Info - Learn more about the story of Jonge Harten Theatrefestival

About Jonge Harten

Read the story of Jonge Harten, what we stand for, who we are and what we do.

Our Story
At Jonge Harten, we believe that theater brings people together and makes issues discussable (no matter how big or small). We make the festival with a young team, young theater makers and with you. Because together we are the future and we can make a difference.

Stay with the trouble
The theme of Jonge Harten 2023 is ‘stay with the trouble’. An invitation to you to pause for a moment when things are difficult or challenging. To stop thinking immediately in terms of solutions, but rather to examine what you are experiencing. In this way you will see that movement will start automatically and you will see possibilities that you had not thought of at first.

Trouble, it comes in all shapes and sizes. Internal trouble because you are not comfortable in your own skin, you are ill, something is not working out, or for example you have made a wrong choice. Trouble in your social environment, at school, at work, with friends or with your family. But there are also troubles on a larger scale, such as Dutch politics, the climate crisis, discrimination, poverty, war, human rights and so on.

Often the first reaction to all these troubles is to immediately think of solutions. And one of these solutions is often to leave, shut the door and want nothing more to do with it. But is that really what we want? Have we considered what we are feeling, what is going on in our heads? Have we really considered all the possibilities? And isn’t there a voice inside us that is actually saying different things?

Not everything is perfect. Mistakes are there to learn from, to try things again and to give new opportunities. You are the creator of your own life. So how would it be to allow yourself to be vulnerable once more and take on the struggle again? Because if you stay with the trouble then that is what you are doing; combining vulnerability with combativeness. In order to achieve movement and one step closer to the future.

Jonge Harten programs future scenarios
In this all-important century, you young people are in control. We choose performances and programs by young makers who understand the challenges you face. We encourage our creators and you to ask questions out loud and make your doubts visible. In order to take small steps towards future scenarios together, through imagination. Because imagination is the source of everything. Because if you can’t imagine it, it can’t exist.

Your voice counts
With our programming, rather than trying to “teach” you something, we invite you, in a safe environment, to engage in conversation about what you have experienced. We take all input, opinions and perspectives seriously. Because every voice counts and teaches us something about ourselves and our relationship to each other. So herewith an ode to doubting, determined, unheard, disobedient, necessary, questioning, inquiring, alternative, courageous, motivating, connecting and critical voices. Only with all these voices together will there be room for self-reflection, new knowledge and insights.

Of course, we understand that it is not so easy to be vulnerable. It takes courage to go against something when (almost) everyone seems to have a different opinion. Yet the voice of the minority is precisely what matters! By standing up and speaking out, you can inspire others and set them in motion. That is exactly what young theater talents within our festival are doing and we hope you dare to do the same.

PS If you want to participate, collaborate or if you just want to have a good conversation, you’re always welcome! Check out the possibilities here or send us an email:




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Stay with the trouble