Theater Babel Rotterdam is an inclusive theatre company. This means we don’t exclude anyone. We work with professional actors who are young and old, have and don’t have disabilities, poor and rich, healthy and ill, with and without addictions, with different origins, religions and sexual preferences. People who are different than you and sometimes it is you.
Our company counts 34 actors, some in permanent employment, some as guest performers. Each year, Babel performs about 150 shows for regular audience and theatre ateliers for youngsters from secondary education.
what we do
Our shows are interdisciplinary and socially engaged. They often are inspired by personal stories from the actors. After each performance, we have a vegetarian dinner with our audience, so actors and audience can strike up a conversation. Starting next season, we will apply the methodology ‘Het laatste woord’ (the last word) for this after-talk.
In the theatre ateliers, theatre is used to achieve an encounter between the pupils and our actors. This way, Babel makes a contribution to the inclusive society. We do that with all our work: whether we perform for a regular audience of for youngsters, we always show how we imagine an inclusive society.
We work on a methodology for inclusive theatre that is transferable. For this, we closely work together with Hogeschool Rotterdam. Next to that, Babel has developed a workshop for the government and business industry on the inclusive working floor.
Internationally, Babel is part of a network of European theatres that are working together within the program ‘Crossing the line’, supported by Creative Europe by the European Community.
Theater Babel Rotterdam is led by Paul Röttger. He makes one production a year that combines theatre, film, dance, music and circus. For each project, he works together with a co-director from another discipline.
Next to that, we organize art education trajectories for schools, led by actors and theatre makers from Babel. Bram Legerstee is head education.
In the cultural field, actors in permanent employment are an exception. At Babel they are the core of the company. The mix of permanent employed actors, permanent employees and guest actors guarantees a good equilibrium that ensures continuity and grow. We learnt from experience that because of the inclusive composition of our company, our actors require more personal attention than actors in a regular company. The apprenticeship coaches work together with Pameijer to ensure this on a social level. The directors and trainers support this artistically and on a professional level.
Each season, at least 30 actors work at Babel, of whom 24 actors with disabilities (permanent employed). All actors receive daily theatre trainings. The ensemble consists of two groups: Babel 1 and Babel 2. The first group has 15 actors. They make one big production per year, directed by Paul Röttger. The second group consists of 9 actors and focuses on theatre ateliers and educational trajectories. The advantage of this separation is that we can pay more attention to individual functioning and personal growth. Based on individual and artistic wishes, we make a new division per season.
Next to the 24 permanent actors, we work with 6 guest actors each season. This is a diverse group of trained actors, singers, musicians, circus artists, dancers, theatre makers and choreographers. They fortify the group of actors with their expertise and enlarge the diversity within the group. They are hired yearly through an open application process. After a first selection, there are different rounds of auditions. In these auditions, they actively work with us on the theatre floor, to get familiar with working inclusive. The application procedure ends with an interview about personal motivation. This intensive process has been developed based on our experiences in the past. We want to make the transition from regular to inclusive theatre as smooth as possible for the guest actors.
Are you interested in working at Babel and did you finish an artistic training program, be sure to send in an open application with your resume, motivation and a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you someone with a so-called ‘indication’ or do you know someone with an indication who dreams of making theatre, send an email to email@example.com for more information.
CENTRE OF KNOWLEDGE
Theater Babel Rotterdam is the national centre of knowledge for inclusive theatre in the Netherlands. Here we do research and share information on how to make inclusive theatre. In 2018, the platform ‘Inclusive Theater in the Netherlands’ was formed, that has as a goal to share knowledge in the area of inclusion in theatre and to connect professionals.
Want to know more about the centre of knowledge? Have a look here.