DasArts (currently known under the name DAS Theatre) was founded in 1994 by and under the aegis of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. DasArts operated as an independant foundation in association with the Amsterdam University of the Arts until 2008. In 2009 DasArts became part of the Academy of Theatre and Dance, the theatre faculty of the Amsterdam University of the Arts, as a residential Master of Theatre in the form of a training laboratory for professionals in the performing arts.
The founder of DasArts was Ritsaert ten Cate. He was the director of DasArts until 2000. Ritsaert's catchphrase for DasArts was a quote by Scott Momaday: "We are what we imagine. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined."
Ritsaert ten Cate's successor was Alida Neslo, who was the director of DasArts until 2003. From 2004 until 2007 Moniek Toebosch was the director of the institution. From 2009 to 2018 Barbara Van Lindt was Artistic Director. From 2018 until 2021 the Artistic Director was Silvia Bottiroli.
DAS Graduate School
The two Master’s study programmes of the Academy of Theatre and Dance, DAS Choreography and DAS Theatre, and the Performing Arts in Transition research group joined forces in 2016, sharing not only one building but also moving forward together under one name: DAS Graduate School. In 2018 the master Creative Producing was founded.
The master study programmes are henceforth called DAS Theatre, DAS Choreography, and DAS Creative Producing, and the Performing Arts in Transition research group of the Academy of Theatre and Dance is named DAS Research. They are situated at the former Shell Grootlab in Amsterdam North. This striking building is located on the banks of the IJ opposite Amsterdam’s central station.