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Photo: Mark Engelen
Young blood on stage TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: JEUGDTHEATERHUIS
Few biotopes are as limitless as a theatre. From the moment the lights dim, and the spotlights ignite, the most amazing worlds can be created out of thin air and just a touch of imagination. No wonder so many kids dream to be on stage themselves. At the Jeugdtheaterhuis, these dreams become reality. With exciting classes, dynamic workshops and spectacular productions, they welcome the next generation of actors and actresses into the theatre. “You are never too young to act,” says Theo Ham, director of the Jeugdtheaterhuis. “Acting is, actually, a form of play48 | Issue 64 | April 2019
ing. And it would be very weird if a child is too young to play, no?” In this philosophy, the institution offers after-school theatre classes to the youngest of all creative minds. At the age of just four, children are welcome for a first introduction to acting. Up until the age of 21, they can continue to grow within the walls of the Jeugdtheaterhuis. “Essentially, we guide our pupils through three stages: getting in touch with theatre, delving into it and specialising in it. Some children only join the ranks for a short time and don’t make it further than a brief introduction. Yet, others stay with us for over a decade and leave with a fair share of expertise and knowledge.”
Different approaches Within its after-school offering, the Jeugdtheaterhuis applies two different approaches: product-orientated journeys and process-orientated ones. “We see different kinds of children arrive here. Some are eager to perform straight away.
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