de Bont, Ad (Netherlands)
Ad de Bont was born on 9 May 1949. In 1972 he graduated as a drama teacher and went on to study at the Cabaret Academy in Amsterdam. In 1975, after spending a few years in the classroom, he began working as an actor, director and writer for young people’s theatre. He worked with several theatre companies before taking over as artistic leader of young peoples theatre group Wederzijds in 1982, together with Allan Zipson. Since 1987, Ad de Bont has been sole artistic director of this group. Wederzijds has a work ethic of only performing for schools, which makes it something of an odd man out amongst the top Dutch children’s theatre groups. Ad de Bont has written and adapted many plays for children and young people. Music plays an important role in his productions. Another characteristic element of his work is that the story is generally told as a narrative which unfolds in fragments, regardless of the scene of the action and the chronology of events. Absurdity and an interest in unknown cultures are recurrent themes in his work. Several of his plays have been translated into other languages and performed abroad. In Germany he is one of the most frequently performed living playwrights. Ad de Bont has received the Hans Snoek prize - the annual theatre award for the best Dutch language production for children and young people - for several of his productions with Wederzijds.