Theatre companies and individual makers for young Audiences make artistically valuable plays, combining different genres and sources of inspiration, for audiences ranging from toddlers to teenagers.
With drama, dance, music, mime, cabaret, puppetry and opera, the doors of the theatres in the Netherlands are wide open to a multicultural public, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. The diversity of the work on offer and the age range provided for are becoming increasingly wider. At one end of the growth curve, the repertoire for age 15 and up merges with that for the adult theatregoer. At the other end, the repertoire for age 2 and up is on the increase, providing theatre for an audience that is barely out of nappies yet.
A good impression about the history and current scene was written by Dutch Performing Arts and can be read here: http://www.dutchperformingarts.nl/background/why_should_theatre_only_be_for_adults_/
The established theatre companies for young Audiences are spread throughout the country and, in principle, every province has at least one company of its own that specializes in young people’s theatre in the so-called BIS (Basic Infra Structure). A part of them receive structural subsidy from the government for four-year periods to make performances for the school circuit and theatres. In 2012, subsidized theatre for young audiences in the Netherlands embraces some thirty companies and work places besides the performing arts for a young audience created by companies from the adult circuit. In 2013 this landscape changed dramatically. The government decided to make big cuts in the Performing Arts and Theatre for Young Audiences and the educational system around that, was not spared. A lot of subsidized and non-subsidized groups had to look for new ways to survive, in making smaller scale shows, to find sponsors or other funding, or make new alliances either with (adult) theatre groups or other theatre disciplines. To work together and to built strong audiences in your own area is more important than ever.