Niek Kortekaas

designer / director
9 May '58
Den Haag, the Netherlands


Training: Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam, the Netherlands Drawing, painting, design and photography

Has been working nonstop as designer for theatre- and dance companies and as production designer for several films, since 1985

Also realized several expositions and is active as light designer and director

Niek Kortekaas teached scenography at POPOK in de Singel in Antwerp in collaboration with with Alex Mallems, Johan Daenen and Benoit Dugardin. Kortekaas started up this post graduate formation together with Jan Verswyfeld and Jean Marie Feviez. Niek Kortekaas teaches Master Classes at a.o. the HRITS in Brussels (B) and at the Scenography Training in Maastricht (NL).

The Gallo Romeins Museum (B), for which Niek Kortekaas designed the scenography for the permanent exhibition in collaboration with Alfredo de Gregorio, won the prestigious international award "Best European Museum of the Year 2011".

Niek Kortekaas received, among others, a Johnny Kraaikamp Musical Award for best creative achievement, two Vlaamse Musical Awards: best director and best creative achievement for Pippi Langkous de allersterkste musical, the Charlotte Köhler award for scenography and the SABAM award for applied art and photography.

His fascination for both the cross-over and common ground between scenography and architecture inspires Niek Kortekaas to explore the field of expositions and museological arrangements.





Apart from his work as scenographer, Niek Kortekaas has grown into a versatile director.



The fact that Niek Kortekaas has in recent years also started directing theatre, musical and opera, was but a logical step in his development. Most striking were a few large-scale location projects, e.g. ‘De Man in de Boot’ at the former ship-yard of Cockerill-Yards at Hoboken close to Antwerp or ‘Ship of Troy’ on the work island Neeltje Jans at the flood barrier of the Eastern Scheldt as part of the Zeeland Nazomer Festival. He countered the vastness of these productions - the ship-yard was 300m long and 60m wide, the war landscape of Ship of Troy had a length of at least 500m – by having an each time differently designed ship function as the performance area within the whole of the production. In these monumental surroundings Kortekaas forced the audience to participate, taking them on a tour full of visual impulses in and around his theatre boats. Performance –and audience areas coincided, reinforcing the spectators’ feeling of being part of the show. (Alex Mallems, drama expert in ‘Ons Erfdeel’, June 2005)

His first production as a director was realized at the Noord Nederlands Toneel at the invitation of Pol de Hert, ‘Explosion of a Memory’, with script by Heiner Müller, composer Walter Hus and actors such as Francois Beukelaars, Peter Van Asbroeck, Ellen ten Damme, Chiel Van Berkel...

For this production he builds an abandoned station hall in the Grand Theatre in Groningen, Holland. The audience watches the performance from above.

The directing he does later on is diverse, but recognizable in its variety. Location theatre, family productions, repertoire theatre, music theatre and opera in which imagery and imagination were and are always the starting point. The distance covered increases the focus on the image and music.

    De kwaliteitskamer
    Niek Kortekaas was part of the ‘kwaliteitskamer’ (quality room) of Vlaams Bouwmeester, Marcel Smets in 2006/2007. This ‘Quality Room’ intends to size up the socio-cultural basis for architecture and architectural policies, from different socio-cultural perspectives.