Parolado with Dutch Culture
Three projects of international collaboration were presented:
Villa Zapakara – Amsterdam àSurinam
In this project exhibitions which had been on display in the shipped to Surinam. Here, the exhibitions were displayed again, with slight alterations.
FOAM – Amsterdam + Brooklyn
FOAM undertook a project with pupils from a school in Amsterdam Noord and a school in Brooklyn, USA, to work together and exchange experiences
Kwatta – Netherlands à various countries
Because of lack of funding, the Dutch youth theater group Kwatta decided to play their plays abroad (Ireland and the US among other countries).
- You need to be flexible. Things are just different abroad sometimes;you need to be resilient in a way.
- It’s important to stay in charge over your own work and goals, but stay flexible at the same time.
- Find someone who knows the market and can arrange practical things for you.
- Be explicit about your needs.
- Take the chance
- Have a sincere interest
- Physically visit before you start
- Read up before you start the project
- Go! It generates new contacts and opportunities and gives you new perspectives
Q for Kwatta: Was the reception of your plays different?
A: No, not so much. What we do is very European, however. The Irish understood more of the jokes than the US kids . Not every play I make can be displayed in the US, though. Death, for example, is quite a difficult theme in the US. I made a play about three old men who want to live forever. We were only received in New York with that play.
Q for Kwatta: Are costs of travelling covered?
A: In the US, they pay more per play. Having an agent helps, we had multiple performances.
Q for Kwatta would you adapt your subject to a country?
A: I don’t think so; we were never asked. European youth theater is also fun for adults.
Q for Kwatta: Are you now less dependent on Dutch funds?
A: Not necessarily. We are getting noticed more, though. And doing it anyway, without many funds, it made me feel much more free.
Q for Kwatta: How did you get in touch with a suitable agent?
A: We met a lot of programmers at IPA; that was a great place to ‘shop’ for us.
Q to all: What were differences you noticed between kids from abroad?
A Kwatta: Not such a difference compared US and Canada.
A Foam: Amsterdam kids were not as street wise compared to the Brooklyn kids.
Q to all: Whats an unexpected outcome of your project
A Villa Zapakara: The museum is unique in Surinam, within two months we were fully booked.
A Foam: The kids stayed in touch after the project was finished, for example via instagram.
A Kwatta: Co production is something we had never done before, but now we have, as a result of working abroad.
Q to all: What would you do differently now, looking back at your experiences?
A Villa Zapakara: We would run the exhibition for a longer period of time.
A Foam: We didn’t meet before. We only through Skype, it was harder to get to know one another than expected. I would advise to meet before starting the project to align the aims and the initial plans.
A Kwatta: Not so much. Just practical issues like how to arrange stuff: flying there or driving, visa’s etc.