At Toneelgroep Amsterdam, tradition and innovation go hand in hand. They are the pillars of a company that is constantly in motion and presents itself explicitly at the heart of Amsterdam, the Stadsschouwburg at Leidseplein.
TA is the largest theatre company in the Netherlands and is led by director Ivo van Hove. Since he was appointed in 2001, he has paved the way for an urban company with international allure by creating a series of sensational shows and by attracting different directors from the Netherlands, as well as from other countries. The core of the company consists of 22 quality actors, making it possible to keep shows in their repertoire.
TA was founded in 1987. It is a merger between two companies from the capital city; the Publiekstheater and Toneelgroep Centrum. Gerardjan Rijnders, who was the artistic leader at that time, was the first to remove experimental theatre from the margins and place avant-garde on the country's primary stage: Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam. His successor Ivo van Hove continues along this line. Together with designer Jan Versweyveld, he breaks through the restrictions of the large theatre, and steps out of the frame if the performance calls for it. The playhouse as a location where the natural distance between actor and audience is removed and the relationship between fiction and reality is defined in a new way.
urban theatre company
TA has developed into an urban theatre company performing in the already existing theatre and the new Rabozaal theatre at the Stadsschouwburg since 2009. It is a base for meeting artists from the Netherlands as well as from other countries. Amsterdam becomes the core of a global village where both local and global changes continue to fuel people's ideas about art and theatre. TA produces performances that are up-to-date without explicitly reacting to political and social developments. Theatre becomes a sanctuary for being confronted with the unknown: the unknown in ourselves, in others, in society. But above all, theatre needs to be a party in honour of chaos, where the irrational and the illogical are celebrated.
multitude of stage languages
TA produces reinterpretations of classic repertoire, new texts and crossovers with music, design and dance. By frequently teaming up with other companies, such NTGent and Toneelhuis, artistic cross connections are created. Apart from Ivo van Hove, TA also works with prominent guest directors from various countries, such as Thomas Ostermeier, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Johan Simons, Luk Perceval, Krzysztof Warlikowski and Christoph Marthaler.
During the coming years, nine visionary and distinctive directors will be making their own special creations. What connects these new and internationally renowned directors is their belief that theatre is essential within a society that is more disparate and diverse than ever. They all share a concern about the place of man in this continually changing society.
Ivo van Hove has developed his own specific style: strong emotionality and psychological empathy, accompanied by a design in which videos and music play an important part. It regards multimedia projects as well as intimate performances of (forgotten) classics and film scripts.
Thomas Ostermeier is a master of translating repertoire from the late 19th century to our current society and uses a clear, filmic style.
In robust shows where text, image and live music go hand in hand, Johan Simons seeks an alarming confrontation with current social developments.
Luk Perceval aims for an optimal emotional efficiency of the text with minimal resources. In his anti-theatre, averse to coquettish entertainment, he looks for the dark sides of man.
The stage language of Guy Cassiers is timid in a grand way and takes place on the border between video installation and theatre.
Grzegorz Jarzyna edits largely classic and modern texts. The struggle of man to escape his origin and upbringing and to build his own identity forms the core of his theatrical odyssey.
In his shows, Eric de Vroedt takes a careful look at political and current social themes. He uses a fast, fragmented stage language full of humour.
Susanne Kennedy makes rigorous adaptations of classics in an abstract and physical form of performance, full of poetic and nightmarish images.
Julie Van den Berghe aims for a pure, minimalistic style. She looks for extremes in form: both playful and baroque, both jubilant and gloomy.
TA-2 - the platform of TA in cooperation with Toneelschuur Producties and Frascati Producties for developing talented directors - has released seven theatre productions since 2007. Three plays directed by Thibaud Delpeut: Britannicus (Jean Racine), Antigone-Kreon-Oidipous (an adaptation of the Theban tragedies by Sophocles) and All My Sons (Arthur Miller), two directed by Eric de Vroedt: A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) and Glengarry Glen Ross (David Mamet), Rashomon-effect directed by Joachim Robbrecht and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams) directed by Jacob Derwig. In 13|14, Julie Van den Berghe will make her TA-2 debut with Lorca's Blood Wedding. The multiannual partnership is aimed at developing the directorship step by step, with both alliance partners using their expertise and putting an emphasis on work within larger organisations. Meanwhile, Antigone-Kreon-Oidipous, Glengarry Glen Ross and All My Sons have made it to the big theatre. In the years to come, TA will continue to invest in talented directors: TA-2 as a breeding ground for the directors of the future.
We are aware of the responsibility we have for the Dutch theatre world and have been forming alliances for many years with creators whose artistic work is completely autonomic, and we take care of their business leadership, sales, marketing and administration. This is how we linked up with Adelheid Roosen / Female Economy.
Based on the conception that everything turns out to be an illusion, Female Economy Foundation is working on a new economic idea: 'Come near, just come to me' / Hélène Cixous. In order to translate this illusion economically, FE reaches out to interculturalism and looks for the thorns and the flower, to display them within the world of art and culture.
> to the Female Economy website
Toneelgroep Amsterdam is structurally supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the City of Amsterdam.
The Supervisory Board consists of Tineke Bahlmann, Noraly Beyer, Wouter Bos, Rutger Koopmans (chairman) and Ruud Nederveen.