PHOTO: Nikola Milatovic

I am Emke. My work emerges on the intersection of theatre, literature, interaction design, (social) psychology, ecology and spirituality. In the past decade, I have (amongst others) made a couple of life size board and theatre games: STRANGER (2012), RULE (2014), THIS CAN’T HAPPEN (2018) and FOREST (2020) which appeared in various contexts: in theatres and on festivals, on symposia and in organisations. By playing, the audience co-creates the actual performance. Recently I have founded the School of Unlived Worlds (2022), to explore in playful ways how our landscapes and we are creating each other all the time. This project roots in the urgency that I have always felt to re-imagine how to live together. My works are playgrounds, that give you the possibility to investigate actions, thinking, attitudes and observations at the point where the personal and the societal meet.

During my studies, Joe Kelleher (professor at Roehampton University in London) wrote something about my work that I like:

‘It is complex (always) without being complicated, and that is a precious quality. Perhaps it is through what she understands of language and what she credits her audience, her collaborators, to be capable of, that she enables understanding in others: the sort of understanding that is ever entertaining, although the sort of entertainment that is never without its complexities.

I initiate my own projects and next to that I collaborate with others as a dramaturge or artistic coach. Every sincere creation process is an intimate affair with life and I feel honoured if I can help with that. I also give form to inspiration by teaching, mainly in universities of the arts (ao DAS Theatre, toneelacademie Maastricht). And if something has never been done before: please call me. At this moment I am working as a script writer and director on a pioneering project in television interaction for kids, bringing together storytelling, gaming, virtual worlds and improvisational theatre. The project is commisioned by the VPRO, a Dutch television broadcaster.

I hold an MA in Dutch Language and Literature from the University of Groningen, studied Performance at the Theatre School in Maastricht and have been part of DasArts, the performance master in Amsterdam (now known as DAS Theatre). In 2013 I founded Stichting Stranger, the organisation that produces my work. I see myself as a student of the situations that I get (myself) into and I keep on taking additional training, for example at the Schrijversvakschool (poetry/essay writing), University of Amsterdam (sociology/psychology) and the School voor Zijnsorientatie (Tibetan buddhism/psychology).

Link to Linkedin profile

My work is produced by Stichting Stranger
Board members: Anke Bangma, Martha van Meegen, Tobias Kokkelmans