Awards Season: Theatre

On Friday, 11 September during the closing night of the Nederlands Theater Festival, the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD) presented its annual theatre awards. Also presented were the Regieprijs (Best Direction) and the ACT Award, with which Dutch actors’ association ACT annually honours a person or organisation that has been of great significance for the acting profession. This year’s awards covered both the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 seasons, as the COVID-pandemic cut both seasons short.

The VSCD’s Theo d’Or, for best female lead in a theatre production, went to Naomi Velissariou for Pain Against Fear. The judges praised the theatre maker for the final instalment of her Permanent Destruction trilogy, coproduced by Theater Utrecht, in which she compellingly embodies a complex woman whose kaleidoscopic identity rises above the concept of this production, according to the judges.

The Louis d’Or, for best male lead in a theatre production, went to Emmanuel Ohene Boafa for the monologue Sea Wall, which he performed in English at Het Nationale Theater. Erik Whien directed. The judges praised Ohene Boafo for his open, loving performance which ensures that death, when it comes in this monologue, hits the spectator like a ton of bricks.

The Colombina, for best female support, went to Sanne Samina Hanssen for her part in Angels in America by Olympique Dramatique and Toneelhuis. The Arlequino, the award for best male support, was awarded to Jaap Spijkers for his role in De Zaak Shell by Anoek Nuyens and Rebekka de Wit (Frascati Producties).

Theater Artemis took home the VSCD’s golden Cricket for best TYA production (…..) De voorstelling die schijt heeft aan zijn eigen vage titel. The golden Cricket for best TYA performance went to Guus van der Steen, who won for his part in De Toverfluit by De Toneelmakerij and Silbersee.

The VSCD Mime Award was presented to Nicole Beutler Projects for 8: Metamorphosis, described by the judges as a powerful stripping down of the patriarchy.

The Regieprijs went to Anoek Nuyens and Rebekka de Wit for their production De Zaak Shell. The Dutch actors’ association ACT presented its ACT Award to Jeffrey Meulman, who led the Dutch Theatre Festival from 2005-2020. Despite its modest funding, Meulman has steadily worked to broaden and strengthen the platform for performers and theatre makers in the Netherlands, said ACT. 

Earlier in the festival, the BNG Bank awarded its BNG Bank Theaterprijs to theatre maker Nastaran Razawi Khorasani for her work Songs for No One.

Photo: Ben Houdijk (Naomi Velissariou in Pain Against Fear: Permanent Destruction)