Theatre makers

The Netherlands has a wide range of theatre, dance, music theatre, opera and youth companies. These are subsidised by the government, government funds, municipalities and/or provinces. In addition, there are unsubsidised companies on the commercial market.


The Netherlands has a large group of subsidised theatre- and dance companies. The ministry of OCW gives subsidy to companies in the basic infrastructure (BIS). Apart from that the Performing Arts Fund (FPK) gives long-term (four-year) subsidy on behalf of the national government as well. Provinces and municipalities also give long-term subsidy.

There are also theatre makers who do not have a permanent company or core group. Young groups and occasional initiatives often produce ad hoc. Many national productions apply for project subsidy from the FPK. Provinces, municipalities and private funds also subsidise ad hoc theatre initiatives. In Amsterdam for example you can go to the Amsterdams Fund for the Arts (AFK).

Non-subsidised: the free sector

Where in the subsidised sector it is more about what the maker wants to make and the contribution to society, the free sector (de vrije sector) looks at what the public wants to see. Performances produced in the free sector are often musicals or cabaret performances and are generally not eligible for subsidy. Production in the free sector is not always profitable and can therefore be a risk. There are show and musical producers who also produce for television and the entertainment circuit, such as clubs and events.

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Commercial market

Companies and young talent

Talent development is one of the priorities of the Dutch cultural policy. The BIS companies have been given the task to invest in talent development. In addition, 'development institutions' are funded in the BIS for the period 2021-2024:

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Production houses