The theater is increasingly filled with new audiences

The theater is increasingly filled with new audiences


NOS News

Where is the culture sector after Corona? resist In order to fill the halls, the theater has recently reached out to a new audience: young, diverse and hitherto unfamiliar with the stage. This is what directors and programmers say from different theaters in the Netherlands.

Take the Moroccan-Dutch community, for example. Until recently, she was underrepresented among theatergoers. It also came Investigation From the SCP: Young people with a non-Western background in particular are less visible in theater than those with an Indigenous background.

So something is changing, although it seems that it is mainly the large-scale makers who are able to get other groups to participate in their offerings.

Before the theater sent the bill, my show was sold out.

Jawad Al Soufi is a playwright and comedian

“That’s not the question,” says playwright and comedian Jawad al-Soufi, better known by his pen name Sloughi. He debuted his own solo show in 2020 and has rarely left venues throughout the Netherlands and Belgium since then. He had already noticed then that there was enough enthusiasm for the theater in the Moroccan-Dutch community, among others.

And though theaters haven’t seen it that way yet, Al Soufi was steadfast: “For my first performance, I went to the Rotterdam theater and asked if I could put on a show. I have 10,000 followers on Instagram and if only 10 percent have it I told them to buy a hall ticket.” It’s already sold out.”

own photo

Jawad Al-Sufi

Fellow artist Hamza Benamira also recalled this request from the Moroccan-Dutch community when he founded the comedy group Borrelnootjez twelve years ago: “I noticed at the time that there was a need for live performances. When we created the first group in 2011, there was no in No time. Times are sold out in all major cities in the Netherlands.”

According to Benmira, it’s only a matter of time before there are more supplies from directors and theaters: “We’re the first generation that can handle that kind of thing. Our parents were busy making ends meet and surviving.” It also reminds Benmira Najib Amahli. “He was the only one doing a nightclub at the time. There was little on offer.”

For Borrelnootjez, it’s about being able to get to know yourself, he explains. “In America you had DefJam and black comedy, we used to watch that. We saw full halls with mainly African-American audiences and thought: We Dutch Moors want this too. With things we could identify with, with which we could identify the type of humor we’ve got “.

new movement

For this reason, managers and programmers of different theaters also try to match supply and demand. So is Bram Jacobs, responsible for programming at the Parktheater in Eindhoven. And he explains that since the emergence of Corona, there has been a break in the trend in the theater world.

Diversity is recognition

For Yassine Boussaid, director at Amsterdam’s Meervaart, variety goes further: “You’re not diverse if you just write ‘Sloegie’, you’re only diverse if you book ‘Sloegie’ and John van Erd. For everyone, that’s all there is to it.” command.”

“I don’t have a problem with monocultures in the room,” Boussaid continues. “Just the perception that this group belongs to only one type of person is misconception. It’s a multi-layered group and you have to show them something else. It’s about expanding the frames of reference and you can achieve that through cross-pollination in the lobby – different types of reception of people in the theater “.

They create this cross-pollination of Meervaart by making theater accessible to people of all socio-economic classes. Boussaid mentions the Amsterdam Municipal Pass, with which low-income residents can attend the show for free or at a reduced rate. “This is how you enrich people and inspire them to have a good night out.”

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