Combining the old and the new: that is what CREATE does. It stands in the present by developing new research tools and opening a whole field of questions that could not be asked, let alone be answered. It also looks to the past and shows us how the identity of Amsterdam and its people is changing over time and is influenced by creative activities.

Part of this research is focused on theatre history, more specific a database of the Amsterdam City Theatre. This project aims to extend the temporal scope of the ONSTAGE database on repertoire, performances, popularity, and revenues of the cultural program in Amsterdam’s public theatre. ONSTAGE currently covers the period 1637 – 1772,  and in this project we will inventory data on the repertoire of the City Theatre of Amsterdam since the new building at the Leidseplein in 1774. By collecting information from advertisements, yearbooks, programme books, and various other sources, data on performances, writers and directors will be brought together. Eventually, these efforts will allow us to address questions regarding, for instance, changing preferences of audiences, processes of canonization, scheduling practices, European theatre networks, and the construction of Amsterdam’s identity as a creative city.

As a master’s student in Dramaturgy and a BA in Arts and Culture Studies it may be clear that I am fond of theatre and what theatre was, is, and will be. I think it is important to be always developing oneself, but never lose contact with one’s roots. CREATE does that at its best.

By Jan Vos, student assistant on Theatre History