Monday, June 20, 2011

Theatre Institute Netherlands Forced to Close?

Studying theater design at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam involved regular visits to the Netherlands Theatre Institute as TIN (Theater Instituut Nederland) was called back then. The ITI was the place to borrow published plays, books on theater history, costuming, set design and the likes. The institute made a tremendous impression on me.
ITI then /TIN now: Theater Arts are Important!

Today you can find TIN on the Sarphatistraat, back then the Amsterdam institution was situated in a monumental building on the Herengracht that breathed history, even before you had opened a book, or laid eyes on the museum collection. ITI was about the past, the present and the future of Dutch theater arts. At the time my questions were answered by Hanna Oberman, a budding dramaturge who fulfilled her internship at the ITI library. Oberman who already held a Law degree, did not take her oratory talents to the court stage, but co-created with Rob Klinkenberg the indispensable handbook of monologues for actors "Nu ben ik alleen" (Now I'm by myself). It's not difficult to guess where the authors (pre-Internet) conducted part of their research ...

The role of ITI as an international liaison became clear when I joined Taller Amsterdam, an artists collective headed by Armando Bergallo and Hector Vilche. When we took Taller's multimedia show The Desert to Le Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, we ran into a big problem. The incoming director, Patrice Chéreau, was going to bring in his own people and fire staff members. The ensuing strike threatened to keep our show from opening. Ruud Engelander the representative of the International Theatre Institute in the Netherlands came to our rescue and The Desert did have its premiere in Nanterre.

ITI was one of the destinations to take visitors from out of town and abroad, to share highlights in the museum collections, and watch registrations of avant garde as well as traditional theater performances stored in the video bank. And one summer I worked a few days as a costumer with the touring company of the American Repertory Theatre, no doubt thanks to my connections at ITI.

Theater Instituut Nederland is the hub for theater lovers and theater makers, national and international thespians alike.

Over the years TIN has become a more and more important player in the international theater world. And yet Halbe Zeilstra, Secretary of State for Culture wants to cut the subsidies for this institution. Completely. The gall!

Sign the petition for the Government to reconsider!
Tweet your solidarity #steunTIN (#supportTIN).

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trust30 | Power is in the Numbers

There's a fellow, long dead, who has a Facebook page, 740 people (make that 1,002 on 6/30/2011) who like him and a book that sells like hot cakes. His fans are posting on his wall on a daily basis, engage in discussions and recommend his book to each other, their friends, and probably to everybody else and their grandmothers. The author's initials are: RWE and if you didn't guess his name, all his info is just a click on the link away.

RWE's Facebook Page is part of a marketing campaign that's so clever it give me the chills.

Pleased to introduce myself...
RWE wrote an essay titled: Self-Reliance which has been re-published by Seth Godin, the marketing expert and entrepreneur.  His publishing venture —powered by Amazon—is called The Domino Project. Curious how it works? Radio host Nora Young interviewed Godin about the Domino Project for Spark a weekly audio blog.

How do you get people to talk about a book (or any product for that matter) day-in day-out for 30 days in a row?

You engage them, by inviting them to participate in a project that helps them to trust in their own abilities. You give them something to look forward to, and make them part of a tribe. That's exactly what Amber Rae the "chief evangelist" of The Domino Project has done by inviting her readers to the Trust Yourself (#Trust30) Writing Challenge. 
"#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey."
The participants who  have taken a pledge to respond to the daily prompt, link with the "authors" of the prompts, by means of Twitter and the authors' websites.

It's a win-win situation.

The 30 "authors" who sit close to the fire get a huge exposure, and new followers on Twitter. In principle the same is true for the participants. The blogs where they post their response to the prompts may be read by other participants and along the way they become part of the #Trust30 tribe.

And meanwhile Seth Godin is selling more copies of Self-Reliance, the essay by the long dead Facebook member, the poet, philosopher, preacher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Is this a creative marketing campaign or what?

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License