
Many of our alumni work in the theatre and dance field as a dramaturg, programmer, curator or journalist. You can find our alumni also in unsuspected and original places, as some of them will show.
Judith Blankenberg started as programmer of the international performance festival De Keuze at the city theatre in Rotterdam, and switched in 2016 to Grand Futura Groningen, still programming. She is also editor for the Flemish theatre journal Etcetera and advisor for the Fonds Podiumkunsten.
Ásger∂ur Gunnarsdóttir works as co-artistic director for the Reykjavik Dance Festival. Het primary activities there are curating and dramaturgy, and she also teaches at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts.
Lisa Wiegel started as a programmer for De NWE Vorst, and is now programmer of Flanders’ cultural home in the Netherlands: de Brakke Grond. Besides, she is also advisor for the Fonds Podiumkunsten.
Fabian Pikula was a programmer for the Utrecht-based Café Theater Festival, and now works as a programmer for the city theatre of Breda: Chassé Theater. In addition, he also works as a dramaturg.
Heleen de Hoon is a teacher at the Fontys Academy for Circus and Performance Art, where she teaches about artistic coaching, dramaturgy and performance analysis.
Sebastian Kann wrote his thesis about circus dramaturgy, moved on to the UU research MA Media, Art and Performance Studies, and now also works as an artist at Manor House.
Analytical skills and knowledge of theatre, dance and performance can also be used for different ends!
Robin van Westen started her professional career as director of the Café Theater Festival, and is now project developer at Waag Society’s Creative Learning & Future Heritage Lab, where she is responsible for the development of partnerships, proposals and funding schemes for Waag Society’s projects, locally, nationally and in Europe.
Renée Frissen is currently working on her PhD project (see this link for more information), and in the meantime she also developed Open Embassy: a 24/7 online helpdesk for refugees with a staying permit. With Open Embassy, Renée won the MIT-competition Innovate for Refugees.
Self-created hybrid jobs
In this time of precarious labour, some of our alumni took matters and created their ‘own’ jobs, often as ZZP’er. We know that it is not always easy to find a job in the cultural field, but our alumni show that creativity and initiative will bring you a long way!
Anoek Nuyens works as a dramaturg, theatre maker, journalist and curator. She has initiated a vital and lively debate on current state of affairs in cultural policy, amongst others via Het Transitiebureau and via curating Nieuwe Grond, a yearly debate programme in TF Theaterfestival, and her own lecture-performances.
Nienke Scholts works as a writer, dramaturg and publicist, among others with Emke Idema, Arkadi Zaides and the Veem House for Performance in Amsterdam. She also writes for the Flemish theatre journal Etcetera.
Alina Patilea works as a cultural producer for independent artists, in which she combines the functions of dramaturg, mediator and production manager, supported by her own work experience as a performance artist. She is an English teacher on the side.
Renee Trijselaar started as leader of the Nieuwe Luxor Theater in Rotterdam, but switched jobs, and now works as project manager and coach in the cultural sector.
Teaching and researching
With Renée Frissen, we opened up another career path: academia! And research and teaching does not just only happen within universities, as some of our alumni show.
Isis Germano is a teacher and researcher at our department Media and Culture Studies. She teaches courses on theatre, gender, and Het denkende lichaam (‘The Thinking Body’) in our Brains & Bodies minor. Last year she started her PhD research, as a continuation of her prize-winning thesis Een denkend lichaam in theater: een cognitief-culturele analyse van de belichaming van het kijken (‘Between stage, brain and body: Using cognitive science to flesh out the embodied act of looking‘; UU Humanities Faculty Thesis Award 2013 + ANV Theaterscriptieprijs 2016).
Olga Blázquez Sánchez works on her PhD at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, in which she investigates the performativity of frontier architecture, including their inherent violence. Her research focuses on frontier walls in Palestine and Marocco and ways in which local communities interact with these borders.
Thijs Hazeleger works as a teacher at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Zwolle, where he teaches about theatre history and social-artistic practices. He also founded the FanfareCoach, which he uses as a platform to support fanfares.
Joao da Silva studied choreography and wrote a PhD thesis about risk-taking in large-group dance (improvisation), and is a senior lecturer at the Arnhem-based ArtEZ University for the Arts.
Anne-Marije van den Bersselaar works as a teacher at the Fontys Dance Academy, where she also works as a researcher. Her research topics are inclusive dance and dance in public space. In addition, she also works as a dramaturg.