Presentation / P.U.L.S., Toneelhuis, Antwerp
About the presentation
Bart Meuleman and Dina Dooreman will present the new project they are assisting at Toneelhuis (Antwerp, Belgium). P.U.L.S., which stands for Project for Upcoming Artists for the Large Stage is an answer to an important gap in the performing arts. Although there is hardly a lack of talent in the Low Lands, for young people there are few possibilities to work for the large stage. It is almost a different discipline that requires different insights, knowledge and even a different kind of training. That’s why in 2017 Toneelhuis started up the new initiative. It is a four-year undertaking that allows four young theatre makers to develop toward making large stage productions at their own pace, with five internationally renowned theatre makers as their allies and conversation partners: Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers, Alain Platel, Ivo van Hove and initiator Guy Cassiers.
Now the current team of Toneelhuis makers unites four generations, ranging from established makers like Guy Cassiers to the very youngest generation of P.U.L.S.. The generosity of this formula – an artistic director who gives other artists every possibility to work next to him on an equal basis – certainly has inspired many a discussion about the management of large houses in other countries. Having more people on an artistic team is no matter of convenience but an ideological choice: you cannot represent the tremendous variety in our society, with its bombardment of views, opinions, intentions, different population groups.... with just one kind of theatre. The only way to respect that multiplicity is through a variety of voices.
The year 2017 marked the start of a new Toneelhuis initiative: P.U.L.S., short for Project for Upcoming Artists for the Large Stage. P.U.L.S. is a four-year plan that offers four young theatre makers – Hannah de Meyer, Lisaboa Houbrechts, Timeau De Keyser and Bosse Provoost – the possibility of investigating and working on the big stage in different phases.
All of them have stood out in recent years with exceptional theatre work that has been shown in past editions of the Love at First Sight festival. All of them have explicitly stated that they want to create and direct productions for the big stage. In the coming years they will be making a number of small-scale projects and at least one production for the Bourla stage. In between times, they will work as apprentices to five internationally renowned theatre makers: Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers, Alain Platel, Ivo van Hove and Guy Cassiers, the initiator of P.U.L.S.
Toneelhuis’ main aim as a municipal theatre continues to be the production of artistic projects for the large auditorium - in the first instance the Bourla stage - for a wide local audience, and then – by means of tours – for a wide regional and international audience.
Artistic director Guy Cassiers has been making Toneelhuis a place of distinction since 2006: Olympique Dramatique, Benjamin Verdonck, FC Bergman, Mokhallad Rasem and Guy Cassiers. The result is pure verbal theatre alongside highly visual, expressive theatre, intense use of sound and image technology as well as artisanal small-scale handiwork, evocative interventions in the city alongside regular theatre work in the large auditorium, idiosyncratic themes alongside engaging narratives...
As of 2017, this range is being extended with P.U.L.S., Project for Upcoming Artists for the Large Stage, a four-year plan that allows talented young makers to develop toward large stage productions at their own pace. The artists: Timeau De Keyser, Hannah De Meyer, Lisaboa Houbrechts and Bosse Provoost. In addition, fresh interpretations have been given to the urban focus.
The differences between all theatre-makers aim to reflect the diversity that is so characteristic of the city and the world which are Toneelhuis’ base and seedbed. The work these theatre-makers produce appeals to very varied publics who in their turn bring a diverse world to the Bourla.