Roel Adam was born in 1953 in The Hague. From 1972 to 1976 he studied dramatic instruction at the Academy of Expression in Word and Gesture in Utrecht. Since 1976 Roel Adam has been working in young people’s theatre as an actor, director and playwright. Two of the theatre groups with which he has been connected in the past are Lijn Negen and Theater Eldorado. He is presently a member of the artistic management at one of the most important young people’s theatre companies in the Netherlands: Huis aan de Amstel. Roel Adam has written many plays for the artistic director of this company, Liesbeth Coltof. For both Adam and Coltof, the often perilous position of the child in today’s society is an important theme. Roel Adam has a great fondness for the possibilities that language offers. In his pieces he uses words which appear to be everyday at first glance, but which tend toward a sort of philosophy for children. Of this he once said: ‘I’m actually always searching for what is behind the words. A real conversation is about what people mean. Not about what they are saying, but about what they are trying to say.’
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Entries in Netherlands (8)
Ad de Bont was born on 9 May 1949. In 1972 he graduated as a drama teacher and went on to study at the Cabaret Academy in Amsterdam. In 1975, after spending a few years in the classroom, he began working as an actor, director and writer for young people’s theatre. He worked with several theatre companies before taking over as artistic leader of young peoples theatre group Wederzijds in 1982, together with Allan Zipson. Since 1987, Ad de Bont has been sole artistic director of this group. Wederzijds has a work ethic of only performing for schools, which makes it something of an odd man out amongst the top Dutch children’s theatre groups. Ad de Bont has written and adapted many plays for children and young people. Music plays an important role in his productions. Another characteristic element of his work is that the story is generally told as a narrative which unfolds in fragments, regardless of the scene of the action and the chronology of events. Absurdity and an interest in unknown cultures are recurrent themes in his work. Several of his plays have been translated into other languages and performed abroad. In Germany he is one of the most frequently performed living playwrights. Ad de Bont has received the Hans Snoek prize - the annual theatre award for the best Dutch language production for children and young people - for several of his productions with Wederzijds.
Imme Dros was born on 26 September 1936 on the island of Texel. She attended the Municipal Lyceum in Den Helder and graduated with a gymnasium diploma from the 'alpha' track, going on to earn a Master's degree in Dutch language and literature at Amsterdam University, with literature as her main subject and theatre studies and English literature as subsidiary subjects.
After completing her studies she began publishing children's stories. Her first children's book, Het paard Rudolf [Rudolf the Horse], appeared in 1971. Since then she has published more than thirty books for children and young people. She also produced a verse version of Homer's Odyssey and translated the Middle Dutch classicVisioenen van Hadewijch [The Visions of Hadewijch].
Many of her books were illustrated by her husband, Harrie Geelen. Books by Imme Dros have been translated into German, French, English, Japanese, Brazilian, Swedish and Danish. In 1991 she was asked by the young people's theatre group Teneeter to adapt her book Annetje Lie in het holst van de nacht [Annetje Lie in the Dead of Night for the stage. This play, De maan en de muizenkoning [The Moon and the Mouse King] was first performed in 1991. Since then she has written three more plays for families and young people and a libretto for a children's opera, Repelsteel [Rumpelstiltskin]. Recurring themes in her work are the twilight region between fantasy and reality, and the struggle to discover one's own identity.
Saskia Janse is co-founder of Speeltheater Holland, a traveling theatre company based in the Netherlands. Founded in 1976, the company performs theatre for children using a combination of acting and puppetry. Their productions perform in the USA, all over Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa. Their production Perô or The Mysteries of the Night has been touring all over the world, including the US in April/May 2011. Speeltheater Holland has a long-lasting collaboration with the Seattle Children’s Theater since 1997. It started with the adaptation of Janell Cannon’s famous book Stellaluna and after that they created five more productions in Seattle.
Saskia Janse has written most of the plays of Speeltheater Holland and several have been produced abroad by other companies: Apple to Grandma , Stellaluna, Nicky Somewhere Else, Glittra’s Mission (USA, Germany, Canada); Red Earth (South Africa); and Rèk Buriku Rèké (The Antilles).
The group and author have received two oeuvre awards and several awards for productions. Saskia is represented in the USA by PYA (Plays for Young Audiences).
See English reviews at http://www.speeltheater.nl/Eshow.html (scroll down)
Moniek Merkx has been artistic director of Theatregroup Max. since January 2003. Other companies at which Merkx has directed include Suver Nuver and Theater Artemis. At Max. she develops her distinctive, physical and personal style of writing and directing. This, combined with other disciplines like video images, music, illustrations, dance or even architecture, is what makes Max. what it is.
During the season 2002-2003 Moniek Merkx made her international début by writing and directing Once Upon a Forest, performed by the Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis, the largest children theatre company in the USA. For some years now, she has made striking and successful (sometimes prize-winning) performances for young people.
Max. productions by Moniek Merkx are House of Dreams*, Blue or something on the Wall, LOVE*, Gold, The Horrible Stepmother Show, Falling Girls*, Paradiso City of the Future, Lear's Daughters, Once upon a Dragon**, Blood Relatives, Peter Pan Was Here, Reigen and HELP**.
* translated in English / ** translated in English and German
The House of Dreams (direction Moniek Merkx) has been selected for the Amsterdam - Antwerp Theatre Festival 2003 (best performances of season 2002-2003). The jury of that festival: "The actors' intelligent play combined with theatrical and technical tricks, awaken the viewers experience. Powerful location theatre from Max.."
With Lear's Daughters (direction Moniek Merkx) Max. won a 'Silver Cricket 2006'. The jury: "With this rewritten classical play Theatergroep Max. proves that she can put down strong stories in a way that appeals to children, but also grown-ups, from this era".
Moniek Merkx has won the VSCD Mimeprijs and several other theatre awards.
Pauline Mol (1953) studied both Dutch and dramaturgy. From 1973 to 1985 she was part of the Tejater Teneeter collective, where she was responsible for setting up theme-directed drama projects in schools and supervising children and teachers. Over the course of time she increasingly took on the role of writer and dramaturgist. At the beginning of the eighties she devoted herself entirely to writing. After leaving Tejater Teneeter, she wrote scripts for theatre and television on a freelance basis. From 1990 to 1998 she was the artistic leader of the young people’s theatre company Theater Artemis. Presently, she is writing again for children’s theatre on a freelance basis.
The plays of Pauline Mol are strongly influenced by fairy tales and myths. As no other, she knows how to translate the mega-tales that have been passed down to us into the experiential world of children. The search for (or the preservation of) the spirituality and intuition of the child is one of the cornerstones of her theatrical work. Her use of language is often rhythmic and poetic and can be as harsh as it is consoling
Ayla Schneiders (1989-) writes about questions where there is more than one answer. Majestic and moving, small and what appears to be insignificant. Honest, brutal and poetic. ‘I am, therefore I think that I’m thinking’ is her point of view in life and for her thesis she wrote this year. In the thesis she searches for an experience for the audience that is both reassuring and disturbing at the same time. She tries to interpret the latest developments in neuroscience and translates them into tools for directors, performers and writers to get a more deep-seated experience which a spectator will not easily forget. Playing with our unconsciousness, we have to hand ourselves over to the characters Schneiders brings to the stage.
‘Kid, aren’t your eyes bigger than your belly?’, her mum used to say when Ayla used to fill her plate full with food again. It is still one of her favorite statements. She knew her eyes couldn’t be bigger than a belly but she still got what her mum tried to say. Schneiders fell head over heels for words and language.
At the moment she writes as a critic young writer about everything that is going on in politics and society for a site called www.spunk.nl. She is trying to bring her first plays to the stage, theatre for youth but also theatre for adults. At the site she works as a writing and theatre teacher for every age and she is a cook in a romantic restaurant in Utrecht.
Lot Vekemans (1965) studied Social Geography at the University of Utrecht. After her study she visited the Writerschool 't Colofon in Amsterdam and graduated there in 1993 as a playwright. Since 1995 she has written several plays for children as well as for adults, such as The Nymph in 1997 for Playwright-festival Hollandse Nieuwe and Geen gewoon Meisje (Not an ordinary girl) for youth theatre company Artemis in 1998.
In 1998 she was one of the 21 European playwrights who joined the writers-in-residence-project The colours of the Chameleon in Edinburgh. There she wrote the short play A brand new day.
't Muztheater in Holland very successfully staged her play Truckstop in 2001 and 2002. In February 2004 her new play Vreemde Vogels (Strange Birds) premiered successfully.