Diederick Bulstra

Laura van Dolron


The big questions in life: theatre-maker Laura van Dolron (1976) won't settle for anything less. What is truth? What is good? How should I live? And how can we rich Westerners, with all-engulfing post-modernism as our principal creed, hope to answer such questions? Since graduating as a director from the Toneelacademie Maastricht in 2001, she has written, appeared in and directed a large number of successful productions dealing with these themes. For Frascati Productions, she has developed her own theatrical form, with productions including Laatste Nachtmerrie (2007). This 'Stand-up Philosophy' involves nimble productions in which she enters into a dialogue with heavyweight thinkers, and in which the big philosophical questions are not avoided.

The jury of the Charlotte Köhler Award, which Van Dolron won in 2007, praised 'her intelligent, inspirational and socially engaged productions. The way in which her productions ask questions of themselves pushes back the boundaries of thought. The strict focus on content points the way to a new direction for theatre in the smaller Dutch theatrical venues.'  (Jury report, Charlotte Köhler Award 2007)
With Lars & Laura (Frascati Productions 2008), a dialogue with film-maker Lars von Trier, Van Dolron shifted her philosophical focus to a more everyday level: can I be a good person in everyday life, without suffering or hurting others? In Welk stuk? (2008) and Als Gekken (2009), she zoomed in further and asked the question from the stage of the extent to which it is possible to be honest and authentic there, on the spot. For example, by inviting a new, unprepared guest onto the stage each time (Welk stuk?) or by basing a script on throwaway comments made during and outside of the rehearsals (Als Gekken). 
Following on from this focus on the here-and-now of the theatrical situation, in the coming years Van Dolron will be heading out into the big, wide world. From 2012, her own foundation, Goed gezelschap van Laura, will receive a two-year subsidy from the NFPK [Dutch performing arts fund]. This will mark the start of a series of projects under the title 'Vluchten of verdragen' ['Tolerate or Run Away']. From her bases at Frascati and the Nationale Toneel, she will interchange sources of inspiration from a specific section of Dutch society with those in far off places, among people in very different circumstances or with thinkers and writers from another age. For Iemand moet het doen (Nationale Toneel, 2009) she visited a hermit in Spain and young Palestinians in Jerusalem. She took her inspiration for Het voordeel van de twijfel (Frascati Productions, 2010) from Herman Hesse. In this production, two friends each attempt, like a contemporary Narziss und Goldmund , to fill the holes in their souls, each in his own way. For her next productions, Van Dolron will travel to Bethlehem, India, Thailand and Tibet, as well as taking work placements with Dutch drug store Het Kruidvat and a software company.

‘I want to understand why we suffer so; why we are so restless and why we do so little about it. […] I want to offer an alternative. Not just to make a diagnosis, but also develop a remedy. For this reason, at the end of the two years, I will set up a mini state; perhaps a church, or a political party.’ (Laura van Dolron)
Awards Eric Vosprijs 2008 Charlotte Köhler Award 2007 BNG Nieuwe Theatermakersprijs 2007 Young Makers Award 2004 Limelightprijs 2003 Productions with Frascati (previously Gasthuis) Het voordeel van de twijfel (Frascati Productions, 2010) Als gekken (Frascati Productions, 2009) Welk stuk? (Frascati Productions, 2008) Laura & Lars (Frascati Productions, 2008) Laatste Nachtmerrie (Frascati Productions, 2007, selected for Theaterfestival TF1, 2008) Walden Revisited (Gasthuis 2007, selected for TF1 (opening performance), Theaterfestival TF1 2007) Over Morgen (Gasthuis 2006, selected for the New Theatre-makers Series 2006-2007) Existential make-over (Gasthuis 2004, selected for the New Theatre-makers Series 2004-2005) (Coproduction with Limelight) Other productions Iemand moet het doen (Het Nationale Toneel, 2009)
Mijn naam is Rachel Corrie (Noord Nederlands Toneel, 2008) Onschuld (Tweetakt, 2008) Babyboomers (Noord Nederlands Toneel, 2007) Lieg ik soms? (Noord Nederlands Toneel, 2006) Wondersloffen (De Achterbankgeneratie, 2006) Soldiers of misfortunes (Melkweg, 2005) Later Weiter (Huis a/d Werf, 2004) Something bigger (Huis a/d Werf, 2002).