The Glass School

Jan Joris Lamers came up with the idea… or perhaps it was Johan Simons. Both of these visionary theatre makers dreamed of a glass theatre; not a closed black box or traditional proscenium with red velvet seats, but a place from which to observe the world, a place lit by daylight, a place where everything is visible – whether onstage or behind the scenes. And even more importantly, the outside world should be able to enter this theatre. The view from my fine room at de Academy of Theatre and Dance is a splendid one, but I would sacrifice it in a moment for an Academy with walls and floors of glass.

A Glass School – just imagine! In all the studios above, below and around you, you’d be able to see the energy and beauty of the dancers exploring everything from classical ballet to urban dance.  Everywhere people are drawing, playing, building, and talking about theatrical literature, about the meaning of art and the world. I see heated discussions taking place about what arts education is or should be, and dozens of guests coming in each day to share their rich international experience. At the same time, I can see a community police officer stopping off for a chat, and in the studios people are making plays and composing sensitive etudes. 

What I’m seeing is all the departments – all the students, the teachers, and the professionals who support them – occupied with the same thing: developing their skills and knowledge, while keeping pace with the changing world – at best even staying one step ahead.

Since the school building itself is not made of glass, we are using this newsletter to open a vista onto the profusion of things going on here, and we aim to send one out every two months.

I'd love to hear what you think of it, and do let me know if you have ideas for contributions.

Jan Zoet, director Academy of Theatre and Dance


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