Tomás Montes Massa was a dramaturgical assistant at the Ulrike Quade Company
“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.”
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
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."
Javier López Piñón is a stage director for opera and music theatre
"I was born in Spain but for the best part of my youth I grew up in Amsterdam, where I also followed my studies as stage director at the Amsterdam Theaterschool (now: Academy for Theatre and Dance), from which I graduated in 1980. I retired last year from my position as head of drama studies at Dutch National Opera Academy, the opera master in Holland."
"I chose this programme because of its reputation and the thoroughness of the programme, it’s concentration on the latest developments in the performing arts and its multidisciplinary approach. The one year time span looked ideal to me to get acquainted with the academic field. This made me decide to ask for an interview, as I did not have the required Bachelor status: the Ba-Ma system did not exist when I graduated from drama school. Luckily, I got accepted.
The programme brought me a new way of framing my observations of performances on a philosophical-critical level, beyond the product, beyond the performance, touching the ontological status of theatre and performance, and bringing together disparate notions I already had about society, politics and the problem of binary concepts.
I specialised in opera and for the last 30 odd years I’ve had a career in opera and music theatre that has brought me mainly around Europe, from St. Petersburg to Madrid, from Belfast to Versailles, and the US. Perhaps to counter all these experiences in the bourgeois milieu that has become associated with opera these last decades, for the last 18 years I’ve developed a parallel practice in (francophone) West Africa and the Caribbean. I chose interculturalism as the subject for my thesis as I’m a witness to its continuing rapid development. The work has been very well received and currently I’m considering a possible follow-up on a PAR PhD level where I will collaborate with other artists and scholars."
Renee Trijselaar is a programmer at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam
"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 meaningfull 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 programs."
Joost Segers is freelance theatre critic and artistic coordinator Spring Academy at SPRING festival
"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 now work as freelance theatre critic and artistic coordinator Spring Academy at SPRING festival."
Megan Reid is International Coordinator at Tweetakt Festival
"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."
"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."
Alumna Ásgerður G. Gunnarsdóttir is co – artistic director of Reykjavik Dance Festival
“I applied for the Master’s programme because I wanted to specialise in dance theory, and also because I thought that the teachers associated with the programme were leading figures in the field. Mainly, what appealed to me was the possibility of specialization in dance theory."
"My professional life after graduation developed very well. I started teaching in the Academy of the Arts and took over Reykjavík Dance Festival. My primary activities are curating, teaching and dramaturging. During my studies I gained a broad knowledge of the field, developed an analytical mindset and grew in my capabilities of writing in English. In my current work I can really draw on the skills I learned at Utrecht University.”
Charlot van der Meer is Artistic Assistant at Dansmakers Amsterdam and freelance dramaturge
"The combination of theatre, dance, and other art forms, together with the contemporaneity and relevance of the themes that were promised to come across during the programme, made me decide to do this Master. So far, I have no regrets at all. Studying with an international group made me step out of my Dutch cocoon, opening up to other cultures, initiatives and voices, giving me a lot of inspiration and input."
"During the programme, a lot of practice is involved asides the theoretical base, for instance developing curatorial skills by organising a symposium, rehearsal-visits and giving feedback. In short: see a lot, talk a lot and write a lot. The teachers challenged me to dive into my own research interests, and to get the most out of myself. They nourished my passion and made me ready to dive, head first, into the field of arts.
As a dramaturge, working mainly with young choreographers, I take my experiences from university with me every day: reflecting, transferring seen movements into words. The university provided me with a set of skills that help me contribute to the art field every day – which still excites me."