Ilay den Boer (Jerusalem, 1986) studied at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Largely self-taught, he developed further at the Stichting Nieuwe Helden (New Heroes Foundation) and the Huis van Bourgondië (House of Burgundy). Since 2008, Den Boer has been working on a six-part series of performances under the title Het Beloofde Feest (The Promised Feast). In this series, the theatre-maker critically examines himself, his family, the State of Israel and Jewish history. His performances are presented at home and abroad. The jury on Ilay den Boer: ‘He makes personal and moving theatre. His performance entitled This is my Father, which deals with anti-Semitism and the father-son relationship, hits you like a sledgehammer. Despite his relative youth, the work of Den Boer displays acute, engaged vision.’
Wikke van Houwelingen (Utrecht, 1979) gained his Master of Fine Arts Scenography diploma at the Frank Mohr International Masters, in 2006. In his first year after graduation, he was involved as assistant designer to Jan Versweyveld in the Roman Tragedies and The Misanthrope productions by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. In the two following years, Van Houwelingen designed décors for ten theatre productions including the interior of Festival aan de Werf and Oerol Festival, and Hond (Dog) by Opium voor het Volk. He is currently employed as a scenographer at the Nationale Toneel and Orkater theatre companies. The jury on Wikke van Houwelingen: ‘His work is characterized by its great diversity, varying from installation-like décors to sober real-life statements. Wikke van Houwelingen is one of those designers who resist the restricted form language with which we are frequently confronted in the show and television world.’
On his arrival in the Netherlands in 2002, Joachim Robbrecht (Ghent, 1979) became fascinated by the quest of the Dutch for their identity. In that same year, he began on the Art Director programme at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. He completed this programme with the Ton Lutz Prize 2006 for his graduation performance entitled Adam in ballingschap (Adam in Exile). After his education, Robbrecht began on a series of performances about the ‘crazy quest for roots’ at Gasthuis/Frascati Productions. Identity and fact and fiction also play key roles in Robbrecht’s most recent performances. The Rashomon-effect production, in conjunction with Toneelgroep Amsterdam, forms his most philosophical approach to that last theme down to the present. The jury on Joachim Robbrecht: ‘The complex interplay of fact and fiction, which is inherent in the phenomenon of cultural identity, is reflected in Robbrecht’s experiment with theatrical form. In his performances, he consistently combines documentary and fictive material in new ways. With this, his work is characterized by strong stratification and irony.’
About the Charlotte Köhler Prizes
The Charlotte Köhler Prizes of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund were set up at the bequest of the actress Charlotte Köhler. In uneven years, three young theatre-makers are selected, and in the even years the three winners come from the realm of art. The Prize involves a sum of 20,000 euros per winner, which may be spent according to the wishes of the winner. The prize-giving ceremony will take place in the DeLaMar Theater in Amsterdam at 4 p.m. on 7 July, and will be combined with the announcement of the Culture Fund grants and the Wim Barry Stipend. The presentation is in the hands of Aldith Hunkar. The jury of the Charlotte Köhler Prizes and the Wim Barry Stipend 2011 consists of Melle Daamen (chairman), Jeffrey Meulman, Peggy Olislaegers, Dave Schwab and Marc Warning.