Alexander Waugh


after which he was part of the artistic core of the theatre collective De Warme Winkel from 2006 until 2016. Apart from this, he directed theatre performances and operas with, among others, Zuidelijk Toneel, the RO Theatre, the new Luxor theatre, and Nieuw Amsterdams Peil. From 2016 on, he has been a full-time director for Toneelgroep Oostpool in Arnhem and Het Nationale Theater in the Hague, where he made Ondertussen in Casablanca (montage performance), Kinderen van Judas (montage performance), Ondine (by Jean Giraudoux), Cinema (by Annie Baker), and Het duel (adapted from Chekhov). In addition, he has taught at the drama schools of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, and Brussels for many years now. Jeroen De Man’s work is characterised by its exceptional visual potency and openness towards the audience. In his productions, he allows his imagination free reign, and references to current affairs are always encoded in theatrical metaphors. He is fascinated by art and literature from the fin-de-siècle and interbellum, in particular in German-speaking and Russian culture. As a member of De Warme Winkel, he created various highly successful montage productions based on the life and work of artists from this period, such as Alma (about Alma Mahler), Rainer Maria (about Rilke), and Kokoschka Live!. The Warme Winkel production Gavrilo Princip, about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which led to the First World War, premiered at the Holland Festival in 2014. Oostpool sees theatre as a place for ‘encounters’ with other people, times and ideas. Oostpool’s performances offer an insight, comfort or seek confrontation. The theatre company is socially involved, artistically daring and always current. Led by artistic director Marcus Azzini, the artistic directors challenge their audience with the question: How to be human now? The large company Oostpool has settled in Arnhem for more than sixty-five years and travels throughout the country with its performances. The Oostpool ‘house’ is used for experiment and creation. Here a stage is offered to young artists, up-and-coming talents and established companies - from Arnhem, the region or nationwide. Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (a.k.a. NAP or New Amsterdam’s Level) was founded in 2005 by violist Heleen Hulst and pianist Gerard Bouwhuis. As a collective they directed themselves in playing a broad repertoire of chamber music and musical theater as a flexible group. In this, their focus is on contemporary music. The musicians see themselves more as a ‘band’ than an ensemble: there is little hierarchy and every musician can supply one’s own input. The absence of a conductor demands great alertness from the musicians but also gives them more freedom, resulting In a heightened concentration. Many new musical theater productions were written for NAP, in which the composer’s ideas always take center stage. Examples of interdisciplinary projects with Dutch composers are: Urwald by Arnold Noordegraaf (with film), Giacometti by Elmer Schönberder (with dance), Conversations with my mother by Benedict Weisser (with theater), Narcissus by Calliope Tsoupaki (with odor), Aan Barrels with music by Reza Namavar and Janco Verduin (for barrel-organ), Reclining Woman by Astrid Kruisselbrink (with visual arts), the much discussed piece of musical theater Anaïs Nin by Louis Andriessen, and most recently Uwe Leipe Mastdramnis by Rob Zuidam and directed by Jeroen De Man, starring mezzosoprano Gerrie de Vries. As the largest travelling theatre in the Netherlands, Het Nationale Theater makes adaptations of classics as well as productions about contemporary topics that broaden our views of the world. They shed light on the other side of our national history and raise the question of what kind of world we will leave our children, and they show the myriad forms intimacy can take these days. The company works with established as well as new directors and is constantly exploring the significance of theatre today and in the future. They enter into dialogue about this with their fellow city residents in the Hague as well as with the people attending their shows throughout the country.