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Ivo van Hove

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Theatre director Ivo van Hove has held central positions in Dutch-Belgian cultural life, first as the head of Het Zuidelijk Toneel in Eindhoven from 1990 to 2000 and from 2001 as general director of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam. This is the country's prime theatre company and the official municipal theatre company of Amsterdam. With an annual average of five new plays and over 350 performances, the company plays to audiences of 110.000 each year. Toneelgroep Amsterdam has been invited by international festivals such as RuhrTriennale, Wiener Festwochen, the Edinburgh Festival and Festival d'Avignon, and performs in The United States, Russia and Australia.

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Van Hove’s international focus explains why well-known directors such as Christoph Marthaler, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Johan Simons and Thomas Ostermeier have joined the troupe as guest directors.

Along with his frequent guest directing at the New York Theatre Workshop, Van Hove has directed companies from the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, the Schaubuehne in Berlin and the Münchner Kammerspiele. He also staged opera at the Flemish Opera ( Alban Berg’s Lulu and the complete Ring Cycle by Wagner). At La Monnaie in Brussels he directed Idomeneo by Mozart and in Amsterdam Janaceck’ Macropulous Case. In 2014 he staged the world premiere of the opera Brokeback Mountain at Teatro Real. One can track back his world-class reputation to his leadership of the annual Holland Festival, at which he programmed international theatre, music, opera and dance from 1997 to 2004.

Awarded repertoire of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam includes Shakespeare's Roman Tragedies and The Taming of the Shrew, Tony Kushner's Angels in America, Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage and John Cassavetes' Husbands and Opening Night. Van Hove has received many accolades, including two Obie Awards for off-Broadway productions in New York (for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler), the Flanders Oeuvre Prize (1995), the Theatre Festival Prize (1996) and the Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival (1999). He was made a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2004. In 2007 he received the prize awarded by Dutch theatre critics. In 2008, he also received the Prosceniumprijs, the Dutch oeuvre prize, together with Jan Versweyveld, his stage designer for many years and in 2012 the Amsterdam Business Oeuvre Award. In 2014 Van Hove received an honorary doctorate for general merit of the University of Antwerp and in 2015 two Olivier Awards and - together with Jan Versweyveld - the Amsterdam Award for the Arts.

During the last years Van Hove has directed Roman Tragedies and Kings of War by William Shakespeare, Rocco and his Brothers by Luchino Visconti and Teorema based on the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini (both in partnership with the Ruhrtriennale), Antonioni Project by Michelangelo Antonioni, Cries and Whispers, Scènes from a Marriage and After the Rehearsal / Persona by Ingmar Bergman, The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau, Summer Trilogy by Carlo Goldoni, Children of the Sun by Maxim Gorki, And We'll Never Be Parted by Jon Fosse, The Miser by Molière, The Russians! by Tom Lanoye, based on Chekhov, Mourning becomes Electra and A long day's journey into night by O'Neill, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller at Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

The repertoire of Van Hove is characterized by its great diversity. He chooses both contemporary and classic texts. In recent years he discovered the power of making adaptations of screenplays. The fact that he has obtained first rights to adapt the film scripts of John Cassavetes and Michelangelo Antonioni is an important recognition of his craftsmanship and talent.

Van Hove re-examines repertoire through the prism of our own time and by doing so became a specialist in dismantling theatre classics. He can never be accused of slavish reproduction. Rather he uses the structure of the text in order to either choose extreme sceneries - in which different media play an important role -, or to make actors dare to take extraordinary liberties, in which he strives for a naked-soul acting. Van Hove's 2007 bare-staged Angels in America 'was the most literal version of anti-space I've seen in the conventional theatre,' says the author Tony Kushner. 'It threw the entire event on the actors and their performances. There was no attempt to create stage illusion of any sort. The only departure from the play was that the Angel was played by a male actor. You learn immensely new things from whatever is formalistically unfamiliar in his productions.'

Van Hove is fascinated by human behaviour and relationships in the context of great social upheaval. In fact you can say that he transforms every play into a laboratory of human behaviour. While choosing his repertoire he looks for arenas chock-full of conflicts and strategies, and he loves characters that live their obsession to the end. He focuses on their wounds and scars: he wants to hit where it hurts. Van Hove is an intuitive and accurate mathematician, researching the everlasting balancing act between our basest instincts and our more superficial manners and attitudes.

The scenery of Jan Versweyveld offers Van Hove the space needed for exploring the interior landscapes of the characters and needed for -what you may call- his a-moral approach. Van Hove doesn’t judge his characters and presents their good and bad qualities with the same amount of attention; in their full potency. At the same time the scenery articulates a vision on our contemporary culture. We live in an individualistic, self- absorbed and liquid society. Van Hove and Versweyveld show the mechanisms of this society but also make clear that we can’t live in isolation. A different notion of collectivity has to be found and theatre is the ultimate place to experiment with this, since according to Van Hove, it is both a place to celebrate the irrational and a place to ask questions. Without fears and without restraint.

'Ivo van Hove's work has been groundbreaking in opening up  audiences' understanding of classic texts and films. His work is unique, raw, shocking, surprising, hilarious – everything you want theatre to be – and he doesn't shy away from the ugly or the profane. In a word, stunning, with a capital ‘S’.' Cate Blanchett


Selected plays for the Dutch and/or Flamish Theatre Festival: MacBeth, Lulu, Ajax/Antigone, Het Begeren onder de Olmen, Rijkemanshuis, Caligula, Koppen, Romeo en Julia, De Onbeminden, India Song, De dame met de Camelia’s, Rouw siert Electra, Kruistochten, Opening Night, Romeinse tragedies, Kinderen van de zon, Nooit van elkaar, Husbands, Na de repetitie / Persona, Lange dagreis naar de nacht, The Fountainhead and Kings of war.

Commander in the Order of the Crown
NR. 1 NRC Culture Top 100
Tony Award Best Direction of a Play| A View from the Bridge
Tony Award Best Revival of a Play | A View from the Bridge
Nomination Tony Award Best Revival of a Play | The Crucible
Drama League Founders Award for Excellence in Directing
Drama League Award Outstanding Revival of a Play | A View from the Bridge
Nomination Drama League Award Outstanding Revival of a Play | The Crucible
Honorary Citizen of Ham, Belgium
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play | A View from the Bridge
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play | A View from the Bridge
Nomination Molière Best Director | Vu du Pont, Théâtre de l'Odéon
Nomination Molière Best Revival | Vu du Pont, Théâtre de l'Odéon
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Director | A View from the Bridge
Outer Critics Circle Award Best Revival | A View from the Bridge
Nomination Outer Critics Circle Award Best Revival | The Crucible
Nomination Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical | Lazarus, NYTW
Grand Prix de la Critique Best foreign production | Kings of war
Grand Prix de la Critique Best production | Vu du pont

Amsterdam Award for the Arts 2015, with Jan Versweyveld
Olivier Award 2015 Best Director | A View from the Bridge, Young Vic and Wyndham's theatre
Olivier Award 2015 Best Revival | A View from the Bridge, Young Vic and Wyndham's theatre
Nomination Lucille Lortel Award 2015 'Outstanding director' | Scenes From a Marriage
Critics’ Circle Theatre Award 2014 Best Director | A View from the Bridge, Young Vic

Honorary doctorate for general merit, the University of Antwerp
Nomination Helpmann Award 'best direction of a play' | Roman Tragedies
Nomination Evening Standard Theatre Award 'Best Director' | A View from the Bridge, Young Vic

Nomination Amsterdam Award for the Arts 2013 | Toneelgroep Amsterdam / Ivo van Hove

Grand Prix Mira Trailović | Children of the Sun
Amsterdam Business Oeuvre Award

Proscenium Prize, with Jan Versweyveld

Prijs van de Kritiek (prize awarded by Dutch theatre critics)

Obie Award  best direction, best actor, best actress, best set design, for Hedda Gabler

Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French embassy for his valuable contribution to the development of art and culture in an international context

Johan Fleerackers Prize for collaboration between Dutch and Flemish theatre

Arch Angel for best direction at the Edinburgh Festival, for India Song

Herald Angel at the Edinburgh Festival, for More Stately Mansions

Obie Award for best direction of an off-Broadway production, for More Stately Mansions

Oeuvre Prize from East Flanders

Theatre Festival Prize for Caligula

Thalia Prize for oeuvre

Publieks (Audience) Prize for Rijkemanshuis

Oscar de Gruyter Prize for best direction for Macbeth


2016 - 2017
The things that pass | Louis Couperus (coproduction Toneelhuis)
Obsession | Lucino Visconti
The diary of one who disappeared | Leoš Janáček (coproduction Muziektheater Transparant)

2015 - 2016
The hidden force | Louis Couperus
the other voice | Ramsey Nasr

2014 - 2015
Kings of war | William Shakespeare
Mary Stuart | Friedrich Schiller (coproduction Toneelhuis)
Song from Far Away | Simon Stephens
Antigone | Sophocles

2013 - 2014
The Fountainhead | Ayn Rand
Long day's journey into night | Eugene O'Neill

2012 - 2013
After the rehearsal | Ingmar Bergman
Persona | Ingmar Bergman

2011 - 2012
The miser | Molière
Husbands | John Cassavetes

2010 - 2011
Children of the sun | Maxim Gorki (coproduction NTGent)
And we'll never be parted | Jon Fosse
the Russians! | after Tsjechov by Tom Lanoye

2009 - 2010
Teorema | Pier Paolo Pasoloni
Summer Trilogy| Carlo Goldoni

2008 - 2009
Antonioni project | Michelangelo Antonioni
La voix humaine | Jean Cocteau
Cries and whispers | Ingmar Bergman
Rocco and his brothers | Luchino Visconti

2007 - 2008
Angels in America | Tony Kushner
Kameliendame | Alexandre Dumas (coproduction Schauspielhaus Hamburg)

2006 - 2007
Roman Tragedies | William Shakespeare

2005 - 2006
Perfect wedding | Charles Mee
Opening night | John Cassavetes (coproduction NTGent)
Hedda Gabler van Henrik Ibsen

2004 - 2005
The taming of the shrew | William Shakespeare
Scènes from a marriage | Ingmar Bergman

2003 - 2004
Crusades| Alan Ayckbourn
Mourning becomes Electra | Eugene O'Neill

2002 - 2003
Three sisters | Anton Tchechov
Othello | William Shakespeare
Carmen | Oscar van Woensel

2001 - 2002
Con Amore | Jef Aerts

2000 - 2001
True Love | Charles Mee
The Massacre at Paris | Hafid Bouazza

1989 - 1990
Lulu | Frank Wedekind (coproduction De Tijd)


2016 - The Damned
by Luchino Visconti | La Comédie-Française, Paris

2016 - The Crucible
by Arthur Miller | New York

2016 - La Clemenza di Tito
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Teatr Wielki, Polish National Opera

2015 - Lazarus
by Enda Walsh | New York Theatre Workshop

2015 - A view from the bridge
by Arthur Miller | Lyceum Theatre, New York

2015 - Vu du pont
by Arthur Miller | L'Odéon, Paris

2015 - A view from the bridge
by Arthur Miller | Wyndham's Theatre, London

2014 - Scenes from a Marriage
by Ingmar Bergman | New York Theatre Workshop

2014 - A view from the bridge
by Arthur Miller | Young Vic, London

2014 - Brokeback Mountain
libretto by Annie Proulx, music by Charles Wuorinen | Teatro Real 

2013 - La Clemenza di Tito
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | De Munt Opera, Brussels

2013 - Seltsames Intermezzo
by Eugene O'Neill | Münchner Kammerspiele

2013 - Mazeppa
by Pjotr I. Tschaikowski | Komische Oper Berlin

2012 - Macbeth
by Giuseppe Verdi | L'Opéra de Lyon

2012 - Der Schatzgräber
by Franz Schreker | De Nederlandse Opera

2011 - Edward II
by Christopher Marlowe | Schaubühne Berlin 

2011 - Ludwig II
by Luchino Visconti | Münchner Kammerspiele

2010 - Der Menschenfeind
by Molière | Schaubühne Berlin

2010 - The Little Foxes
by Lillian Hellman | New York Theatre Workshop

2010 - Idomeneo, Re di Creta
by Mozart | De Munt Opera, Brussels

2008 - Kameliendame
by Alexandre Dumas fils | coproduction TA with Schauspielhaus Hamburg

2008 - Der Ring des Nibelungen, Götterdammerung
by Richard Wagner | The Flemish Opera

2007 - Der Ring des Nibelungen, Siegfried
by Richard Wagner | The Flemish Opera

2007 - The misanthrope
by Molière | New York Theatre Workshop

2007 - Der Ring des Nibelungen, die Walküre
by Richard Wagner | The Flemish Opera

2006 - Der Geizige (The Miser)
by Molière | Schauspielhaus Hamburg

2006 - Der Ring des Nibelungen, das Rheingold
by Richard Wagner | The Flemish Opera

2005 - Faces
by John Cassavetes | Theater der Welt, coproduction with Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Staatstheater Stuttgart

2004 - Hedda Gabler
by Henrik Ibsen | New York Theatre Workshop

2004 - Iolanta
by Pjotr Tchaikovsky | De Nederlandse Opera

2002 - De zaak Macropulos (The Macropulos Case)
by Leos Janácek | De Nederlandse Opera

2000 - Alice in Bed
by Susan Sontag | New York Theatre Workshop, coproduction Zuidelijk Toneel/Holland Festival

2000 - Rent
by Jonathan Larson | Joop van den Ende Theater Productions

1999 - Lulu
by Alban Berg (after Wedekind) | The Flemish Opera

1999-2000 - La Dame aux Camélias (Kamliendame)
by Alexandre Dumas | Zuidelijk Toneel

1998-1999 - India Song
by Marguerite Duras | Zuidelijk Toneel, coproduction with Holland Festival

1998 - A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams | New York Theatre Workshop

1997-1998 Romeo and Juliet: A study of a drowning body
by Peter Verhelst after Shakespeare | Zuidelijk Toneel, coproduction with Holland Festival

1996-1997 - Faces (Koppen)
by John Cassavetes | Zuidelijk Toneel, coproduction with Holland Festival

1996-1997 - Les Mal Aimés
by François Mauriac | Zuidelijk Toneel

1995-1996 - Caligula
by Albert Camus | Zuidelijk Toneel

1996 - More Stately Mansions
by Eugene O’Neill | New York Theatre Workshop

1995 - Gier unter Ulmen (Desire under the Elms)
by Eugene O’Neill | Staatstheater Stuttgart

1994-1995 - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tramlijn begeerte)
by Tennessee Williams | Zuidelijk Toneel

1994-1995 - Splendid's
by Jean Genet | Zuidelijk Toneel

1993-1994 - More Stately Mansions (Rijkemanshuis)
by Eugene O'Neill | Zuidelijk Toneel, coproduction Holland Festival

1993 - Die Bakchen (The Bacchae)
by Euripides | Schauspielhaus Hamburg

1992-1993 - Hamlet
by William Shakespeare | Zuidelijk Toneel, coproduction Antwerp European Cultural Capital 1993

1992-1993 - Saved (Gered)
by Edward Bond | Zuidelijk Toneel

1991-1992 - Desire under the Elms (Begeerte onder de olmen)
by Eugene O'Neill | Zuidelijk Toneel

1991-1992 - It's a pity she’s a whore
by John Ford | Zuidelijk Toneel

1990-1991 - Ajax/Antigone
by Sophocles | Zuidelijk Toneel

1990-1991 - South
by Julien Green | Zuidelijk Toneel

1989-1990 - Richard II
by William Shakespeare | Theater van het Oosten

1989-1990 - Jakow Bogomolow
by Maxim Gorky | De Tijd

1989-1990 - Lulu
by Frank Wedekind | De Tijd, coproduction Toneelgroep Amsterdam

1988-1989 - Mourning Becomes Electra
by Eugene O'Neill | Zuidelijk Toneel

1988-1989 - Don Carlos
by Friedrich von Schiller | De Tijd

1987-1988 - Dans la solitude des champs de coton
by Bernard-Marie Koltès | De Tijd

1987-1988 - Macbeth
by William Shakespeare | De Tijd

1986-1987 - The Bacchae
by Euripides | akt/vertikaal

1985-1986 - Russian Gambit
by Heiner Müller | akt/vertikaal

1985-1986 - ImitationS
akt/vertikaal (group project)

1984-1985 - India Song
by Marguerite Duras | akt/vertikaal

1984-1985 - Miracles of Humanity
akt/vertikaal (group project)

1984-1985 - Wild Men
akt/vertikaal (group project)

1983-1984 - Morocco
by Botho Strauss | Akt

1983-1984 - Agatha
by Marguerite Duras | Akt

1982-1983 - The Servant
by Harold Pinter | Vertikaal

1982-1983 - Like in the War (Als in de oorlog)
by Sophocles/Gie Laenen (as part of Europalia) | Akt

1981-1982 - Germs (Ziektekiemen)
by Ivo van Hove | Akt

1981-1982 - Rumours (Geruchten)
by Ivo van Hove | Akt


2010 - Amsterdam
by Jeroen Planting | produced by Martin Lagestee and Marijke van der Molen

1997 - Thuisfront (Home Front), NPS
by Peter van Kraaij | coproduction Zuidelijk Toneel



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