The Netherlands Theatre Festival

The Netherlands Theatre Festival

During September 5th – 15th, Amsterdam hosts the Dutch thespian event of the year, the Netherlands Theater festival, resulting in a retrospective summary of Holland’s ten best stage productions of the season. The festival also includes presenting the very prestigious Theater Prize for best production along with the Golden Cricket award for the best children’s play. Coinciding with the Netherlands Theater Festival, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival supports all types of theater appreciators. This span of early September is where theatrical focuses intermingle and refined amazements appear each day.

Accounting for such high caliber theater performances is a jury of acclaimed Dutch theater experts and critics who decide the program list, culminating in a list of the year’s best Dutch theater, revealed in May. Several other performances of the season that the public most favored will be added as well as some children’s theater performances. Stages are found all over the city including the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, the Theater Bellevue and the De Krakeling. For those lacking strong Dutch language skills, many of the Netherlands Theater Festival performances have English subtitles.

For an extra option, one may catch a lecture in English from expert, international actors and directors. Their masterful classes and improvisation performances open an extra inlet for those eager to learn about theatrical methods and the creative process. Furthermore, after-show debates are organized each day providing a full immersion into the ancient art form of live theater.

Conclude the festival by attending the Netherlands Theater awards ceremony which unfolds its own short set of dramas. Come observe in awe as Dutch and Belgian theater celebrities saunter down the red carpet on their way to receive a special recognition. Be part of the audience as performers vie for such distinctive awards as the Louis D’Or and the Theo D’Or, the BNG Nieuwe Theatermakersprijs and the Dioraphte Amsterdam Fringe Award.  This last award refers to the Amsterdam Fringe festival which actually happens on the edges of the Netherlands Theater Festival so that audiences of Amsterdam’s flourishing avant-garde productions will have their own performance list too. 

The Amsterdam Fringe Festival is a form of an already thriving series of Fringe festivals that occur in Edinburgh, New York and other major cities around the world. The Fringe’s ten days in Amsterdam brings together over 80 theater groups from all sorts of global backgrounds and lesser known, experimental styles. Also, approximately half of the shows are done for non-Dutch speakers in an extensive effort to provide works that are accessible for English speakers and for sign language users. All in all, the Fringe festival offers a platform for those with less common theatrical tastes and an obvious gateway for those wishing to become familiar with the latest trends in Dutch avant-garde theater. Fringe spectacles are set at about 25 places around the city, happening in unison with the Dutch Theater festival. For more specific info about each of the productions and for a program of side events, go to the Dutch Theater Festival website. For info concerning the Amsterdam Fringe Festival click here and learn more about the individual shows.

These two festivals during the same week and a half provide a well suited time for a short stay in Amsterdam. Try one of our Amsteram apartments as a great alternative to a hotel and live in your own canal house or houseboat. For either to heat and to cool the mind with well-honed master strokes of popular theater the attendee finds also some leaner, perhaps more challenging projects of upstart talents. Come to feast or to nibble on these select works for the many and for the few.