Tomás Montes Massa was a dramaturgical assistant at the Ulrike Quade Company

Profile picture Tomás Montes Massa, Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy

“I studied a BA in Theatrical Acting in Santiago, Chile. I chose to study the MA Contemporary Theater, Dance and Dramaturgy because of its focus on postdramatic theater and contemporary dramaturgies. I really value how the programme gave me the awareness of dramaturgy as a lens, an analytical mindset that allows me to approach postdramatic and interdisciplinary theater and dance practices with relevant concepts and a material sensibility.”

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I also appreciate the research methods that I had to use. I believe I can use these dramaturgical and research skills in a broad spectre of areas in the theatrical field: I could use them as a dramaturg, a curator, a programmer, doing further academic research and even as a theater director. Personally I am committed to become an integral, well-prepared theater-maker that can interact with contemporary debates and practices within the field, and this Masters has allowed me to dive deep into exciting discourses and problems such as ecology, post-humanism and neo-materialism.

I did my internship at the Ulrike Quade Company (UQC) as a dramaturgical assistant and was assigned the task to research material culture in the multi-cultural demographic context of Amsterdam. I developed report about Indonesian Wayang Shadow-Puppet Theater, Drag Performance and Cosplay. I could use the research methods and the broad, dramaturgical thinking I acquired during my Masters to present a complex and highly interdisciplinary research paper. I learned plenty working at the UQC: they self-identify as a visual theater company that is responsible for an artistic updating of the traditions of puppetry, mixing them with dance, sound and a strong scenographic narrative. And they produce between three and four shows a year, so they are highly productive and efficient. I felt I had all what it takes to unfold in an intellectually demanding atmosphere of theater professionals.

As for the future, I am heading to Berlin to continue studying: I will course a MA called Game and Object at Ernst Busch (Theater University). I say this because what I learned in Utrecht was so stimulating that I have the need to continue studying contemporary theater, but now as to be a practical creator with a special eye for technology, objects and society. Eventually I would like to go back to Chile, in order to be contribution to our local theatrical and academic scene, which is not very exposed to contemporary debates in theater and the humanities.”

Sunayana Mohanty is a freelance producer

Profile picture Sunayana Mohanty

"Prior to joining this Master’s programme, I worked as a television producer for non-fiction programming across different genres, mostly documentary shows. Being passionate about dance, I have always been excited to document the stories of a diverse range of artists and their work. So, I started to steer my work more towards content on arts and culture, especially the performing arts."

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"In India, we have different traditional classical dance forms and a plethora of rich cultural folk arts, which are being taken forward in both traditional and unconventional ways. With my past academic studies in Journalism and experience in research and media, I was keen on a specialisation in dance and performance knowledge from a critical research perspective, combining theoretical approaches and interactions with dance makers.

During the programme, through very niche contemporary works using new media, I got an exposure to the potential and multi-layered dynamics within dance and performance; including its influence on the spectator. In addition, the compulsory internship within the course design was a great opportunity to put theory into practice along with gaining significant international industry exposure. My internship was in documenting choreographic processes at ICK, one of the renowned dance companies in the Netherlands that is deeply invested in dance documentation practices using digital technology towards new proposals for re-inventing dance archives. What was even better was to be able to take this learning back into the academia in the form of inputs towards my thesis based on a similar subject, channelising my interest in dance documentation and transmission. In a nutshell, I am happy that with this programme, I got the experience that I set out for!"

Aster Fliers is Vegan Chef and followed the Pre-Master’s trajectory prior to the MA programme

Profile picture Aster Fliers

"I did a bachelor (BA) in costume design at Utrecht School of Arts before coming to the Master’s programme (MA) Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy at Utrecht University via the Pre-Master’s programme. I gravitated towards dramaturgy in my BA and wanted to know what I was actually doing and how I could do it better, so it was a natural choice. I was specifically drawn to learning more about theatre, but on a whim I chose the Contemporary Dance courses and it ended up being the most interesting part of my studies."

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"I was told that the Pre-Master’s programme might be very challenging following a BA in artistic practice, but it turned out I was well prepared by my high school education and it was doable next to a part-time day job. Going from the Pre-Master’s programme to the Master’s programme was a much bigger leap, in part because of the increased time demands, but also because the academic standard was significantly higher. I sometimes felt I lacked the background students with a full BA had, but not so much that it was an issue in finishing the MA. 

While there is no direct link between my studies and current career path, I am very grateful to have done this MA in particular. It has allowed me to meet wonderful new people and introduced me to different kinds of performance I wish I’d known about earlier. It taught me a whole new way of thinking and I am immensely grateful for that. I’m currently exploring what I want to do further to a day job that I love and have held through both of my studies. This MA has impacted me as a person in a way that goes beyond career opportunities and marketable skills (although I suppose it gave me those too). I did this MA out of curiosity and it has made me a better informed and more engaged person, which is something that I think will serve me for the rest of my life."

Renee Trijselaar is a programmer at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam

Profile picture Renee Trijselaar

"I came to Utrecht to find theory about theatre with the goal to build a bridge between hiphop culture and contemporary theatre. I wanted to learn how to build meaningful bridges between different disciplines. I now work as a freelance coach and consultant with the mission to make arts and culture, especially in Rotterdam, younger and more colourful by matchmaking and driving on cultural entrepreneurship, in my own company Well Played. Also I work as a programmer at the Wereldmuseum, which is the museum for ethnology in Rotterdam. My assignment is to connect the museum with the hyper divers and young city trough inspiring and daring programmes."

Joost Segers is : Joost Segers is artistic coordinator at Via Zuid, platform for talent development

Profile picture Joost Segers

"After my BA Theatre studies at Utrecht University, the MA programme was a good way to deepen my insight in the workings of theatre as a contemporary phenomena, engaging with it both theoretically and practically. I concluded my MA with a thesis on duration in theatre, which led to a conversation with the young performance collective Wild Vlees, making physical, visual theatre. I was the artistic coordinator of Spring Academy in Spring Performing Arts festival, and now I am the artistic coordinator of Via Zuid, a platform for talent development in the performing arts."

Megan Reid was International Coordinator at Tweetakt Festival

Profile picture Megan Reid

"I have been working professionally within the field of children’s theatre since my graduation from my undergraduate degree in Theatre Studies at Glasgow University in 2014. In Scotland, I worked primarily as a maker in projects supported by companies Glas(s) Performance and Imaginate."

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"Working as an artist led me to begin to question how children theatre functions within a larger conversation surrounding experimental performance practice. I wanted to expand how I understood this term and how work was being made outside of Scotland as well as at home. I chose to come to Utrecht after attending Tweetakt Festival in 2015, I was inspired by the work I had seen made for young audiences. I was interested how the work I will make has been affected by this exposure to other cultures of theatre making. I think it is important to experience other types of work rather than just having your own national perspective. I wanted to spend my postgrad focusing on work for young people and thought being in The Netherlands would allow me to access a more expansive performance field.

The programme has trained me to think critically and expand my view of how we can discuss and look at performance practice. Since graduation I have been working on different projects and festivals including Tweetakt in the performance field here in Holland. At the moment I am continuing to work with Tweetakt with the international programme and also working with new makers as they develop work for the festival. I am enjoying working in both the organisation and artistic development of projects both in Holland and abroad and hope to continue to seek out opportunities using the skills I have gained in my masters."