>> theatre

>> musical & family productions

2011 Woest Water

Ro Theater Rotterdam

With Gijs Naber, Sanne Wallis de Vries, Lukas Smolders and Sylvia Poorta

Colourful sets and costumes, special effects and moving music: these are the show’s ingredients blending together to a sensational story about an adventurous sea voyage. The play seems tailor-made for the Ro Theater, with its long tradition of family plays full of costume changes and dual roles.

Woest Water is in safe keeping with Niek Kortekaas (direction; sets), Don Duyns (script) and Pieter Kramer (artistic advice). They formerly produced successful family plays as Lang & Gelukkig and Moord in de Kerststal, but this year Woest Water brings you something completely different!

direction Niek Kortekaas, script Don Duyns, artistic advice Pieter Kramer, playwriting: Tobias Kokkelmans, set design: Niek Kortekaas, lighting design: Remko van Wely, costume design: Sabina Kumeling, music: Raymund van Santen, song lyrics: Don Duyns, animations: John Thijssen

2011 Trojaanse vrouwen

Zeeland nazomer festival

In Trojaanse Vrouwen, the Greek tragedy writer Euripides focuses on the losers of the war: the Trojan women who survived the massacre. Euripides shows the effects of the war, and makes the audience feel its destructive power. Trojaanse vrouwen is a story about grieve and saying goodbye, guilt and responsibility, but most of all about the relativity of winning and losing in regards of the war atrocities.

Troje has been plundered, and the Greek victors are preparing for their return to Athens. The Trojan women are waiting outside the town, which lies in ruins, until they will be handed over as slaves to their new Greek masters.

Trojaanse vrouwen is set against the background of the mythical Trojan war, but for every Greek the reference to the actual politics and the then conflict between Athens and Sparta during the Peloponnesian war was very clear. During this conflict, the island Melos was attacked and seized by the Athenians, since it did not want to side with Athens. All men were killed, and all women and children were deported as slaves. In this play, Euripides reacted against the brutality and the blind, imperialistic destructiveness of his hometown Athens.

On Cobra.be you can watch a nice film impression of the play, and interviews with the actors.

Script: Euripides, translation: Judith Herzberg, direction/styling: Niek Kortekaas, playwriting/ adaptation: Alex Mallems, video: Noud Wynants and Orlando Verde, lighting: Remko van Wely, costumes: Sabina Kumeling, actors: Reinhilde Decleir (Hekabe) Greet Verstraete (Kassandra) Charlotte Vandermeersch (Andromache) Aafke Buringh (Helena) Simone Milsdochter (leader of the choir and percussion ), music: Gustav Mahler, singing: Els Mondelaers, piano: Jaap Dieleman, production: Theaterproductiehuis Zeelandia, many thanks to GEM Perkpolder

2011 Songs van de schoonheid

Pim Moorer: composer, De Singel: lighting and coaching, Kryptos Kwartet with Els Mondelaers (singing), Ralph van Raat (piano), Simone Milsdochter (script)

2010 Eindejaarsvoorstelling The Sample Wizard - Willem Nijholt academie

Niek Kortekaas directs the senior students of the Willem Nijholt academie. The common thread of the show is the music of Harold Arlen. Starting point is The Wizard of Oz.

2009 De Storm

Zeeland Nazomer Festival

by William Shakespeare

“We are all made of dreams, and our life stretches from sleep before birth to sleep after death.”

The staging of Shakespeare’s masterpiece ‘The Tempest’ will surely be unique, for it takes place on the farmlands of the Koninklijke Maatschap de Wilhelminapolder. A vast field of wheat, especially sown for the Nazomerfestival, forms a labyrinth of fairy rings. In between the high crops, a set of 2500 m2 lies hidden. There you can spot the remains of a stranded ship, and its load washed ashore. The production is enormous, and includes special effects of lights, water and fire. Niek Kortekaas being the director, known from ‘Ship of Troy’ in 2001 on Neeltje Jans, this show is meant to be a wonderful spectacle.

Prospero, the duke of Milan and a powerful ruler, is banned by the King of Naples to a desert island in a foul way. The vindictive Prospero seizes his opportunity when a ship carrying his rivals passes by. He unchains a magical tempest, the royal ship sinks and all the passengers drift ashore the island. One of them is Ferdinand, the son of the king, who falls deeply in love with Miranda, Prospero’s daughter. This love story will eventually end the battle between the rivalling parties.

‘The Tempest’ is one of the most famous plays by William Shakespeare. Critics consider it his theatrical testament. It combines a wide range of theatrical elements: intrigue, drama, humour, poetic language, music, magic and spectacle. In his own matchless style, Shakespeare sets man and nature against the power of imagination and magic. Nothing is what it seems, reality and fiction intertwining. Words evocate images and speak to the fantasy of the spectators.

Script: William Shakespeare, translation and playwriting: Alex Mallems, direction and styling: Niek Kortekaas, actors: Roy Aernouts, Mungu Cornelis, Marieke Dilles, Wim van der Grijn, Stefan Perceval, Willem Schouten, Michel Visser, Nico de Vries and Maarten Wansink, percussion: Sytze Pruiksma, lighting design: Remko van Wely/DHVW, lighting programming: Claus den Hartog/DHVW, costumes: Sabina Kumeling, production: Theaterproductiehuis Zeelandi

2009 Stadswerk

Dansstudio arabesque with Ann van den Broek

In the waagnatie, Niek and Ann present a dazzling street spectacle with 500 dancers of dance studio Arabesque, headed by Irma Swynen

  2007 Waterwerk

Dansstudio Arabesque Mortsel Antwerp

At the request of Irma Swynen Niek Kortekaas worked on an overall design for the biannual production by the Dansstudio Arabesque, with all its students, numbering 500 in total, together with Ann van den Broek, Irma Swynen and Roger Lefèvre plus the full complement of teachers at Dansstudio Arabesque.
Niek Kortekaas drew his inspiration from the theme of water, linked to key words. The tiniest danced Swan Lake, while the adolescents came across each other in a swimming pool, a real tsunami and a Bollywood-style finale. Photos were taken in a municipal swimming pool, which were projected monumentally during the show, and the dialogue accompanied the live dancing. The unusual but successful aspect of the production was the mix of hip hop and tap through to modern, classical ballet and flamenco and the music department plus the mix of ages from four to forty.

  2005 Antigone, Baroc Opera by Tomasso Traëtta

Direction and lighting

Theater aan het Vrijthof Maastricht, Hogeschool Zuyd, students Conservatorium opera class in collaboration with the LSO (Limburgs Symphonieorkest)

Musical director: Jan Stuhlen, Musical dramaturgist: Jaap Dieleman, An de Ridder soprano Antigone, Alexander Schröder tenor Creonte, Rob Meijers altus Emone, Kara lundstatter Mezzo-soprano Ismene, Jae-hoon Jung tenor Adraste, Scenography: Sjoerd Kortekaas, Costume design: Tiel Janssen

  2005 Nijinsky a painting

Direction, scenography and lighting design
(Grand Theatre Groningen& Diaghilev festival Groningen)

A location project around star dancer Nijinsky. The scenography was born from the idea that we only know Nijinsky from 2D material: photographs. Nijinsky lived in a time that was not only revolutionary for music, but also for dance and painting. That is why Kortekaas chose to create a flat almost 2 dimensional image, a painting. Within the latter 8 dancers evoke the life of Nijinsky, while they interact with video images made by visual artist Piet Dieleman. Dielman uses a pencil to slowly draw (live) a death mask taking Nijinsky’s diary notes as a starting point: Nijinsky’s schizophrenia. Georges De Decker composed a ‘surround’ mother tape in four movements: youth, education, the years of success and the mental ‘downdrain’ of Nijinsky. Additional to this mother tape there were live musicians: percussion, piano, trumpet and vocals. Working with different talents within one frame, namely that of a painting, makes ‘Nijinsky a painting’ a real Gesammtkunstwerk..

Composer: Georges De Decker, Piano: Jaap Dieleman
Counter tenor: Garry Boyce, Percussion: Sytze Pruiksma
Trumpet: Bart Maris, Video artist: Bea de Visser
Visual artist: Piet Dieleman, Voice: Lucas Vande Vost
Choreography: Sarah Wicktorowitz in cooperation with the Ronnie Haver dancers, Bruno Catalano, Eva Puschendorf, Philipp Fricke, Peter Cseri, Yvonne Weschke and Ronald Wintjes, Video dancer/ choreographer: Jean-Guillaume Weis.

  2004 Veldslag voor een Man alleen, Tom Lanoye

Coaching, scenography and lighting design

A theatre production by KVS Brussels and NV Lanoye, from and with Tom Lanoye. Based on Lanoye’s Monster Trilogy.

The scenography represents a Flemish scenery with subtle hints of the different locations of the play.

Dramaturgist: Jan Goosens (KVS Brussels)
Video artist: Toon Van Ishoven
DJ & soundscapes: Paul Mennes

  2003 Ship of Troy

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (Amsterdam over het IJ-Festival)

Location project based on Purcell’s ‘Dido & Aeneas’.

Niek Kortekaas builds a 80-meter ship out of canvas and scaffolding on the former work island Neeltje Jans. He uses the same ship of the production ‘De Man in the Boot’, but in totally new way. The Baroque instruments are replaced by two copper quartets, the basso continuo by a bass trombone and accordion.

Musical direction: Theo Mertens, Additional prologue composed by Bert Joris, Casting and repetiteur: Jaap Dieleman, Percussion: Sytze pruiksma, Accordion: Gwen Cresens, Bass trombone: Carlo Mertens, Singers: Ruby Philogene, Robert Musse Aeneas, Vallérie Guillorit Belinda, Sorceress: Hiroko Mogaki, Sailor: Frank Fritschy
Choir: The Rake’s Progress, Costume: Sabine Kummeling, Dramaturgist: Alex Mallems

  2002 Barbaroi, Kamiel Van Hole

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas and Guido Wevers (MMT)

A trilogy for MMT in Mechelen, co-directed with Guido Wevers, based upon a text by Kamiel Van Hole.

Composer: Bo Spaenc, Costume: Sabine Kummeling, The complete MMT ensemble

  2001 Ship of Troy

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (Zeeland Nazomer Festival)

  1999 De Man in de Boot

Direction, scenography and light design
Niek Kortekaas (Monty/ De Zomer van Antwerpen)

Coproduction Theater Monty & De Zomer van Antwerpen, at the former Cockeril Yards, Hoboken Antwerp.

Niek Kortekaas builds a ship filled with water in a 300 meters long assembly hall. The audience walks past different scenes, inspired by important world events. At the end of the play the audience itself boards the ‘last’ boat.

Cast: a.o. Garry Boyce, Isnel Da Silvera, Lucas Smolders, Toon Van Ishoven, Greta van Langendonck and Maarten Wansink, DJ: Daniel Jansen, Dramaturgist: Alex Mallems

  1999 Het Bloed, Sergi Belbel

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

The central idea of this scenography consists of a square black box with 4 walls in each of which a rectangular looking frame is positioned, like a display-window. The four windows have simply been painted in red, green, white and blue. The hostage taking happens by jumping from display to display. The audience follows the action standing up in the middle of the box, like hostages themselves.

Cast: Tom Van Bauwel, Lucas Smolders, Magdalena Pwryzeck, Lorenza Goos and Mieke de Groote, DJ: Daniel Jansen, Costume design: Sabina Kummeling, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde

  1998 La Strada, Pinelli/Filip Vanluchene

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

Filip van Luchene rewrote Pinelli’s script (Felinni) for the stage. Jaap Dieleman transposes Nino Rotta`s film score to two grand pianos.

Niek Kortekaas’ scenography is a space, which has an actual street made out of cobblestones The stage is enclosed by a metal structure and one single steel cable is stretched 4 metres above de scene.

Arranger, pianist: Jaap Dieleman, Piano: Roelof van Rheenen, Cast: Elise Bundervoet Gelsomina, Marc Peeters Zampano, Brecht Callewaert the Fool, Greta Van Langendonck several parts, Choir of 15 extras and acrobats, Costume design: Sabina Kummeling, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde

  1998 Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

A landscape of ballet barres and a square polished natural wooden stage. The players evolve within this landscape and the rest of the stage as if between the front room and the salon, the training and rehearsal studio and boxing ring. The different locations are enclosed in one space. In between the scenes, a counter tenor sings cadenzas of Glück. The costumes are abstract versions of the corset. The only attributes on stage are forty stainless steel containers on wheels filled with water and talcum powder.

Tenor: Garry Byce, Cast: Guy Van Sande Valmont, Mieke De Groote Merteuil, Hilde Heynen mme de Tourvel, Greta Van Langendonck mme de Rosemonde, Costume design: Sabina Kummeling, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde

  1997 Closer (tot op het bot), Patrick Marber

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

Translated by Paul Mennes, ‘Closer’ is a real actors’ piece.

Niek Kortekaas designs the stage to give the actors as much freedom as possible: a sloping catwalk where scenes develop and follow each other at high speed. At the end of the performance a gigantic tomb is unveiled.

Cast: Guy Van Sande, Mieke De Groote, Maarten Wansink and Elise Bundervoet, Costume design: Sabine Kummeling, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde

  1997 Midzomernachtsdroom, William Shakespeare

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

Niek Kortekaas is given the chance to direct the opening production of the NTG, by Jean Pierre de Decker, its new artistic manager.

The scenography is simple and indicative: an abstract palace, the first floor linked to the balcony of the typically Italian theatre at the Sint- Baafs Cathedral. This way the actors can easily move from the stage into the audience and vice versa by using a floating landing attached to the first balcony. Niek Kortekaas chooses to work with two Puck’s: a male and a female. Central in this scenography is the huge full moon, which slowly appears and then disappears again.

Cast: Tom Van Landuyt, Mathias Sercu, Hilde Heynen, Elise Bundervoet, Mieke De Groote, Eddy Verycke, Daan Hughaart, Marc Peeters, Luc d`Heu, Brecht Callewaert and the senior students of the Conservatorium Ghent, Costume design: Sabine Kummeling, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde

  1997 A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

‘Violence as a sports’ is the starting point for the space that Niek Kortekaas designed for this production: a shiny, white space alluding to a gym. The players and extras open the piece with “Alle Menschen werden Brüder” and sing Beethoven songs throughout the play. The different locations are visualized through a big scoreboard.

Cast: Tom Van Landuyt, Elise Bundervoet, Marc Peeters, Mieke De Groote, Fabrice de la Cluse, Mieke Bockstael, Luc d’Heu, the senior students of the Conservatorium Ghent and 15 extras, Costume design: Sabine Kummeling
Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde, Musical director: Jaap Dieleman

  1993 Maline, Ingeborg Bachman

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (ARCA)

Mia Grijp asks Niek Kortekaas to collaborate on a play inspired on Ingeborgh Bachman’s work.

For the scenography Niek Kortekaas creates a landscape of 200 chairs that float above the stage on a construction. The players evolve through this landscape by moving from chair to chair; this reflects the unstable and rocky inner life of the characters.

Cast: Mia Grijp, Bert Van Tichelen and Bas Heerkens

  1993 Doodgeestig, Terry Johnson

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (ARCA)

A comedy played in an abstract setting: a square (12m by 12m) and a diagonally positioned bench of 9 metres with its axe at the middle of the square. The different scenes and images are evoked by simply rotating the bench, creating new spaces and perspectives. The lighting was four times identically hung.

Cast: Hans Royaard, Mieke De Groote, Daan Van Den Durpel and Anja Van Riet

  1993 What kind of work do they want

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (European Drive-In Theatre)

After receiving 1,2 million Belgium francs from the department of culture, instead of the 15 million that was asked for, E.D.I.T. (European drive-in Theatre) decides to try and realize their plans anyway. E.D.I.T. was founded by Niek Kortekaas, Elsemieke Scholte, Peter van Asbroeck and Marcel Otten. With support of ‘de Zomer van Antwerpen’: Michel Morantin, André Schneider, DEE Sound and Jan Stelma (Grand Theatre Groningen), E.D.I.T. decides to try to realize the planned productions: 12 ad hoc productions, one for every month. They end up doing 3.

On the left bank of the Scheldt, E.D.I.T. brings ‘Objects in a Mirror’. Conceived as a drive-in theatre, the audience is guided to the location by tuning their radio into the E.D.I.T. frequency. The voices of the players and the soundscapes are also transmitted using this system. The cars are positioned in a half circle, their engines running during the play. Their headlights provide the lighting on stage. The text was derived from of The Edda, an Icelandic Saga.

Cast: Peter Gorissen, Peter Van Asbroeck, François Beukelaers, Ineke Geerts, Tania Van der Sande, Elsemieke Scholte, Norbert Kaart, Guy Celis, Madeleine...

For What kind of work... and Stationendrama Niek Kortekaas chooses the abandoned NMBS South Station of Antwerp.

Cast: Inneke Geerts, Peter Van Asbroeck, Ingrid Anthonissen, Norbert Kaart, Elsmieke Scholte, Madeleine, Axel d`Haeseleere

  1993 Scetching under difficulties

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (European Drive-In Theatre)

  1993 Stationendrama

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (European Drive-In Theatre)

  1993 Objects in a mirror are closer than they appear

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (European Drive-In Theatre)

  1992 The Bronx

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (TIE3)

A TIE3 location production next to the sailors’ home in Antwerp.

In an old launderette, three men in conflict: good vs. evil, black vs. white... Originally Niek Kortekaas would only do the scenography, but in the end –at the request of the players- he also successfully took over the direction of the play.

Cast: Gène Bervoets, Peter Van Asbroeck and Karim

  1991 De Man aan het Raam

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (Monty)

Niek Kortekaas is invited to make a production by the Monty Antwerpen in co-production with the Grand Theatre.

The former cinema is entirely at his disposal. The whole area from backstage to the former projection room is used in the scenography. Placing the audience in a cage –3 metres above the ground- distorts the traditional viewing pattern.

Cast: Michel Mentens, Guy Cellis, Tamara Huilmand, Elsemieke Scholte, Peter van Asbroeck, Jos Verbist and a child

  1989 Explosion of a Memory, Heiner Muller

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Niek Kortekaas (NNT Groningen)

Niek Kortekaas directs his first play at the Noord Nederlands Toneel at the invitation of Pol de Hert, using a text by Heiner Müller, the music of Walter Hus and in collaboration with players like François Beukelaers, Peter van Asbroeck, Ellen ten Damme, Chiel van Berkel... For this piece he builds an abandoned railway station in the Grand Theatre (Groningen). The audience watches the play from above.

  1985 1 kilo watten

Direction, scenography and lighting design
Bellemans, Gorissen en Kortekaas (Grand Theatre Groningen)

After his first scenography in the Netherlands for Globe (Eindhoven), Niek Kortekaas collaborates with Peter Gorissen and Ann Bellemans for ‘1 kilo watten’.

The whole building of the Grand Theatre is used as décor. The theatre is used as a location. Each spectator has his own little cabin with a light bulb and a loudspeaker through which they hear the actors. This peepshow effect was reinforced by the fact that each spectator was flanked on both sides by a picture of one of the players. In fact, it was as if the audience was using the toilet.

    >> theatre
>> musical & family productions
  2006 Jungle Book

The scenography for Jungle Boek consists of two monumental rolling racks that abstractly visualize the jungle. The players get to manipulate the set themselves. Friezes and a backcloth in all shades of green, made from second-hand clothing, are used to reinforce the image. The second part of the performance is played on and around a small, crashed airplane.

Theaterfamilie BV 2006
Scenography and direction: Niek Kortekaas
Script and lyrics: Ivo de Wijs
Music: Ronny Mossuse

Cast: Nico De Vries, Carolina Dijkhuizen, Gable Roelofsz, Tatiana Belloy, Jeroen van Venrooy, Door van Boekel, Wim van den Driesche and Smadar Mossinos. Costume design: Sabina Kummeling. Lighting design: Remco van Wely

  2005 Pippi Langkous de allersterkste Musical

Scenography and direction

This musical was produced by De Theaterfamilie. The scenography was designed around Villa Villekulla, a simple, rotating, flashy house with plenty of room for all possible scenes and fantasy. In both Belgium and the Netherlands the musical received public awards. Niek Kortekaas won two Vlaamse Musical Awards for best creative achievement and best director.

Winning five Johnny Kraaikamp Musical Awards: best female lead for Veerle Baetens, best male and female supporting role for Linneke Lerou and Mickey Tesorro, best creative achievement for Niek Kortekaas and the ANWB public award for best small musical costume design for Sabine Kummeling.

Costume design: Sabine Kummeling, Lighting: Remco van Wely, Composer: Ronny Mosuse, Lyrics: Ivo De Wys, Cast: Hilbert Dijkstra, Albert Klein Kranenburg/Ado Kruizinga, Rein Hoffman, Jetta Starrenburg/Fleur Brusselmans, Sytzke Van der Ster/Karina Mertens, Chiara Tissen Maudy Bremer

  2004 Stanleyken

Direction, scenography and lighting design
figuren theater de Maan, Mechelen

Niek Kortekaas and Bo Spaenc wrote this very original script about the discovery and annexation of Congo by Henry Morton Stanley in the days of Leopold II, the third king of Belgium.

Two attendants tell the story of the discovery of Africa. The river Congo is symbolized by twenty zinc tubs filled with water.

Puppeteer: Paul Contryn, Actor: Nico Sturm, Voice: Lucas Vande Vost

  1997 De Tovenaar van Oz, L. Frank Baum

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (Music Hall)

For independent producer Music Hall (Geert Allaert)

For this technically challenging production Niek Kortekaas uses the whole of the machinery of the Antwerp city theatre, built in the German tradition. The stage is 40m by 40m, the stage opening itself is 22m wide, the tornado, munchkin land, the city of Oz are all monumentally translated through this immense scale. The production is a great success and is played before sold-out 2000 seat-theatres every night.

Cast: Johan Verminnen, Katrien De Vos, Daan Van Den Durpel, Jan Steen, Brecht Callewaert, Anne de Winne, Marc Verstraete, A15-person ensemble and a large 19-musician orchestra conducted by Jan Smits, Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde, Costume: Sabine Kummeling

  1996 Het Oneindige Verhaal, Michaël Ende

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (NTG Gent)

The stage was transformed into an antiquarian bookshop where a different world is hiding behind every book. A flying dragon, ingeniously mounted on a camera crane which was pushed on from behind the scenes, flew right above the heads of the audience. A battle against the loss of fantasy. In the end... fantasy prevails.

Composer: Bo Spaenc, Costume design: Sabine Kummeling
Lighting: Jaak Vandevelde, Cast: Brecht Callewaert, Pepijn Caudron, the whole NTG ensemble and extras

  1995 De Heksen, Roald Dahl

Direction and scenography
Niek Kortekaas (RO-theater)

After several fruitful collaborations, Peter de Baan, artistic leader of the RO theatre, asks Niek Kortekaas to direct Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’.

When the main character is transformed into a mouse, the whole scale of the set changes and electric sockets become as big as the actor.

Cast: Georges Van Houts, Leopold Witte, Linneke Leroux, Guus Dam, Hans Leendertse, Mylène Dànjou by Van Boekel a.o. Costume design: Sabine Kummeling, Lighting: Andrew Gardner