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.
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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.
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.
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).
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.