Venues, theatres and festivals

In the Netherlands there is a wide range of venues, theatres and festivals. Some theatres and festivals focus entirely on the youth.


Most theatres have a wide range of works on offer. The largest theatres, with large (>500 seats) and medium-sized (200-500 seats) auditoriums, offer productions which attract great public interest throughout the whole region. In the smaller theatres, known as black box (vlakkevloertheaters) theatres, there is more room for experiment. Productions by theatre courses are often performed here, and young theatre makers may get the chance to make workshop productions here.

In big cities where there are lots of theatres, some smaller venues have specialized in a specific theatre segment. For instance De Kleine Komedie in Amsterdam offers mainly cabaret, and Veem House for Performance offers a lot of mime productions. The following Amsterdam-based theatres include a lot of dance in their programming: Nationale Opera & Ballet, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Frascati Theater and Theater Bellevue.

Then there are the so-called 'open-end theatres'. These are usually large facilities where the same production can be seen daily for a long period of time. These include the Circustheater in Scheveningen and the Beatrixtheater in Utrecht.


There are a lot of festivals where theatre plays an important role. Some of the Dutch festivals on offer include:

Holland Festival (Amsterdam); prestigious festival with many international top names.

Over het IJ (Amsterdam); location theatre festival at the NDSM-werf. Offers Makers Meetings, the Makersloket and a trajectory for young talented theatre makers with the Zeecontainerprogramma.

Fringe Festival Amsterdam Theatre festival with open inscription to anyone, takes place at the same time as Nederlands Theater festival.

De Parade (Dutch urban centres); travelling festival in a carnival-like setting.

Nederlands Theater Festival (Amsterdam); shows the season's top drama performances.

Theaterfestival Boulevard (’s Hertogenbosch); multidisciplinary and international summer festival.

Cement Festival (’s Hertogenbosch); offers beginning theatre makers a venue.

Crossing Border (Den Haag); festival for the spoken word and music, with international artists.

Julidans (Amsterdam); International festival for contemporary dance.

SPRING (Utrecht); The festival displays the most recent developments and crossovers in the performing arts.

(Winter) Karavaan travelling summer and winter festival with music, dance and theatre productions for all age groups on special locations. Offers many opportunities for young makers.

Lowlands (Biddinghuizen); pop festival with theatre programming.

Noorderzon (Groningen); the largest theatre crossover festival in the north.

Oerol (Terschelling); open air festival for theatre makers, musicians, visual artists from the Netherlands and abroad. Young talent can apply for Atelier Oerol.

Cadance (Den Haag) bi-annual festival for modern dance.

Cinedans the only dance film festival in The Netherlands.

Youth theatres and festivals

Theater Krakeling in Amsterdam is one of the most famous youth theatres. There are also a number of youth festivals:

Festival Tweetakt: Utrecht festival aimed at the whole family with performing and visual arts for all ages, from renowned and emerging artists, from the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries.

Peuterfestivals: theatre festivals aimed at pre-schoolers.

Jonge Harten: a week of contemporary theatre and dance performances by young talent focussing on a young audience in Groningen.