Mindlab: a theater performance about working and living at the university

Utrecht University, University of Twente and Productiehuis Plezant present:

The scientific community is under scrutiny. Scientific integrity, knowledge valorisation, education quality, internationalisation and funding are fiercely discussed in public debates and more and more is expected of academics. Still, the university remains a fantastic place to work. How do academics juggle it all? And what really matters? A good moment to pause and see what drives us, makes us, and what keeps us busy; what do we really find important in our work?

Mindlab is a performance that fits in a time of reflection and reorientation; with more attention to the impact of scientific work, the appreciation of diversity in people’s careers, and in particular, more attention to working together.

Over the past few months, Productiehuis Plezant has been developing Mindlab, partly on the basis of interviews with employees of Utrecht University. The performance received a SoFoKLeS grant for addressing important themes that play within universities.

Productiehuis Plezant previously produced impactful performances for the organisation executives of hospitals, the police and the Ministry of Defence. Last year, Madelijn Strick from the Utrecht Young Academy visited the theater performance Vuurdoop, a frank performance about life in the army. The performance was substantive, touching and of high artistic quality, prompting Madelijn to propose a similar production about life at the university in her column in DUB (in Dutch).

Strick: “The performance fits well with the character of the Utrecht Young Academy, an organisation in which the wellbeing of (mainly young) academics is a cornerstone. Mindlab engages in conversations about difficult issues and dilemmas that young academics struggle with. It is also a platform in which we address problems and participate in shaping the university of the future.”

Mindlab premieres on February 13th. The performance will then tour around the country and there are ample possibilities for participation. The performance is spoken in Dutch and subtitled in English. 

Questions and responses may be addressed to Madelijn Strick (M.Strick@uu.nl).