The Close-Act company creates spectacular theatre and design for outdoor spaces. It creates a world in which the interactivity with the people is the key.
Close-Act Theatre Company was founded in 1991. Originates from a collaboration between designers, actors, dancers, choreographers and musicians. Although new acts are being developed from different artistic disciplines, the style of the visual creations is still one of the unique trademarks of Close-Act.
The artistic directors of Close-Act are Hesther Melief and Tonny Aerts.
Close-Act is renown for interactive street theatre. Their unique form of theatre is performed in, between and above the public. "Let us move, draw and carry you into the world we create".
What does it mean; interactive theatre? It's most comparable to reality whereby the most important thing is the emotional rush you get.
In these performances you can feel all kinds of emotions, like love, seduction, fear or compassion, it's the ultimate way to intensify your perception of the performance. The story, how unreal it may seem, becomes reality. You are part of it just like all others around you.
Meet the artists and creators
As a freelance performer, I have been involved in various projects, working currently with different choreographers and companies such as Katja Heitmann, Cie Woest, Kesi.e.space, Theater Tol and Josse Vessies.
With Close-Act theatre I perform in different stilt acts such as Actred, WhiteWings and Saurus. I love how every single show is a new challenge, how a new unique performance arises because of the always changing location, setting and performers.
The ‘close act’ people became my beloved and inspiring theatre family. And I became an experienced dancer, actor, performer and a stilt- & aerial acrobat. Close-Act Theatre gives me the space, training and performances to explore and expose my talents worldwide.
For that I’m ever so grateful.
I feel so at home.
Daniel J. Manuputtij
Being a music composer and arranger, I am not an active part of all the live events. But what always amazes me is that whenever I visit an event, accidently run into a performance or when I am invited to the annual social get-together-events, there is always an open, welcoming atmosphere. Which is, being in this industry, a precious commodity. I am happy to be part of it!
Deborah van Genechten
Dick van den Goor
So mostly we play during nice weather in between audiences with people with a relaxed holiday feeling on their mind.
Not a bad environment to play in, is it?
Performing for Close-Act opened a whole new world for me. Close-Act is so much more than just a job. The Close-Act family gives me the chance to challenge myself even more, by learning new skills, working with different discipline and performing all over the world.
After studying at the Sports Academy (specialising Acrobatics) I moved to Holland and worked as a dancer and acrobat with the acrobatic theatre company Corpus. Alongside working as freelance acrobat and stilt performer for a variety of companies (Mang’s Mask Theatre, Teatro Pavana and Close-Act)
I am co-founder of Bencha Theatre and besides performing I am teaching new talents and the members of Bencha Theatre specialized in partner acrobatic.
I also nurture up and coming talent by teaching acrobatics to students at a variety of dance academies.
Eefje de Groot
Physically it asked new things of me, the main one: stilt walking! Next to dancing, acting became an important part of the performances.
I loved that! All of the sudden, the audience wasn't sitting ín a theatre, but I was surrounded by them. I found it all fantastic and that made me stay, working with Close-Act all these years.
Still there are new challenges with every new act or performance that is developed throughout the years.
And it is a dream come true to travel all over the world and to perform on beautiful places; with the most amazing group of people!
"Our dearest and sweetest dancing Elsa, we will never forget you."
With love, the Close-Act Company
I began my journey as a musician, then added stilt walking and from there I went on performing a whole lot more within the close act universe.
I also work at the Close-Act workshop and contribute to costumes and ideas for next acts to come.
I am looking forward to what the future will bring.
For several years I've been developing myself in other disciplines as well. Within the group of Close-Act I felt free to explore the fields of percussion, theatre, improvisation & acrobatics.
Besides Close-Act I work as a massage therapist. And I realized two documentary films :"A goat for a vote" (2013) and "Tanzania Transit (2018)", together with my partner Jeroen van Velzen.
Close-Act means a lot to me. I feel at home with this special group of people, although the group has grown a lot in the last few years. Whenever we are somewhere in the world, working long and hard there's always the positive vibe of everyone that makes it all happen.
I hope to continue working for Close-Act for many more years and I'm sure there will be more beautiful adventures to come
Franck Le Lay
I learned a lot of different things in France and I've been driven by passion and perfectionism since this many past time experiences. I became known on this day of acting, perfoming, designing and creating masks, decors, puppets, costumes and mobile objects.
After I moved to Amsterdam I start collaborating with people in the Dutch world of streettheater. I based my own stilts walkers compagny, Alien Voyagers and met Close-Act and was asked to cooperate in Pileau, for acting and making the costumes of the Rebels.
Since that time I am working freelance for Close-Act and enjoy to be part of the group made from divers quality background of people. As a team we are performing small and big shows for international street theatre to give dreams and imaginations to the audiences.
The team, the dedication and the happy faces in the crowd, it was and still is worth every drip of sweat.
I've worked at the Close-Act office and workshop and during the years I started to walk on stilts and travelled the world, creating smiles.
I also write the percussion music for the drumming acts STX and Per-Q. You see me happiest with the drummers roaming the streets, surprise unsuspecting audiences, blasting some beats and improvise a 30 minute high energy show on a fixed square. That might be the thing where you can wake me up for...
I do the STX and Per-Q acts, which both have great costumes and appearance.
I can't wait to start the next season and come play in your town!
Job ten Berge
A year after I decided to stop studying and pursue a career in outdoor sports and circus a colleague showed me some videos of Close-act. I was so amazed by these beautiful costumes I called them the next day. Since then I've travelled to amazing places around the world with this amazing group of artists and I'm very happy I get to do so.
Jurriaan de Vos
Laura van Hal
Liduine van Baars
Being part of the growth, not only of the spectacles themselves but also the Close-Act family, is something I never could have imagined at that time. Travelling around the world, exploring other cultures, together with my colourful colleagues, as well as working together on yet another production, is so enriching I hope it will last for a long, long time.
Close-Act is one of my great passions, always challenging creativity & full of joy.
Close-Act is growth to me. For that I thank all my ‘CA’ companions!
Paul van de Waterlaat
Visual artist A.K.A. VJ ank1 (show GLOBE)
Reini van Asselt
Romy van der Linde
Roos van Berkel
Simon de Swaaf
We had the great pleasure to work and travel together.
Simon, thank you for always being so honest, open and true. We will never forget you!
With love, the Close-Act Company