On the Future of Toneelhuis: Guy Cassiers is embarking on his last three years at Toneelhuis
Guy Cassiers has decided to round off his artistic adventure in Toneelhuis in December of 2021. By that time he will have headed up Antwerp’s municipal theatre for 15 years.
“Until the end of 2021 I will continue to work with great pleasure and enthusiasm on our planned artistic programme together with Toneelhuis makers FC Bergman, Olympique Dramatique, Mokhallad Rasem and Benjamin Verdonck,” says Guy Cassiers.
When Guy Cassiers became artistic director of Toneelhuis in 2006, he chose to radically reconsider the classic model of the municipal theatre – a permanent ensemble of actors with one or more permanent directors. He introduced a new ‘Toneelhuis model’ – a house of theatre-makers – which has become a benchmark at home and abroad. In the meantime, he ranks among the top European theatre-makers. In 2017, he launched P.U.L.S., a project giving young theatre-makers (Timeau De Keyser, Hannah De Meyer, Lisaboa Houbrechts and Bosse Provoost) the opportunity to develop toward working for the large stage at their own pace.
Under Guy Cassiers, the Bourla Theatre in the centre of Antwerp has become the beating heart of Toneelhuis. Always with great openness toward colleagues in Antwerp, the municipal theatres of Brussels and Ghent, and toward the new generation, and with generous and enduring collaboration as key focus.
In his own work, Cassiers has paid increasing attention throughout the years to political themes, power and European history. In addition to the visual aspect, with the help visual technology, music has played an increasingly important role in his productions. From now through the end of 2021, Guy Cassiers will be creating productions in Toneelhuis in collaboration with Arsenaal/Lazarus, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Antwerp company De Koe, among others. Moreover, he will be directing international productions in Luxembourg’s municipal theatre, the festival in Madrid, the Opéra de Lille and the Comédie Française in Paris.
“The Board of Directors is extremely proud of what Guy Cassiers has accomplished since 2006,” states Chairman Johan Swinnen. “We are glad that Guy has informed us of his decision in a timely manner, and that he will be continuing to put his heart and soul into his fantastic artistic adventure in Antwerp, Belgium and abroad in the coming years. The directors unanimously have full confidence that the procedure for his succession will go smoothly.”
The Board of Directors now has plenty of time to start a procedure over the course of 2019 for appointing a new artistic director, who will set out the artistic lines for the 2022-2026 policy period. The appointment procedure will be worked out and announced in the coming months.