photo: Frank de Ruiter


Alexandra Broeder was born in Rotterdam in 1978 and lives in Amsterdam. She graduated as a theatre director from the Maastricht Academy of Performing Arts in 2003 and went straight on to join the Gasthuis Theatre Workshop in Amsterdam for three years. Over this period, Broeder was able to further refine her artistic identity with coaching and support from the Gasthuis. It was from here that she took her first steps onto the professional theatre circuit. In 2007, she started making her own productions. Using casts made up exclusively of children, her work is performed at both traditional theatres and site-based locations. A recurring theme in these works is the relationship between children and adults – particularly the power relationship – and a hint of horror is always present. Broeder’s work has been received enthusiastically by critics and audiences alike. Her productions are currently touring nationally and internationally.

Broeder produces her work through her own foundation Tijd van de Wolf (Time of the Wolf) company, frequently collaborating with festivals such as Oerol, Tweetakt and Over het IJ. She is also an in-residence director at Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam and BonteHond theatre workplace in Almere.

Alexandra Broeder’s creative home base is Amsterdam, but she also works internationally at the invitation of foreign festivals and theatres. One such project was the making of Evacuacio in the summer of 2009 for the Spanish festival MAPA, with a cast of twenty Spanish children. In the winter of 2013 she worked in Berlin at the invitation of Hebbel-Am-Ufer Theatre.

In 2009, Broeder’s CandyLand won the Dutch VSCD Zilveren Krekel Award for most impressive stage production. And the Flemish Theatre Festival selected CandyLand and KIND for the season’s ten most important dramatic works in 2009 and 2011 respectively. For her work Alexandra Broeder received the Theater Stipendium 2010 from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (Cultural Fund Prins Bernhard). And in 2012 she received the Erik Vos Prijs, a biennial price for special talent among the new generation of theater.

Extract from the jury report for the VSCD Zilveren Krekel award: ‘Alexandra Broeder’s CandyLand, is a disturbing and sinister work. The performance location inspires an uneasy sense of emptiness, the concept is rock-solid and the children – who lead the spectator into a world where they call the shots – are extraordinarily convincing. It all makes for a singular experience.’

Information about the productions by Alexandra Broeder

In the ominous atmosphere of WasteLand (site-based, 2007) silent children aged 8 to 13 hijack a bus with adult passengers and then leave them behind in a deserted woods. It is an oppressive and estranging experience for adults. WasteLand will have a rerun in 2012 with an entirely new cast of children.

In the sinister CandyLand (site-based, 2008) the forceful gaze of children undermines the loyalty between parents and progeny. It seems we would rather lie than disappoint a child.

In Nature or Nurture (theatre-based, 2009) children play out a confronting version of mummies and daddies in front of an exclusively adult audience.

In the family theatre production KIND (Child, theatre-based, 2010-2011) a runaway girl finds herself in a bleak world inhabited by runaway children, and childhood imagination turns out to be less innocent than it seems.

Sweet Dreams (site-based, 2011) is experiential theatre that takes place between sunset and sunrise. The adult audience spends the night in the woods with children as their only support and guides.

RAVEN (theatre-based, 2012) represents a new phase in Broeder’s work. This theatrical installation was made together with the internationally renowned (and notorious) video artist duo L.A. Raeven. Seven girls aged from 15 to 20 take the audience on a nightmarish trip about bodies, growing up and the image of women.