How do they do it at ... Production and Stage Management (OPP)?

All study programmes at the Academy of Theatre and Dance have developed new ways to continue their education online. Which creative solutions have they come up with? Here we show how this works at the Production and Stage Management study programme (OPP).

After the first message that the school would close due to the guidelines regarding the coronavirus, the OPP has worked hard to organise the online progress of the lessons. Thanks to the enormous involvement and commitment of the core team, students, teachers and supporting staff, most teaching programmes have been resumed online.

‘We notice how important it is for the students that the curriculum continues. It offers guidance in these weird times. Following education gives substance to the day and the students generally find it very pleasant that the lessons continue’, says artistic director Saundra Williams.

Switching to online teaching

The switch to online teaching was a big one for the Production and Stage Management programme. The members of the core team - consisting of artistic director Saundra Williams, education/internship coordinators Merel Eijkelhof, Lisa Schiphorst and Tessa van Lier - have had to delve deeply into the world of online teaching. The core teachers/mentors Joyce Woudenberg and Sophie van Hoorn and the scheduler Maartje van der Heide and teaching assistant Charlotte Keizer are indispensable.

‘We are therefore extra proud to see the online classes now running so well,’ says Saundra. ‘In addition to the lessons, there are still plenty of challenges that we face as an education. The attention for the graduation procutions of the fourth year students, who of course still want to receive their diploma without delay, thinking about the selection of the new class of OPP students, ensuring a replacement programme of internships and projects that are canceled. So there is plenty to do. But with such a great team and committed students, I believe we can help each other through this difficult times.’

Some projects, which cannot be offered in an online version, have been postponed or even canceled. For example, the special project that our second-year students would start at the Eurovision Song Contest has unfortunately not happened. With the promise that the organisation will certainly seek cooperation with our study programme again next year, our students have had to accept the disappearance of this unique project that they have been looking forward to.

How does it look like ... the OPP-ers are doing?

Everyone is working and studying at home. In this section, we give the word to the people at Production and Stage Management and ask how things are going.

Tiddo Siertsema, first year student
Online conversation
Tiddo takes a photo from his home workplace. He is talking to fellow students and study leaders about the online education programme.

Sam Kosterman, fourth year student
Zen moment
‘Just a nice Zen photo after my run. Lovely as a buddha enjoying the sun on my balcony.’

Milou Margaroli, first year student
No public Remembrance Day on 4 May
Milou is working at home. The first year students have a full online programme. They take courses such as Project Management, Dramaturgy and Philosophy. Most of the classes are continuing, but unfortunately not everything can be offered online. Milou is very sorry that the Performance Organization course has been partly canceled because of the guidelines concerning the corona virus. The students are always part of the public Remembrance Day on 4 May on the Dam Square. Unfortunately, this will not take place this year.

Saundra Williams, artistic director
Energy to continue
'From my home workspace, I am talking online with first-year students of the Production and Stage management ptograme about their study progress and the online education. It is nice to coordinate with the students how they are doing and how they deal with this unreal situation. The core team received a beautiful bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates from the fourth-year OPP students. A very nice and appreciated surprise that gives us as a team energy to continue.’