ABOUT

This theatre searches for space. It's moving through the streets, squares and the air above. This theatre is called: Street Theatre

Close-Act Theatre makes street-theatre spectacles for festivals and events. With stilts, mobile objects and beautiful costumes we create an imaginary world for you to enjoy. Le théâtre Close-Act crée des spectacles de théâtre de rue pour les festivals et les événements. Avec des échasses, des objets mobiles et de beaux costumes, nous créons un monde imaginaire dont vous pourrez profiter. Close-Act Theatre hace espectáculos de teatro callejero para festivales y eventos. Con zancos, objetos móviles y hermosos trajes, creamos un mundo imaginario para que disfrutes.

BIOGRAPHY

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.

REALITY THEATRE

Close-Act is renown with 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

Anna Zurkirchen

Anne Zurkirchen

PERFORMER / DANCER
Born in Zurich, Switzerland. After studying Psychology at the University in Zurich I moved to the Netherlands to study Dance at Fontys Art Academy in Tilburg where I graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance.
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.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Caroline-Bon

Caroline Bon

PERFORMER / DANCER
Close-Act is very dear to me. Starting as a fresh graduate dancer, I practically grew up with Close-Act.
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.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Charlotte-Oosterwegel

Charlotte Oosterwegel

PERFORMER / DANCER
Adventures far away and adventures near, never thought I was able to experience many beautiful things with this fantastic group of people.
I feel so at home.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Daniel-J-Manuputtij

Daniel J. Manuputtij

COMPOSER
Looking back, the memory that always pops in my mind first is sitting on the studio floor against the wall with a team of people while recording Alma Branca.
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!
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Darco Spreckic

DRIVER / CREW
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Deborah-van-Genechten

Deborah van Genechten

PERFORMER / DANCER
What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
(Buddha)
Dick van den Goor

Dick van den Goor

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
Close-Act creates and plays theater on the streets. Festivals love large crowds and many people like to go outside on the streets, especially when the weather is nice. And they visit a show when they are not at work.
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?
Dieuwertje Spek

DIEUWERTJE SPEK

PERFORMER / DANSER
My life is dominated by moving. Before I started dancing I performed gymnastics on a high level. I graduated as an all-round dancer/performer from Fontys Academy of Arts. During and after the academy I worked with ISH, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Nir de Volff, Lina Limosani, among others. I am passioned about everything around dancing/performing and always looking for a new challenge.
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.
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Dimiter Simeonov

PERFORMER / ACROBAT / RIGGER
As a seven year old boy I practised acrobatics with endless energy and quickly became a member of the Bulgarian National Sports Acrobatics Team. Years later I won three gold medals at the Sports Acrobatics World Championships, earning the title of World Champion and Master of Sports in Acrobatics.
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.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Eefje-de-Groot

Eefje de Groot

PERFORMER / DANCER
I graduated from the education for modern dance at the Fontys Dance Academy and I am now working as a dancer/performer for Close-Act. This brought me a lot of new challenges.
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!
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Elsa Bosma

2017
"Our dearest and sweetest dancing Elsa, we will never forget you."

With love, the Close-Act Company
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Erwin-Vorstermans

Erwin Vorstermans

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN / COSTUME DESIGNER
When I was first introduced to Close-Act I was amazed by the large performances, the costumes and the lovely group of people. During the years I grew into the 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.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Esther-Eenstroom

Esther Eenstroom

PERFORMER / DANCER / MUSICIAN
Since many years I work with passion and joy for Close Act. Originally I'm trained as a contemporary dancer and I worked for several companies and projects like ::"the Dutch Opera", "De Meekers" and “Peter Greenaway”.
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
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Franck-Le-Lay

Franck Le Lay

PERFORMER / COSTUME DESIGNER
Inspired from the age of 6 by my artistic parents and family I took a big interest and taste for inside and outside theatre . When I was only 15 years old I started working in the Puppet Theatre.

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.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Frank-Verhoeven

Frank Verhoeven

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN / COMPOSER
As a percussionist I joined Close-Act participating in the show Malaya. Green as a rookie but enjoying every bit of that first Close-Act experience.
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...
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Guy Pek

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
I'm a drummer and composer. When rehearsing and performing with Close-Act I'm stunned by the scale of the organization and all those very well thought out acts they have.
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!
Close-Act Theatre - Team - Hester Melief

Hesther Melief

GENERAL AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / FOUNDER
There was once................ an insect on stilts. The idea came up to perform with this on festivals. This was a welcome alternative on graphic designing, the profession that I exercised, “after the design academy”, in Italy. Thanks to my mother I was already familiar with the street theatre. She took me along with her group 'Mangs Mask Theatre' for years, to all kinds of festivals. By then, I didn't know that streettheatre would become my profession. But look here: a terrible enthusiastic group of players, hard working and a lot of satisfaction.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Ingrid-van-de-Nieuwenhuizen

Ingrid van den Nieuwenhuizen

PERFORMER / SINGER
Close-Act in words?
Magical shows, great music and getting to know a lot of new friendly colleagues.
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Job ten Berge

PERFORMER
Usually you can find me performing low to the ground: there where you see a lot of smoke and fire. I play the role of fire performer in many acts and shows of Close-Act. In this role I'm not only responsible for 'special effects' but also to create a safe playground for performers and audience: I create space on the surface for the stilt walkers, the mobile objects and for myself. Great fun to do so. Sometimes you can also find me as player (i-Puppets) or ground performer at the spectacle shows. I am also the driving force of Circus Factory, an energetic company mainly focuses on juggling shows, acts@animation, circus and theatre workshops, training courses and custom programs. I am also versatile: as a juggler, (physical) actor, circus and theatre teacher and living statue
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Jobber Moltmaker

PERFORMER
I've been doing circus since I was 6 and always knew it wouldn't just be a hobby.
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.
Johan Zandboer

Johan Zandboer

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
For years I travelled through Europe as a drummer with my band Convoi Exceptional, playing in different venues and on the streets. After a lot of collaborations with, for example, Sesame Street and Lucent Dancetheatre I joined forces with Close-act theatre. Improvising and making contact with the audience is what I love and that's what Close-Act is all about.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Jostijn-Ligtvoet

Jostijn Ligtvoet

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
I started at Close-Act with the show of Malaya, as the story teller with my cello. A few years later I've learned to walk on stilts and now I play as a drummer in the STX and Per-Q shows. Besides working at Close-Act I am a professional photographer for concerts, theatre performances, weddings and portraits of musicians and other artists.
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Jurriaan de Vos

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
For me the most important thing about performing with Close-Act Theatre is that we bring the theatre to the people. I think it's amazing that, sometimes in countries or places where the people hardly ever have the opportunity to experience theatre, people suddenly find themselves submerged in a fantasy world full of beautiful angels, rampaging dinosaurs, playing children, and dancing figures. Sometimes giving them a break from daily life, sometimes giving them an experience they will never forget.
KAy

Kay Melief

PERFORMER
I first came into contact with Close-Act when I was a toddler. As a child I traveled with my parents and players to distant countries. Nowadays I also play in the mobile acts and the big shows. I really enjoy it and hope to do it for a long time.
Kenneth-Gerard

Kenneth Gérard

PERFORMER / DANCER
Graduated as dancer and as graphic designer. Working with Close-Act combines my passion for performance and design in an amazing way. The astonished reactions of the audience always makes me feel fortunate to be a part of Close-Act. Creating a new world or creature with the human body, stilt techniques and amazing costumes is great to share with the world. I'm happy to be an element of these acts that makes everyone's imagination running. Next to my work as a performer with Close-Act Theatre I work as a professional dancer in musicals, shows, opera en more all over the world. I also create my own design and performance work through my dance collective LucyONES.
Laura-van-Hal

Laura van Hal

PERFORMER / DANCER
When performing with Close-Act every performance and every location is different. One has to stay in the moment and react to what's going on. I love finding a flow with my fellow performers in which we all intuitively know what the other is going to do. We 'melt' together, acting as one. Whether it's a small performance or a big show with thousands of spectators, we're always close to the audience. Performing under all circumstances can be hard work but it's all worth it: we get to travel around the world, work with great people and enjoy the response of the audience!
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Liduine-van-Baars

Liduine van Baars

PERFORMER / DANCER
From childhood I loved to dance! Though I followed an education to become a designer. After graduating, when the opportunity came along to start performing and dancing with the marvellous group Close-Act, the choice was easily made. Especially because the starting days were so challenging. From my first appearance already richly encoloured because of sharing many joyful days!
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!
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Lilly Bendl

PERFORMER / DANCER
I’m originally from Germany and moved to the Netherlands in order to study dance at the Fontys Academy of Arts in Tilburg. Right after my graduation I luckily came in contact with Close-Act and got the chance to work with them. Since then I really enjoy being part of the company. I can learn so much from them, including walking on stilts, playing with the audience and traveling to a lot of different countries. I’m always looking forward to all the adventures and performances it will still bring on my way!
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Linda-Jacobsen

Linda Jacobsen

PERFORMER / SINGER
Movement is one of my passions, whether it’s in dance, martial arts, acting or singing. As a singer at Close-Act I get a lot of opportunities to move in unusual circumstances; we perform on big outside era’s, where more often than not I am flying over the audience as Evil Queen. Or I sing on a huge bird and make it come alive through my movements. We’re moving around the globe and I love being on the road with these passionate professionals that exist of inter-disciplinarian performers. Wherever we go, we move the audience. People have come up to me saying that we have given them light and hope in the dark days they were going through. To me that is the greatest reward for the things we do. This is what I hope to establish with my work beside Close-Act, as with the film “Scar of Silence”.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Lisa

Lisa Louwers

COSTUME DESIGNER / PERFORMER
I started my carrier with Close-Act as an intern in the atelier. I was asked to design and make costumes for the play Pi-leau. Since then a lot happened. I stayed at the atelier for several years. Coaching new interns, designing and making new costumes and maintaining old ones. After a while I also started rehearsing en performing for Close-Act, acts like White Wings, Act-Red but most important my beloved Saurus. We travelled the world with this act and I will forever have the best memories of these wild experiences.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Lola-Heijdt

Lola Heijdt

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
Studied international event, music and entertainment, working at a pop music venue and enjoy performing with Close-Act theatre. As I young girl I already experienced the combination of music and theatre a lot. My father travelled along theatres in the Netherlands and presented a musical show for children. I often went along and helped him with the construction and dismantling of the decors, watched the rehearsals and behind the scenes. As impressed by theatre and street theatre I choose to make this my profession. Performing worldwide with Close-Act is a special experience. It's marvellous performing in different cultures for so many people. Performing in between the audiences makes street theatre so beautiful to me.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Ludo-Vlaar

Ludo Vlaar

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
I was responsible for the building of a huge dome-construction, used for the production ‘Globe’ in Bucharest, Romania and there I met all the wonderful and passionate artists and crewmembers of Close-Act. And immediately I felt the need to become a part of this creative family. I’ve been working with Close-Act ever since. Beside working as an overall crewmember at large scale productions, I started learning how to move around on stilts. Nowadays I proudly call myself a professional stilts artist and I participate in different acts, such as STX, PerQ and Saurus. Being able to create an overwhelming experience for so many people around the world at several festivals and events enriches my life. I am proud and happy to be part of this family. I also work as a freelancer being responsible for all kinds activities at festival productions. I am a decoration builder for dance events and theatre companies, a truckdriver for bands and festival materials and I also occasionally teach philosophy to undergraduate students. In my scarce free time I like to chop wood, play bass guitar in a band and love to climb rocks. Hope to see you at a Close-act performance.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Marja-Pulles

Marja Pulles

COSTUME DESIGNER
My first costume for Close-Act I made in the former studio in the old Willem II cigar factory in Den Bosch. This was followed by years of many creations, on which I always work with a lot of fun. Besides Close-Act I work for several street theatre companies, theatre productions, Dutch movies, TV productions, and I make the collection of clothing for Blue (store in 's- Hertogenbosch). My company ContrastTheaterKleding is based in Den Bosch. It exists since 1996, when I started an advertising agency: but soon I grabbed on to my original profession: design and costumes maker. That's what I still do to these days with great joy and passion.
Marja Theeuwes (4)

Marja Theeuwes

PRODUCTION MANAGER / PERFORMER / CREW / CO-FOUNDER
As co-founder I have been involved with Close-Act since day 1 and I am still directly connected to the inspiring work: mainly as part of the office production team, sometimes as a performer and occasionally as an assistant in the costume workshop. The diversity of acts, shows, ideas, inventions and execution, assignments and worldwide contacts, the stories, responses, feedback and the passion of everyone who is involved in any way. All this and more makes me want to be part of Close-Act forever! And with pleasure and ease I exchange my production tasks and responsibilities for Close-Act with my second profession (HRM) reintegration consultant/jobcoach.
Marja Wijnands-2

Marja Wijnands

PERFORMER / DANCER
Besides being a performer with Close-Act I am also a dance teacher, aerial silk teacher, Heartfulness trainer and mother. I have witnessed the development of Close-Act: from a small group, around 10 people to a big group of around 45 people; from stilts of 60 cm to the 150 cm stilts everybody is on nowadays; from a small mobile which we found big at the time to bigger and bigger mobiles rolling through the audience; from performing mainly in The Netherlands to performing all over the world. But the main thing always remained: a group of inspiring people coming together to perform in the most fantastic costumes, improvising on the street in direct contact with our audience, which could be you! Hope to meet you on the street somewhere to enjoy some moments of wonder and put a big smile on your face!
Marleen Manders-1

Marleen Manders

PERFORMER / DANCER
Graduated FHK theatre and contemporary dance. I work in a dancing compagny and work as a dancing teacher. And combine all this with Close-Act. I love the combination of dancing on stilts and theatre. Performing with Close-Act is as being yourself in another (stilt)world in direct contact with people on the streets and give this audiences an experience they remember.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Mech-Asselbergs

Mech Asselbergs

PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
When I got involved with members of Close-Act it was obvious that we all shared the same feel of performing in a theatrical way. The alternation between a musical and a theatrical choreography, the wide point of view of a multidisciplinary formation and the professional design, inspired me to a fertile cooperation. I developed a huge interest for West African percussion, studied at workshops from well-respected musicians such as Ibro Konate and Arafan Touré, and I have been playing in many African orientated formations. While traveling through Brazil I got fascinated by South American rhythms and studied making Cuban and Brazilian grooves my own. For five times I explored West Africa and was a guest of the Sousou tribe; which is also known as the musical roots of djembe percussion. I am graduated at the Academy of Arts on audiovisual design and started my own company called Lingé Productions which also includes giving workshops. I also started my own percussion group named Inslag. I played internationally with batucadagroup Medicamento from and got drawn to the world of theatre by the explosive fire performance of the Doedel Compagnie, where I performed for a long time.
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Paul Kessler

COSTUME DESIGNER / PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
My interesting career at Close-Act started when Hesther and MarjaT spotted me while playing the bass guitar with my former band. Over the years I took the opportunity to get familiar with all disciplines the group offered me: stilt walking, acting, singing and designing costumes. My work in the atelier offers me the opportunity to invent, create and realize beautiful costumes and objects. As performer I play in almost all acts and large-scale productions. It is wonderful to be able to travel the world with Close-Act in freedom and experience personal and professional growth. Close-Act offers a special way of combining living and working in a unique environment, being surrounded by a fantastic group of warm people with a lot of dedication and determination, and many unforgettable encounters with amazing artists and organizations all over the world. Thank you, Close-Act! Let’s continue our beautiful work!
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Paul van de Waterlaat

PERFORMER
One of the things I love most: Secretly watching all those smiling and bedazzled faces in the audience, while I’m hidden deep inside the Saurus costume.
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Peter Ankone

VIDEO JOCKEY
An awesome ride traveling and gaining a new creative family 🙂
Visual artist A.K.A. VJ ank1 (show GLOBE)
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Reini-van-Asselt

Reini van Asselt

PERFORMER / SINGER
Three weeks after applying as graduated singer (Rotterdam conservatorium) I was singing “Malaya” on a high tower in Brazil. It was a magnificent experience that made me want more of that! Close-Act makes it possible to play theatre shows all around the world with a very nice group of people. Acts and shows that are accessible for a large variety of audience. Each time again, I am touched by the response of the audience after the shows. I hope that I can keep doing this for a very long time!
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Rick de Leeuw

PERFORMER
The best way to describe me is helpfull and enthusiastic. The bigger the costume the better, though I really love doing I-puppets. to me it's all about working together to give the audience the best of times. Close-Act gave me a way to reach the audience in a whole new way and I'm loving every second of it.
Romy van der Linde

Romy van der Linde

PERFORMER
Ever since I was little I visited the theatre festival ‘Deventer on Stilts’ and loved watching impressive acts and shows. At that festival I experienced my first time as a street artist on stilts. From that moment on I knew that, this was the thing I would like to keep doing for as long as possible. Close Act offered me the next step! Since I have joined them, they have thought me a lot about how to perform and be a better artist and I'm still learning new things every single time. I'm absolutely enjoying every show we perform and I hope there are many more to come!
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Roos van Berkel

PERFORMER / DANCER
During my first encounter with Close-Act I was impressed by how big everything was: the performers on stilts, the costumes and the objects. It is an inspiring challenge to work with the different elements in the performances. Knowing how to build an object, how to move with it on different sorts of terrain while you need to stay focussed on the most important thing: performing! Close-Act keeps fascinating me because of the surprises during the creative process as well as performing the work in diverse places across the world: from the Colombian Bogotá to the Arabic Qatar and a tiny town in the east of The Netherlands. The travels to and the encounters with different cultures is a rich experience. By now I have crossed the globe a few times with Close-Act and each time we get the opportunity to share the work with very different people. Educated at Laban London and LIMS New York, I am active as a choreographer, teacher and performer. Besides my activities as a performer I teach movement research at the Amsterdam University of the Arts and Eindhoven University of Technology. With a development grant (2018/2019) from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts I choreograph compositional scores for dance and technology based on scientific themes.
Sebastiaan Schoonen

Sebastiaan Schoonen

COSTUME TECHNICIAN / CREW
I started as intern (technical light) at the workshop of Close-Act. During that great internship I got the chance to get to know the company, the people and the amazing things they do. I really didn't want to leave, luckily I am working in the workshop now. And how beautiful is it to work as a technician and to help them expand their possibility's and support them in order to make the productions run as smooth as possible.
Simon

Simon de Swaaf

2016
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
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Stephan-Bikker

Stephan Bikker

PERFORMER / DANCER
As a professional dancer and experience as a stiltwalker I came into contact with Close-Act. I was eager to work with them. Nowadays you can find me in the BirdMen, Saurus, iPuppets, Bluebirds etc. I love seeing the wonder in the eyes of the audiences when they see something in front of them that they can't really grasp. You work so close to and with people that you really have to be a team and that's what I love about street theatre an Close-Act. I hope to embark on a lot of new adventures with them. Next to my work as a performer with Close-Act Theatre I work as professional dancer with De Dansers & Arch8/Erik Kaiel and I create my own work through my dance collective, LucyONES.
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Theo Tollenaar

CO-OPERATING TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
The first time I worked together with Close-Act I did the sound for the new performance Malaya (in development) in Germany. An adventurous trip with a broken passenger bus from Close-Act along the highway, a lot of sick Close-Actors and a small performing area with long tables for a lot of beer: the setting for a bare bones performance of Malaya. Minimum own lightning and simple sound: just rudimentary street theatre! From then on I became the ‘technical director’ and worked the technical production for all shows, small or large, scenario or full show. Malaya in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was unforgettable, also the new turning point concerning the technical requirements for the performances. Through Pi-Leau, with a lot of new gadgets, we now play Globe with the most advanced large-scale technic there is. Over all the years we went from basic street theatre to high tech professional performances. A history of great encounters with lots of people across a big part of the world and the beginning of beautiful friendships within Close-Act. On to the future doing technic for their great performances!!
Tonny Aerts

Tonny Aerts

ARTISTIC & STAGE DIRECTOR / COSTUME & SCENERY DESIGNER / STAGE MANAGER / PERFORMER / MUSICIAN
I would walk handstand in the garden, climb on the roof and use the rain pipes for drums. It was all great fun and little did I know this made me a perfect fit for Close-Act. Would I like to perform? “Just invent your own mobile drums and make sure to bring a set of white pants and ruffled shirt”. After that I started to make my own costume. It clearly didn't end with the making of costumes. The sky was the limit and I could do what I wanted and so I started to produce backdrops, objects of fire, carts, puppets, and many scripts. In hindsight, I am a true autodidact. Close-Act is my life’s work.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Vanessa-Kurth

Vanessa Kurth

PERFORMER
I was born in Mainz In Germany. At the age of three, I moved with my family to the Netherlands. As a little girl I already dreamed about joining the circus and by a succession of coincidences I came in contact with street theatre and I was enthusiastic immediately. I started as a fire performer and joined a group of young performers travelling and performing through Greece. I wanted to expand my skills and learned stilt walking: Which resulted in a very successful season. Later I got the chance to work with many Dutch street theatre groups. Playing as a freelance performer I founded in my own group Vantazia. At Close-Act I enjoy the versatility of professional acts and shows, as well as the professional rehearsals. I’m able to play different characters and in many disciplines that inspires and enriches me as performer.
vivianHendriks

Vivian Hendriks

PRODUCTION MANAGER / CHOREOGRAPHER / STAGE MANAGER / PERFORMER / CREW
My life with Close-Act is always „vivid”. An interesting story and a certain ”way of living”- ‘being theatre’, ‘living theatre’. I performed as a stilt walker, dancer, and ground act performer. During this time as a performing artist, I developed my overall skills and ended up being involved in Close-Act in multiple roles. Now my job is a mixture of participation in creation, playing performances all over the world and my role at the office in our home base in Tilburg, where I take care of booking, casting, planning, briefing, travelling schedules, transport, selling concepts, handling clients and communication in multiple languages. It makes my life at Close-Act diverse, challenging and always thrilling. The absolute "icing on the cake” for me is that I’m now becoming increasingly involved as a show producer, responsible for staging and choreography, always together with the creative core team Hesther and Tonny.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Wencke-Smits-photo-by-Demelza

Wencke Smits

PERFORMER / DANCER
I 've been involved in Close-Act for so long, that I can't remember how long exactly... Seen Close-Act grow to the big club of professionals it is today. I am trained and eductaed as a dancer and danceteacher. Mother of a wonderful son. Additional I work as a freelance writer, and performer and choreographer for my own theatrical productions. Performing is not just work for me, it's a necessity of life. When I perform I become one with the role and go into the acting and dancing: that's when the magic happens. It is an interaction with the audience and therefore every performance is different. The magic is also recognizable in the interaction between players and therefore it is so great that the Close-Act-club is a fun group of fellow actors being friends. The best things are the foreign trips, worldwide. In that way you get the chance to get to learn about other cultures in a way totally different than experience cultures being a tourist. I hope to keep performing and dancing, as well as reinventing and learning new things, for many years to come.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Yda-Sinai-photo-by-Jostijn-Ligtvoet

Yda Sinay

ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOGISTIC PRODUCTION MANAGER / CREW
Together with my colleagues, I make sure that everything runs smoothly at the Close-Act office. I handle all the paperwork and support everything else necessary to make beautiful productions. It can be quite a puzzle, because every project has its own challenges depending on its location, wishes and laws & regulations. But…….each time we nail it! I used to work in travel & tourism and with this job I can still operate on a global scale. Occasionally I take part of rehearsals or travel along with the group. Then I get all happy when I see everybody excited after a performance! With great pleasure I work for and with this special company which has inspired me as a visual artist. In the meanwhile I graduated as a Bachelor of Education in Fine Arts, at the Fontys Arts Academy in Tilburg and besides from Close-Act I am working on artistic educational projects and as an artist in sculptures, installations and paintings.
Close-Act-Theatre-Team-Zjoske-van-Niekerk

Zjoske van Niekerk

PERFORMER
I always had a passion for performing, especially for street theatre in combination with stilt walking. I started when I was six years old, when someone handed me my first pair of mini-stilts and I had my first real performance with Nanda Art-Specials. My great adventure started; at the age of twelve I start at Mangs Mask Theatre where I was taught the skills of street theatre and stilt walking. Later on I performed for a few small theatre companies and for Close-Act: a dream came through. I travel worldwide to perform Saurus and more. I had so many awesome experiences over the years, meeting different people, seeing different countries and locations. That makes working for Close-Act fun to do! I always wanted to make a living out of my passion and I can say that I reached that goal. I hope evolving my skills, so I may perform many years ahead!