Ilja Tammen studied acting at the theatre school Maastricht where she graduated in 1988. Very soon she began working with Ad deBont a tthe young audience theatre group Wederzijds, from 1990 till 2010. A group that was only performing for schools, in daylight, very close to the audience. In the productions music and singing always had an importan trole. Another characteristic element of the work of Ad deBont & Wederzijds was that the story was generally told as a narrative which unfolds in fragments, regardless of the scene of action and the chronology of events. Other themes were absurdity, unknown cultures, as well as how surviving in war zones impacts the young child. Ilja acted in famous productions and has acted many main parts. Several times the Hans Snoekprize-‐the annual award for the best production for children-‐was rewarded for productions Ilja acted in.
In 2009 Ilja started writing. Her first play is Dusty Lane, a play for the military about PTSD. Her second play Fransiscus was staged by Monique Masselink and Ilja performed this text for transgenerational audiences. Since she moved to France Ilja has written several short plays for children, translates texts together witha native speakers and is performing for children and teenagers at schools. Favorite themes in her work are storytelling, adapted versions of fairy tales, trauma, humour, mythology and resiliancy.