WhyTheatre?! Archive

Previously, WhyTheatre?! welcomed Freya Vass-Rhee, Rob de Graaf, Judith Blankenberg, Soledad Falabella Luco (Universidad de Chile), Ty Boomershine, Jolie Vreeburg (Theater Kikker), Arno Schuitemaker, Peter Missotten, Dries Verhoeven, Corien Baart (DUS), Paul Ruven, Rosemary Martin, Mark Yeoman (Noorderzon Festival Groningen), Sarah Moermans, Ashok Sukaraman and Shaina Anandi (CAMP), Eve Hopkins, Sophie Kassies, Robbert van Heuven, Mirjam Koen, Frans Strijards, Andrea Bozic, Anne Karin ten Bosch, Joris Wijdom, Tereza Havelkova, Sanja Mitrovic, Nicholas Rowe, Bouam puppetry company, Alexander Karshnia (andcompany&co), Petra Kuppers, Raoul Heertje, Michal Kobialka, Mike Pearson, Bryan Reynolds, Janez Jansa (the artist formerly known as Emil Hrvatin, Ljubljana).

2017
NL WhyTheatre?! XL, maandag 13 maart, over cabaret en politieke satire
Twee dagen voor de landelijke verkiezingen organiseren het departement theaterwetenschap aan de Universiteit Utrecht en Het Huis Utrecht een nieuwe editie van WhyTheatre?! XL. Dit keer is het een avond over de rol van cabaret in het publieke debat; met als gasten onder andere cabaretier Jeroen van Merwijk en cabaretier en ex-Lubach redacteur Maarten van den Berg.

Van oorsprong is het nieuws een belangrijke bron voor satire en cabaret. Cabaret als ‘galmend geweten’ – een kwalificatie afkomstig van Theo van Gogh – bedoeld om taboes te doorbreken en heilige huisjes te slopen en de traditionele oudejaarsconference als belangrijkste duiding van het afgelopen jaar.
Meer en meer is de grens tussen nieuws en entertainment fluïde geworden. Veel nieuwbronnen laten hun inhoud steeds meer afhangen van kijkcijfers in plaats van een kritische blik op de politiek-maatschappelijke realiteit te bieden. Expliciet satirische nieuwsprogramma’s zoals The Daily Show in de Verenigde Staten en Zondag met Lubach in Nederland leveren dan wel weer een alternatieve reflectie op het nieuws dat in groten getale wordt bekeken, zoals de stijgende populariteit van deze programma’s illustreert.

Is dit een natuurlijke evolutie van de rol van cabaretiers of is er iets anders aan de hand? Hoe kritisch waren cabaretiers vroeger en hoe kritisch zijn ze vandaag de dag? En zijn cabaretiers per se links en progressief of bestaan er ook ‘rechtse’ cabaretiers?
Want wat als satire niet meer te onderscheiden is van de werkelijkheid? En wat nu als polarisatie – een stijlmiddel binnen het cabaret – door de politiek als electorale strategie wordt overgenomen? Wat betekent dat voor de rol van cabaretier? Welke positie neemt hij/zij daarin? Heeft het veranderende landschap in het publieke debat gevolgen voor hun vrijheid van meningsuiting?

2016
EN WhyTheatre XL! Playful Participation: lecture and workshop around the work of Rimini Protokoll, 10th and 11th of November
We are proud to welcome the renowned theatre collective Rimini Protokoll as guests of our new edition WhyTheatre XL! Taking Rimini Protokoll’s artistic work as starting point, we will discuss the relation between theatre and games, the way ludic elements and structures can be deployed in theatre to engage the audience and to address actual social issues (e.g. climate change, data surveillance, Europe). The program consists of a public lecture (10th of November) and a workshop (11th of November) and will address both the larger context of today’s participatory culture’ and the dramaturgical implications of incorporating ludic elements in performance.

Thursday, 10th of November, 19:30-21:30hrs, Het Huis, Boorstraat 107, Utrecht
Lecture by Stefan Kaegi (theatre maker) and Imanuel Schipper (dramaturg) of Rimini Protokoll about several projects in which games, ludic elements and ludic structures play a role (Situation Rooms, Home Visit Europe, World Climate Conference, and Top Secret). What do game strategies have to offer? What are the possibilities, but also the limitations? What are the implications for the creative making process?

We have asked three guests to respond to the lecture on the basis of their expertise and to present Rimini Protokoll with a (critical) question. The respondents are: Joost Raessens (Professor in Media Theory, UU with a focus on ‘the ludification of culture’); Marcel Dolman (Head Education Interactive Performance Design) and Emke Idema (theatremaker, in 2014 she created RULE, a performance designed as a game)

Tickets are €7,50. Free entrance for students from HKU and UU, upon showing their student card.

Friday, 11th of November, 12:00-17:00hrs, Location: tba
Hands-on workshop for students/alumni from the field of theatre studies, dramaturgy, scenography, game studies, game design and interactive design. Interdisciplinary groups will work on a concrete dramaturgical problem concerning the use of ludic elements and game structures in performance. The problem is derived from Rimini Protokoll’s actual practice and will be introduced by the artists. Each group will develop an answer to the presented problem and present their proposal to Rimini Protokoll.

Participating in this workshop is for free. However, the available places for this workshop are limited. Selection is based on the order of signing up and the right mix of expertise. You can register for this workshop till Thursday the 3rd of November at marijn.lems@hethuisutrecht.nl. indicating in the subject line: workshop Rimini Protokoll. Please mention in the email your first name and surname and the school or program you are enrolled in. You will be informed no later than Monday the 7th if you can participate.

The WhyTheatre?! collaborative program of Het Huis Utrecht and Theatre Studies / Utrecht University will continue this season as WhyTheatre XL! The WhyTheatre XL! are extended editions that focus on actual and relevant topics in contemporary theatre and performance, building connections between theory and practice. This Why Theatre XL! edition is financially supported by Residencies in Utrecht (City of Utrecht), MCW Expertise Centre (Utrecht University), Professorship Performative Processes (HKU) and Master Scenography (HKU).

EN WhyTheatre?! about movement economies (7th of October, 15.00-17.00hrs, Het Huis)
An encounter about dance (improvisation), risk-taking in it, and its potential for resisting commodification with Susan Foster and João da Silva.

To dance in general and to improvise in particular requires particular modes of being attuned to the world, on and off the ‘stage’. How might dance (improvisation) help us to understand, and perhaps rethink, our modes of moving in the world with others? Can dance (improvisation) inform a positive approach to risk-taking beyond the current culture of fear? How might dance (improvisation) resist or trouble commodification?
During an afternoon at Het Huis, Susan Foster and João da Silva will discuss these and other questions, followed by a score for improvisation for all involved. Starting point for this will be João da Silva’s PhD thesis Risk-Taking and Large-Group Dance (Improvisation), which he will defend at Utrecht University on the 5th of October.

Susan Leigh Foster is a choreographer, dancer and leading dance theorist. She is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the UCLA. João da Silva is a dancer and a choreographer of a number of small-scale works. He is currently senior lecturer at ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem. He has taught dance improvisation and composition extensively, and mentored dozens of BA and MA students in a number of countries. See the website of Het Huis for more information.

EN WhyTheatre XL! about spectatorship (29th of September, 16.30-19.00hrs, Het Huis)
The WhyTheatre?! collaborative program of Het Huis Utrecht and Theatre Studies / Utrecht University will continue this season as WhyTheatre XL! The WhyTheatre XL! are extended editions that focus on actual and relevant topics in contemporary theatre and performance, building connections between theory and practice.

This WhyTheatre XL! investigates spectatorship and the public space and is powered by Platform – Scenography (P-S). Approaches to spectatorship in theatre and performance have changed radically during  the past decennia, and theorists and practitioners alike have raised the question where actually the spectacle takes place. In this WhyTheatre? XL, P-S investigates sites of spectatorship beyond the theatre building, by exposing public spaces as scenographic spaces. Collaboratively, we will explore how we are addressed by those spaces, and delve into the design of spectatorship. See the website of Het Huis for more information.

Platform-Scenography is an analogue and digital network by and for scenographers, which immerses itself in scenographic thinking and working.

NL WhyTheatre?! met Bianca van der Schoot en Piet Menu op donderdag 10 maart
In deze WhyTheatre?! gaan we in gesprek met Bianca van der Schoot en Piet Menu, de kersverse artistiek leiders van respectievelijk het RO Theater en Het Zuidelijk Toneel.  Hoe is het om leiding te geven aan een BIS-gezelschap? Hoe bouw je aan een nieuw of aangescherpt profiel? Hoe zet je de lijnen uit, maar ook: wat zijn die lijnen? Wat is hun visie op talentontwikkeling en hoe geven ze hier invulling aan?

EN WhyTheatre?! on the 19th of January: Moving Futures and performing arts
Choreographer, performer and director Fernando Belfiore and dance researcher Zeynep Gündüz invite you to explore Belfiore’s work through contextual, theoretical, and practical encounters. The session will focus in particular on Belfiore’s latest work DEU$/EX\M4CHIN4 (2015). The choreographer will introduce his work methodology that he has been developing over the last years and share his references used for the creation of this most recent performance. This WhyTheatre?! is part of the fringe programme of dance festival Moving Futures, which takes place from 18 – 20 January in Theater Kikker.

Fernando Belfiore is a choreographer, performer, director and movement research teacher at SNDO (School for new Dance Development). He works in cross sections between dance, theatre, and visual arts, proposing daring and unusual mix of elements on stage. Zeynep Gündüz (Ph.D) is a dance researcher, and dance history & theory teacher at the Amsterdam School of the Arts, and teaches philosophy of culture at Codarts. She also works as conceptual advisor and is board member of Vereniging voor Dansonderzoek.

For this session, participants are kindly asked to bring a machine (preferably a small, ‘plug free’ machine used in daily life, which is not a smart phone).

EN Conditions of work and artistic processes
This edition of Why Theatre?! deals with issues of work, labour and research in the performing arts, and specifically in contemporary dance. A talk with performer Hillary Blake Firestone about conditions of working, context, expectations from the professional field and the market, diverse artistic processes and research in dance and performance.

Hillary_klHillary Blake Firestone (USA) graduated from SUNY-Purchase in New York with a degree in Contemporary Dance and Literature. Since 1999, she has been based in Amsterdam, where she is active as a performer, free-lance choreographer and teacher. Beginning in 2008, she has become a core member of NB projects, where she collaborates closely with choreographer Nicole Beutler, acting as a performer, choreographic assistant and rehearsal director, and staging existing works.

Hillary’s own performances evolve through dialogue with artists from other disciplines, including composers, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers and writers. In recent years, she has been exploring rituals, scores, durational performance and the use of simple objects to create sound, action and image. She has created performances for theatres and other locations, festivals, music venues, factories, cathedrals and museums, and she has choreographed for film and theater plays.

As a teacher of Contemporary Technique, Contact/Improvisation, and Composition, Hillary has taught professional dancers and University students in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. She currently teaches Improvisation/Composition in the BA Dance program at ArtEZ, where she guides student choreographies and interdisciplinary projects.

2015
EN Dance in the 21st Century: Nomadic Subjects or New Subjectivity? by Sabine Sorgel, University of Surrey
In the present climate of global economic crisis, contemporary dance stages so-called ‘new subjectivities’ (Mbembe) from the African continent in the attempt to constitute international audiences as members of a global civil society in the making. Juxtaposing the choreographic work of Faustin Linyekula, Gregory Maqoma and Franck Edmond Yao (in collaboration with Gintersdorfer/Klassen) this seminar traces the politics of transnational collaboration as a politics of deterritorialization (Braidotti) and counter-memory (Roach).

Sabine Sörgel received her PhD in Performance and Media Studies from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, where she lectured in theatre and dance until 2008. Her book Dancing Postcolonialism – The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica was published in 2007. Since 2013 she is Senior Lecturer in Dance and Theatre at University of Surrey. Her current research interests include contemporary theatre and dance, cross-cultural corporeality, globalization and transnationalism.

EN Nassim Soleimanpour and Nachtgasten, 10th of November

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This edition of Why Theatre?! deals with ‘collaborative writing’ and the relationship between writer, performer, and public. A talk with Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour and the Dutch theater group Nachtgasten about new theater formats, improvisation, and audience participation.

Soleimanpour’s BLANK has its world premiere at the festival in Het Huis, a performance without set or director, and with the life story of an audience member as the point of departure. Soleimanpour asks himself: is it possible to create a living machine, that can 1000 stories? He already played with ‘game’ structures and with coincidence is his plays White Rabbit, Red Rabbit and Hamlet. Nachtgasten focus on improvisation as an art form, and for the festival, they bring Dutch and Middle Eastern actors together on stage. They are performing their NACHTGASTEN ON THE EDGE in Het Huis during the festival on 10 November.

EN Sander Veenhof, October 15th
With his innovative out-of-the-box projects media artist Sander Veenhof has been investigating for a couple of years now how the digital and physical world are becoming increasingly interconnected. He speaks on 15 October about playful forms of augmented reality in the city where theater and virtual reality come together.

EN BERLIN, October 8th
The Belgian theater group BERLIN focuses on a documentary approach to themes of city and region. During this Why Theatre?! BERLIN founder Yves Degryse will talk and show this unique way of working. Their performance Tagfish will play 16 and 17 October in Theater Kikker.

The starting point of each performance of BERLIN is located in a city or a region somewhere on the planet. Characteristic is its documentary and interdisciplinary work methods. Focusing on a specific research question, it engages different media depending on the content of the project.

Bart Baele and Yves Degryse founded BERLIN in 2003 together with Caroline Rochlitz. They started the series Holocene [the Holocene is the current geological era] with the performances Jerusalem, Iqaluit, Bonanza and Moscow. A few years later BERLIN started a new cycle Horror Vacui [the fear of emptiness] of which Tagfish, Land’s End and Perhaps All The Dragons are the first three episodes. BERLIN is currently working on new performances in both cycles.

EN Andrea Božić, September 17th
Andrea Božić is a choreographer from Croatia, living and working in Amsterdam. Her educational background includes dance, literature, English, film, theatre and media art. Her work is interdisciplinary and takes form of live performance, installation and collaborations with the weather and night sky. The work reorganizes perception combining conceptual with sensorial and physical, creates paradoxical situations and asks questions about the effects of attention and imagination, perception of presence, the politics of viewing, presentation of reality and distribution of authorship.

In this Why Theatre?! she will tell about her recent work, amongst others about her performances in collaboration with the weather the night sky, and the way she approaches and explores spectatorship.

2014
NL Hip-Hopdans in Nederland, 16 juni
In de laatste Why Theatre? sessie van dit seizoen brengen we nieuwe ontwikkelingen omtrent Hip-Hopdans in Nederland in kaart. Hip-Hop was een grote commerciële hype in de jaren ’80. Vijftien jaar geleden bracht Ed Wubbe Hip-Hop weer naar het theater in Nederland met het programma Twools. Sindsdien zijn elementen van Hip-Hopcultuur regelmatig te zien in Nederlandse voorstellingen. Steeds meer nemen choreografen als Sidi Larbi Charkaoui, Johnny Lloyd en Daniel Renner het dansvocabulaire van Hip-Hop over en houden ze minder vast aan de cultuur rondom Hip-Hop. Op wat voor punt in de Nederlandse dansgeschiedenis van Hip-Hop zijn we beland en waar gaan we naartoe? In deze Why-Theatre? sessie hebben we drie Nederlandse makers en dansers uitgenodigd om te praten over de ontwikkelingen van Hip-Hop in de Nederland en hun persoonlijke bijdragen: Niels van der Steen, Johnny Lloyd en Andre Drosa Grekhov.

ENG Why Theatre: Re-mediating past performance – considering the Dogtroep film and video archive, May 12th
As with a number of experimental theatre groups that began in the 1970s and 1980s, film and video was adopted very early by the important and influential group Dogtroep. It was for Dogtroep primarily a tool for reflecting on their work, and to some extent for promotional purposes. Video also formed an important part of some productions. Recently, the founder and directors of Dogtroep’s major period gathered to consider the future of the film and video with a view to preserving this legacy it and making it available for students and the public.

The seminar will feature a panel discussion with key members of Dogtroep over its history: founder Warner van Wely, Han Bakker, Vincent de Rooij and Tina Bouwmeester, with Australian researcher Gavin Findlay (Australian National University) who has been developing online archival methodologies for experimental theatre. They will discuss the methods of Dogtroep and explore the use of film and video by Dogtroep over its history, and some of the possible uses of the video archive to the young generation of theatre makers.

ENG Michal Kobialka on Kantor, April 23rd
From the United States we are glad to be able to welcome Michal Kobialka for this lecture on the work and legacy of Tadeusz Kantor. Together with Het Huis, this Why Theatre? will be Why Kantor?! 100 years after his birth Kantor is seen as one of the most influential theatre pacticioners of the 20th century. Why is the legacy of this theatre director, who passed away in 1990, so important for the present-day theatre practice? What is his contribution to the discourse on theatre theory? With an impressive record on the work of Kantor, Michal Kobialka is the person to answer these questions. He is professor at the University of Minnesota and published a.o. the book Further on, Nothing about Kantor.
After his lecture, Dutch theatre director Olivier Provily will reflect upon how Kantor inspires his theatre practice. Concluding there will be an open discussion with the audience. If you are interested in more international theatre, prior to this Why Theatre? there is an Exchange Meeting with Chilean theatre director and festival maker Luis Guenel.

ENG Community Art, with Adelheid Roosen and Donna Risa, March 25th
Adelheid Roosen is the artistic director of Female Economy and initiated among others the ‘Wijksafari’ (2012 and 2013). This local community arts project currently is recreated in the Bijlmer neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Donna Risa is the artistic director of STUT theater, a theatre company that works with non-professional actors throughout Utrecht, creating performances on the basis of their stories. Starting from their experiences the floor is open for a discussion about the visions and ideas behind Community Art. How to find a balance between the creative process and the final ‘product’ of the performance, or between artistic freedom and the political interests that seem inevitable in social-artistic projects?The program takes place in the community arts ‘store’ of Het Huis at the Amsterdamsestraatweg. This venue in a lively shopping street houses two artists at the moment, who collaborate with community members for March to May: Floris van Delft and Miek Uittenhout. They join in the conversation and share their experiences at the Amsterdamsestraatweg.

ENG Dramaturgies of Engagement, with Eugene van Erven and Sigrid Merx, February 6th
This Why Theatre? session on Dramaturgies of Engagement is a conversation between Eugene van Erven and Sigrid Merx, both staff members of the department of Media and Culture Studies, but also both active professionals in the cultural field, particularly in socially engaged art practices. Sharing a profound interest in the world, society and the diverse human beings that inhibit the planet, they will interview each other about their passions, their research, and about engagement in art, academia and teaching. How do you express and shape your personal and social engagement as teacher and scholar? Sigrid and Eugene would like to include their audience in exploring these questions by actively inviting those who attend this event to participate in the conversation. Finally, they will introduce their latest endeavors – the Creative Cities minor and the Participatory Arts Lab / Shared Arts Society – in which they intend to bring together academic research, education and socially engaged practices.

2013
ENG November 21 – Why Theatre? Theatre, Dance & Cognition
The past decade has witnessed a rapidly growing interest in Cognitive Science from within the Humanities, including Theatre & Dance Studies. Cognitive Science  examines a wide variety of subjects all related to how we make sense of what we encounter. This includes research on intelligence and behavior, especially focusing on how information is represented, processed, and transformed, processes of perception, our use of language, the functioning of memory, how we reason, the role of emotions and affects. This program presents current research at the intersection of Cognitive Science and Theatre & Dance Studies. Researchers present their projects and engage in discussion about the potential of Cognitive Science for Theatre & dance studies, and vice versa. Speakers/guests: Konstantina Georgelou, Isis Germano, Liesbeth Wildschut, and Freya Vass-Rhee.

ENG November 19 – Why Theatre? Arab Theatre Today
Arab Theater Today – Utrecht is about theater from the Arabic World in general and Tunisian theater in particular. Eyad Houssami gives a presentation on contemporary Arabic theater called Making Theater without Theater Infrastructure. Following the presentation, Sigrid Merx, lecturer Theater Studies at Utrecht University, interviews theater director Ezzeddine Gannoun and playwright Leila Toubel of El Hamra Theater from Tunisia. They talk about their own development and motives as theater artists in Tunisia, about themes and trends in contemporary theater in Tunisia, and about their performance Monstranum’S. This program is part of the Why Theatre?! series, organized by Theatre Studies, Utrecht University, and is a collaboration between Het Huis and Dancing on the Edge.

NL 10 oktober 2013 – Why Theatre? met toneelschrijver Rob de Graaf 
Over Nieuw West, een veranderend theaterlandschap en een discussie over de voorstelling There is a Discussion (tekst Rob de Graaf, spel Marien Jongewaard)

ENG October 24, 2013 – Why Theatre? with Judith Blankenberg
Judith Blankenberg is a programmer of the international performance festival De Keuze of the Rotterdamse Schouwburg. In this session we will discuss the profession of the programmer, the artistic and curatorial choices supporting the 2013 festival, and possible relations between the festival and contemporary trends in the international dance and performance field.

NL / ENG October 17, 2013 – Why Theatre? Probing professionalism / Blik op het werkveld
In this session we will discuss internships and professional career perspectives. We have invited a number of alumni to give short presentations concerning internships and/or professional work-experience. Bora Sirin, Merel Heering, Aukje Verhoog and Anoek Nuyens will talk about international internships, dance & curating, theatre & programming, and give you an idea of what it means to work as a theatre or dance dramaturg, a cultural journalist, or a festival curator. There will also be time for questions and informal talks.

ENG Thursday February 21, 2013 – Doing Gender/Why Theatre? with Soledad Falabella Luco
Doing Gender and Why Theatre? have joined forces in order to discuss: The Performance of the Impossible Body with Soledad Falabella Luco (Universidad de Chile). Thursday February 21, 2013 Studio T (Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, Utrecht) 16.00hrs.
Soledad Falabella will speak to us about several projects she is or has been involved with and that all relate to the what she terms ‘impossible bodies’. These are bodies that fall outside or contradict the norms and standards set by social institutions, especially that of an official language and writing. Social institutions determine the rules for participation in public life and which bodies are authorized to enter the national public sphere and its imaginary. As a result of this logic other bodies become impossible bodies and subjected to legitimized and institutionalized violence and abjection. These are complex performative processes that are common to post-colonial and neo-liberal nations in the “Global South”, of which Chile can be considered paradigmatic.
Soledad Falabella holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature and Languages from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the director of ESE:O, a non-profit organization which promotes collaborative writing projects, and the teaching and practice of writing to empower learning communities with concrete skills for local and global participation in knowledge production and circulation (http://www.eseo.cl). She also teaches feminist critical theory, performance and poetry at the Magíster en Género y Cultura, Universidad de Chile.

2012
ENG December 19 – Why Theatre?  On the Beach with Einstein, and Ty Boomershine
First produced in Avignon in 1976, Einstein on the Beach (1976) is widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century.  During our upcoming Why Theatre? Ty Boomerhine shares with us his view from the inside as a performer and rehearsal director of the 2012 revival of this remarkable creation. Ty Boomershine was trained at the Fort Hayes School for the Performing Arts in Columbus, Ohio and earned his B.F.A. in dance from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. As a dancer he has worked with several young emerging artists as well as established companies, such as Dan Wagoner, DANCENOISE, Merce Cunningham repertory ensemble, Gus Solomons Jr., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Co., Ton Simons, Dance Works Rotterdam, Leine & Robana, Giulia Mureddu, Emio Greco | PC, and currently with Lucinda Childs Dance. He has presented his own work at Movement Research, and DanspaceProject at St. Marks Church in New York. As well at both OT301, and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. Currently he is touring in the Robert Wilson/Philip Glass production of Einstein on the Beach as featured performer and rehearsal director.

ENG November 29 – Why Theatre? on Theatre and Reconciliation, with Eugene van Erven
Conflict and Theatre are indispensable, some say. Theatre that literally enters real-life conflicts, however, is a relatively new phenomenon. Since 2005, Eugene van Erven has been involved in a global project that brings together experiences in this exciting new field. Initiated by Theatre Without Borders and Brandeis University in Boston it has led to a two-volume anthology, called Acting Together (New Village Press 20110) and an award-winning film which won the prestigeous Telly Award earlier this year. This production will be screened for the very first time in Holland during this special Why Theatre session. The presentation will be facilitated by Eugene van Erven, who will also introduce the different artists and scholars (from as far afield as Uganda, Sri Lanka, and Peru) and some of the more controversial issues they face.

ENG 18 October – Treasures/Why Theatre?: Staging Absence, Staging Screens, With Peter Missotten and Chiel Kattenbelt
Peter Missotten en Chiel Kattenbelt’s presentation should be considered as a game in which they try to agree on as few statements as possible. They deeply apologise for any mutual understanding they would reach during this session.
The Staging of Absence and Projection in Performances / Peter Missotten. In my work as a director and stage designer, I work quite a lot with projections but still I try to avoid the screen as an object of reference to ‘the media’. I’m more fascinated by this ‘absent quality’ of an image – born in the projector – and traveling through the air, until it falls on some kind of an object where it has to reveal itself. Using projections has a lot to do with staging absence and loss of reality. That becomes more and more relevant as our daily lives are invaded by strategies of virtuality. We tend to replace the real as much as possible by the virtual prothesis. Slowly our own body becomes a virtual entity. We are in fact becoming angels. www.THEVIRTUALBODY.org.
The Staging of Screens in Theatre / Chiel Kattenbelt. A key feature of the mediatised culture and society of our times is the ubiquity of screen media in a great variety of appearances used for all kinds of purposes, to inform and communicate, to orientate and navigate, to play and stage, et cetera. This process of mediatisation could be considered as a performative turn, which means that contemporary culture and society are increasingly made and staged by media and in this respect to be understood in terms of performance. The aim of my presentation is to discuss several contemporary theatre performances in which screens are staged in order to take up a critical position with respect to our mediatised culture and society, in particular with respect to issues of spectatorship. For that purpose I will apply the concept of intermediality. I use this concept as a radicalisation of the inherent performativity of art. I will argue that intermediality is very much about the staging (in the sense of conscious self-presentation to another) of media, for which theatre as a hypermedium provides pre-eminently a stage.

ENG 20 september – Why Theatre? with choreographer Arno Schuitemaker, dancers and Liesbeth Wildschut
For The Fifteen Project, choreographer Arno Schuitemaker has let himself be inspired by studying the science of mirror neurons which he translated into a thoughtfully constructed work full of inversions, reversals, reflections, and (movement) associations, from left to right, up and down, inside and outside, leader and seducer, dancer and audience. Dance scholar Liesbeth Wildschut is engaged in researching kinesthetic empathy, and explores the physical experiences of looking at dance, with the inspiring help of recent insights in cognitive science and neurology. Choreographer and scholar share a common interest, and started a collaboration. This Why Theatre? is a demonstration of their work. Arno Schuitenmaker will elaborate on the process of makeing THe Fifteen project, toegether with two dancers. Liesbeth Wildschut discusses some of the results emerging from her current research.
Venue/time: Studio T, Kromme Nieuwegracht 20 Utrecht / 15.00-17.00 hrs.

NL 27 september – Why Theatre? met programmeur Jolie Vreeburg, in Theater Kikker
Jolie Vreeburg is de nieuwe programeur theater van Theater Kikker, en heeft als bijzondere opdracht het scouten van jong talent; deze jonge makers zullen onder meer te zien zijn tijdens de Wintercollectie van Theater Kikker. We gaan met Jolie in gesprek over het beroep van de programmeur, trends in theaterland, en haar visie op de taak van de programmeur in het actuele kunstenveld. Ook spreken we over het net opgerichte BOD, waarvan Jolie één van de initiatiefnemers is. Bureau Onafhankelijke Dramaturgie (BOD) gaat nieuwe makers ondersteunen die nog geen (vaste) plek hebben in het theaterlandschap. BOD helpt deze makers bij het ontwikkelen van een eigen visie en signatuur, en geeft makers de gelegenheid hun ideeën op de vloer te toetsen aan een publiek in ‘testcases’. Jolie Vreeburg is alumnus van de opleiding Theaterwetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht.
Plaats/tijd: Theater Kikker, Ganzenmarkt 14 Utrecht / 15.30-17.30 uur.

ENG Thursday 16 February – Why Theatre? Theatre, politics, resistance. Masterclass with Dries Verhoeven
In this masterclass we will investigate the work of Dries Verhoeven in close relation to the wider art scene and cultural climate in The Netherlands.

2011
NL Donderdag 24 november – Why Theatre? Dramaturg en dramaturgie in theater en media
Het huidige culturele klimaat geeft ons veel te denken over de toekomst van professionele dramaturgen in Nederland en daarmee de toekomst van de dramaturgie. Het is van belang om aandacht te besteden aan de dramaturg en de dramaturgie in theater en media. Dit seminar zal gewijd zijn aan actuele theater- en mediadramaturgie en de positie van de dramaturg in het huidige cultuurlandschap. Corien Baart (artistiek coördinator/dramaturg De Utrechtse Spelen) en Paul Ruven (scenarist/ filmregisseur/producent) zullen in discussie gaan met de zaal, mede naar aanleiding van vragen van studenten uit de cursus Theater- en Mediadramaturgie.

ENG Thursday December 8 – Why Theatre? with Rosemary Martin: dancing home: critical reflections on international dance education, experiences of dancers from Arabic-speaking countries
Traveling abroad to gain further dance education is not a new or unusual phenomenon. However, as the world becomes more integrated through globalization, with greater mobility and fluidity of culture due to contemporary processes and technologies, our cultural experiences, identities and practices may become separated from the places we inhabit. Dancers from Arabic-speaking countries frequently travel to Western cultural contexts to engage in dance education. This research intends to illuminate the challenges faced by dancers from Arabic-speaking countries who engage with dance education in a Western cultural context, and the reverberations such experiences might have on their artistic choices and practices in their home environment.
Rosemary Martin is a dance researcher, tutor and PhD Candidate at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. While completing her PhD studies on the subject of the lecture, Rosemary is working as a Researcher and co-editor with Dr. Nicholas Rowe on a book titled ‘Our Dance Stories: Southern Mediterranean’, due to be released in May 2012.

NL Donderdag 3 november 2011 – Why Theatre? met Wunderbaum
Over de werkwijze van dit eigenzinnige acteurscollectief en de voorstelling Wunderbaum speelt Onze Paus. Met Maartje Remmers en Wine Dierickx.

ENG Thursday September 29 – Why Theatre? on Theatre & Ecology
Increasingly, Dutch and Flemish theatremakers, companies and organisations investigate the relationship between sustainability, ecology and performance. Ranging from green policies in theatre organisations to the actual staging of environmental and ecological issues, theatre practitioners raise questions regarding theatre’s responsibility to the world, and how this relates to art’s autonomy and artistic freedom. In the first Why Theatre of this season, we will discuss these and other questions with two guests: Mark Yeoman, artistic director of Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival (www.noorderzon.nl) and theatre maker Sarah Moeremans. Noorderzon received a Green Key in 2011, an international quality mark for green organisations. Sarah Moeremans is the director of the performance There are people dying, a game show in which three candidates introduce their ideas for a better world. The stage set consists completely of second-hand objects that will be re-used after the show. 

ENG April 8, 2011 – CAMP
Ashok Sukaraman and Shaina Anandi introduce the work of the CAMP collective performance network.

2010
NL Donderdag 9 december, 2010 – Why Theatre? Bewerkingen in ‘t theater
met Eve Hopkins, Sophie Kassies, Robbert van Heuven & Mirjam Koen.
“Hebben we ons zo totaal afgekeerd van levende toneelschrijvers dat alleen literatuur en cinema het toneel nog waardig zijn?” Deze woorden sprak Pierre Audi tijdens het Theaterfestival 2009 in zijn rede De Staat van het Theater. Hij maakte zich zorgen om een theater dat z’n eigen repertoire en klassieken vergeet en in toenemende teruggrijpt op een roman of een filmscript als basis voor voorstellingen.
Of je nu wel of niet zijn zorgen deelt, Audi vestigt de aandacht op ‘n interessante tendens in het theaterlandschap. De vele vormen van bewerking die we in het hedendaags theater tegenkomen, roepen verschillende interessante vragen op: Waarom willen makers boeken of films bewerken? Zijn bewerkingen een knieval naar het publiek in hun hang naar het bekende? Hoe verhouden dergelijke bewerkingen zich tot het ‘klassieke’ theaterrepertoire? Wat gebeurt er precies in de transformatie van het ene medium naar het andere? Wat win je, wat verlies je? Hoe verhouden origineel en bewerking zich tot elkaar? Over deze en andere vragen gaat dramaturg, vertaler en bewerker Eve Hopkins (OT Theater) in gesprek met toneelschrijver en dramaturg Sophie Kassies (genomineerd voor de Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs), theaterjournalist en dramaturg Robbert van Heuven en regisseur Mirjam Koen (OT Theater)

NL November 18, 2010 – Why Theatre? Modem en de theaterpraktijk van Frans Strijards
Tijdens deze editie van Why Theatre? gaat theaterwetenschapper Wil Hildebrand in gesprek met Frans Strijards over zijn artistieke praktijk als theatermaker, schrijver en artistiek leider en in het bijzonder over zijn meest recente voorstelling Modem.

ENG October 21, 2010 – Why Theatre? with Anne Karin ten Bosch: Scenography is the art of charging (staged) spaces with time
In this lecture Anne Karin ten Bosch will share her perspective on design through showing the work of several scenographers (among them Anna Viebrock, Marc Warning, Philippe Quesne). She will speak about the way these artists ‘charge space with time’.
Anne Karin ten Bosch studied sculpting and scenography. She worked for sixteen years as scenographer and theatre maker and teaches scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva in Groningen. She wants to develop the reflection on spatial design in theatre. For the ‘Lectoraat HKU’ she wrote “Wil jij mijn decor ontwerpen?” (“Do you like to design my set?”), an essay on the process of spatial design for staged spaces. Since 2009 she is a master student Theatre Studies at the UU.

ENG October 14, 2010 – Why Theatre? with Andrea Bozic: The making of Mars Landing
“Today we’re not going to the theater to see old stories staged in new ways, television or film are doing that much easier. Theatre is an ongoing dialogue on liveness.” (A. Bozic) In this seminar the participants will speak with Andrea Bozic about topics such as ‘liveness’, ‘intermediality’ and ‘generators’, as exemplified by excerpts from Bozic’ performances, including Mars Landing.

October 7, 2010 – Why Theatre? with Joris Weijdom: Performance Engine Joris Weijdom is Head of Research Group Virtual Theatre / Research Centre
Theatre making processes, HKU). The Performance Engine is a system of several hard- and software components that are designed to facilitate interaction with digital (multi-)media technology in a performative context and specifically oriented on the rehearsal phase of a theatre making proces. Joris Weijdom will speak about the development of the Performance Engine. He will also present examples of making processes of theatre and dance performance during which the Performance Engine has already been used.

ENG September 30, 2010 – Why Theatre? with Tereza Havelkova: Staging Liveness in Hypermedial Opera
Havelkoca discusses the work of Louis Andriessen and Peter Greenaway’s opera Writing to Vermeer (1999), in relation to issues of liveness and mediatization, within an overall context of hypermediacy. She concentrates, in particular, on the relationship between liveness, cultural constructions of femininity, and the singing voice. Tereza Havelkova is Assistant Professor in the Department of Musicology at Charles University in Prague and a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.

January 12, 2010 – Sanja Mitrovic: Will You Ever Be Happy Again?
Professor Maaike Bleeker will speak with theatre maker and performer Sanja Mitrovic about her performance Will You Ever Be Happy Again?. The performance employs documentary strategies to explore how nationality influences one’s personal identity. It is a piece for one Serbian and one German performer. How does Mitrovic relate to topics of nationality, identity and history? What did she discover during the development of the performance and the presentation of the piece internationally? Mitrovic will speak about the diverse responses of the audiences in Serbia, Germany, Switzerland, France, and The Netherlands and show a selection of excerpts from the performance.

2009
ENG December 10, 2009 – Nicholas Rowe: Avoiding Victim Art: negotiating sympathy and contempt when presenting dance from a traumatized community
Nicholas Rowe presents a lecture on the topic of dance and trauma. In 2000-2008 Rowe was involved in local dance projects, in various Palestinian regions, working with local artists, companies and social communities. Rowe teaches in dance studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. This lecture takes place within the context of the program Dancing on the Edgefocused on theatre and dance from the Middle East.

ENG November 25, 2009 – Bouam: African puppet theatre
Bouam is a women’s puppet theatre company from Togo. The afternoon starts with screening of a film about their work, after which some scenes are demonstrated on the floor. Coached by the performers, members of the audience are then given the opportunity to work with the puppets themselves. In the concluding session, Eugène van Erven, senior lecture Theatre Studies at Utrecht University and researcher at Vrede van Utrecht, will interview members of Bouam and Heddy Veltkamp, a Dutch puppeteer, about the power of (African) puppetry.

ENG October 22, 2009 – Alexander Karshnia (andcompany&Co.): West in Peace
During this conversation, Alexander Karshnia tells about andcompany’s performance West in Peace, that will première in December in Germany. The performance is an inquiry into the status and meaning of the notion of the ‘West’, after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

NL June 3, 2009 – De selectie van de TF-jury
Gesprek over de selectie van de jury. Te gast zijn juryleden Clairy Polak (voorzitter), dramaturge Judith Wendel, en theatercritici Joris van der Meer (Financieel Dagblad).

NL April 6, 2009 -Raoul Heertje over Heerlijk eerlijk Heertje
Raoul Heertje spreekt over zijn talkshow programma Heerlijk eerlijk Heertje, dat hij maakte bij de VPRO, waarin hij de wetten van de televisietalkshow voor de ogen van de kijker deconstrueert.

ENG April 2, 2009 – Petra Kuppers: On Theatre and Disability
During this Why Theatre? session, Petra Kuppers will present part of her research on theatre and disability.

ENG January 8, 2009 – Michal Kobialka: Theatre/Performance Culture in Eighteenth-Century London
The full title of Michal Kobialka’s lecture is “Theatre/Performance Culture in Eighteenth-Century London: A Prolegomenon to Theatre Historiography of the Enlightenment”. Kobialka’s inaugural Lecture, accepting the Belle van Zuylen chair at the Faculty of the Humanities of Utrecht University.

2008
December 11, 2008 – Mike Pearson: Imaginary archeology
Mike Pearson explores the relationship between theatre and archaeology, and will reflect on how this field of research informs his work on a future project: his contribution to a written history of the Mickery Theatre, Amsterdam.

October 2, 2008 – Bryan Reynolds: Sexy Shakespeare: Why We Can’t Get Enough
Through a brief excursion into the fields of memetics, consciousness studies, neurochemistry, and cognitive neuroscience, Bryan Reynolds explores new ways to unveil the incentives and causality behind aesthetic appreciation and audience experience.

September 18, 2008 – Radical Theatrical: an afternoon with Janez Jansa
During this afternoon, a selection of excerpts from Jansa’s work will be starting point for a discussion about (among others) his re-enactment of the first ever Yugoslavian art performance ‘Pupilija, Papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks’, his research on theatre in the US Army and the question of entertainment for peacekeeping soldiers on an international level, his research on refugee camps for first world citizens, his ideas on mobile phone theatre, his version of Guilio Camillo’s Renaissance Theatre of Memory, and why Emil Hrvatin changed his name into that of the current right wing prime minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, and what happened afterwards.