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Dear programmer, dear friend,

We are happy to inform you about our upcoming activities!


Koppeling gekopieerd

Koppeling gekopieerd

RUHRTRIENNALE presents (.....) A show that doesn't give a shit about it's own vague title

Essen, 18-28 September, Maschinenhaus

Music, dance, theatre, performance and fine arts in the former industrial buildings of the Ruhr Area: that’s the Ruhrtriennale. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for impressive arts productions.


Ruhrtriennale will give 12 performances: Wed 18 Sep 11:00 & 19:00 // Thu 19 Sep 11:00 (completed) & 18:00 // Fri 20 Sep 11:00 & 18:00 // Sat 21 Sep 18:00 // Sun 22 Sep 11:00 & 18:00 // Sat 27 Sep 11:00 & 18:00 // Sun 28 Sep 18:00


The VSCD-jury nominated the performance for the Mime Prize 2019: “(…..)  A show that doesn’t give a shit about it’s own vage title is a disrupting ode to imagination. An absurd philosophical masterpiece that defies all theatre conventions. Jetse Batelaan stretches all boundaries and crosses them, without becoming implausible for an instant. It is unique and extremely well made theatre that empathizes that there is actually nothing to understand. Or all of it”. (VSCD jury)


Coproduction Theater Artemis, Ruhrtriennale & Künstlerhaus Mousonturm On tour 21 November till 14 December (& January/February 2020)

For the age of 12 and up. Supported by Dutch Performing Arts.

Koppeling gekopieerd

Koppeling gekopieerd


Nominated for the Golden Cricket Award: “Waiting has never been as much fun as at The Story of the Story by Jetse Batelaan. From a primeval man to a media star, where do you stand without a story? Fascinating loose ends form the red line in a theatre experience that is difficult to narrate but which is irresistible.” (VSCD Jury)



THEATER FESTIVAL, Sat 7 & Sun 8 September ITA

From the festival jury report: “Director Jetse Batelaan offers Artemis and Het Zuidelijk Toneel a radical proposal for a disconnected world. He challenges the audience to relate to stories without structure, to connections lacking logic. The result is a world that is both frightening and liberating. The Story of the Story is a performance that doesn’t enlighten you, but which nonetheless gives you a lot of new insights. Batelaan, who, like no other, ruthlessly undermines what we (inside and outside the theatre) assume to be true, is doing the impossible: he is presenting a performance without direction, without structure, without story – and without glorifying it. A performance that is relevant for children, but especially for adults, who – with their flawless preference for manufacturability, systems and logic – may well benefit from this dysregulation.” (Jury Theater Festival)



Aichi Triennale, Japan, Sat 12 & Sun 13 October, Nagoya City Performing Arts Center

In Spring 2018 we gave a lecture and workshops in Tokyo. In September 2018 Chiaki Soma (curator of Aichi Triennale) attended the premiere of The Story of the Story. Hereafter everything was set in motion to present the show in Japan. Aichi Triennale is known as one of the largest international contemporary art festivals in Japan. The programming theme of the festival’s fourth edition is Taming Y/Our Passion, in which it deals with the complexity of the world and the tendency to think in black and white. By “recapturing the lost original domain of art”, the festival sheds new light on different languages, traditions, and ideals.


“Contemporary society has been built on political and economic logic; Theater Artemis’s riotous ingenuity is pervaded by a playfulness and criticality which point out and disrupt its contradictions.” (Chiaki Soma)


Supported by Dutch Performing Arts & the Embassy of The Netherlands in Tokyo



Teatre Lliure, Spain, Sat 12 & Sun 13 October:

Teatre Lliure, one of Spain’s most renowned theatres, opens the 2019/2020 theatre season with a strong accent in the young audience. Deputy director Georgina Olive admires the way how Jetse works. By exhibiting his shows her intention is to “give another vision about the youth in the theaters”.


A family-show for 8 and up. Coproduced by Het Zuidelijk Toneel.

Koppeling gekopieerd

Koppeling gekopieerd

A Russian WAR, forth and backwards

International Children’s Festival Gavroche Russia, Tue 24 & Wed 25 September, Teatrium Na Serpukhovke, Moscow:

In 2012 Gavroche presented Dutch theatre for young audiences. Now a second Dutch season is coming up. Eleven youth theatre productions will be presented. “What impressed us in the latest works of Dutch actors and directors is not just the freedom of mind, the wonderful music or the creativity. Most of the plays are silent. Surprised? We were surprised as well, but then it hit us: today, the words are not so important. It’s the actions that matter. That’s what makes us more intelligent, happier and more cheerful.”


For the age of 6 and up. Supported by Dutch Performing Arts.


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Looking back on a powerful, surprising and daring Biennale Teatro


“Now, what we can hold back on this work is the freedom with which it speaks to children, without holding hands, without accompanying them, leaving much to their ability to fill gaps in rhythm.” (paneaquaculture.it)


“What makes The Story of the Story special is that it explores this theme for a young audience with joyful imagination, bringing together various situations and characters.” (Askanews.it)


“The children’s theatre by Dutch director Jetse Batelaan, kicked off the Festival reconnecting to a tradition of La Biennale which has dedicated great attention in the past to this theatre, which can count on a renovated language such that it now shares in the developments of research in theatre. The Story of the Story represents Jetse Batelaans’ visionary style and interlaces with a philosophical outlook to address today’s themes and myths.” (Biennale of Venice)



“Here we can see poetry and the intention to ridicule the war and every stereotype associated with it.” (paneaquaculture.it)

“Masterfully done by the actors, who succeed in never going over the top, working with freshness to a typical childlike naivety, the show is layered in significance. A significance that offers deeper interpretations, it touches both the little ones and the adults.” (Krapp’s last post)



“Theater is a yearly fixture along with dance and music, while the art and architecture events happen every other year. Yet the performing arts’ presence remains more discreet. It may be a blessing in disguise. This year’s lineup was blissfully free of the same old star directors who headline many international theater festivals. Antonio Latella, who has been at the event’s helm since 2017, appears more interested in theater-makers who fly below the radar.” (New York Times)

The Biennale of Venice has awarded Jetse Batelaan a Silver Lion: “Creator of innovative children’s theatre and not only”

Koppeling gekopieerd

Koppeling gekopieerd




Good evening everyone,


Awards and the arts are strange bedfellows. Awards always come a bit out of the blue, and when they do, you never know how you got there. Were there members of the jury planted in the audience, wearing fake mustaches? Were there informants hiding in the bushes, observing the audience? Nobody knows, and nobody ever will. And perhaps that’s for the best. Some mysteries are best left unsolved. All I know is that right now I’m standing here, in this beautiful theatre, holding a Silver Lion. And then, well, you need to say a few words…


So, Jetse, now you really need to say something.


But what?


First allow me to thank Mr Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale, Mr Antonio Latella, Artistic Director of Biennale Teatro, the entire Board of La Biennale and all the mysterious, fake-mustachioed women and men who came to this decision. In their report, they wrote that, in my work, theatre for children “reclaims the importance it deserves”. But, with this award, the Bienalle is doing exactly the same, and that is deserving of the highest praise. We are here for a worthy cause. I think it’s important that we introduce the youth to the unknown. Confront them with real art. Art that endeavors to be scary, confrontational, uncomfortable, unpredictable and disruptive. It’s no use trying to shield our kids from the chaos that is life. It’s also unnecessary. We and them can do more than we think. There is nothing to be afraid of. Even in a world in which we don’t know the rules or how it ends, we will find our own path. We just need to walk it. One foot in front of the other, eyes open, treading lightly onward.


Riding on the back of this silver flying lion I feel encouraged. I thank all those amazing artists, actors, technicians, colleagues, producing partners, teachers, the younger and the slightly older audience members who embarked on this journey with me these past few years. It wasn’t easy. I know. Often even terrifying. Sorry about that. And still you had the courage not to leave me alone. . Finally, I would like to thank my wife and my kids, with whom the word ‘alone’ doesn’t seem to exist, and everything is at once adventurous and familiar.


I think that’s all that needed to be said.


Jetse Batelaan


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We look forward to meeting you at our shows!
All the best,

Annemiek de Goey, Planning & international pr
Patrick van der Weijde, Managing director