ZID Theater – City Arts & Performance Centre is a cultural organisation, based at the border between Amsterdam West and Nieuw-West. We have our own multifunctional theatre of 300 m2 and create performances, realise special projects, and organise the successful ExploreZ festival. ZID’s work is deeply rooted in the dynamics of the big city. However, ZID does not only work on a local level, but also nationally and internationally.
In recent years we have received various awards for our work, such as the Appeltje van Oranje in 2011, the annual prize of the Oranje Fonds / the Royal Dutch Foundation, and in 2018 the Golden Kaleidoscope for the Province of Utrecht from the Fund for Cultural Participation. Karolina Spaic, director of ZID was appointed Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau on 24 April 2020.
Since 2016, ZID has been producing the international, multidisciplinary ExploreZ festival, including three editions in Amsterdam and The Hague and one in Belgrade, Serbia.
The stories of the residents of the city form the source of inspiration and the starting point of our productions.
Who and why
In the Balkans, ZID means ‘the wall’. ZID Theater stands for taking down walls. Walls between people by means of theatre. Walls that stand between people or walls that people and even entire groups build around themselves. We also try to demolish the wall that stands between art and city dwellers.
To do so, we are working on new connections: constructive connections between the people in the big and sometimes alienating city.
ZID Theater was founded and is led by theatre makers Karolina Spaic and Sebo Bakker. Since 2015, theatre maker Daan Bosch has joined the artistic core team.
Diverse, artistic, socially involved
Art for people whom art passes by
These are the motives of ZID:
– Inclusivity. We work with everyone and for everyone.
– The ‘ZID method’. This working method “translates” social issues into artistic projects for different target groups.
– Current affairs. We connect art to contemporary themes. For example, with projects about poverty or loneliness.
– Contemporary theatre. Together with makers and participants we look for the best form to help shape the theme. Also new media. Or contemporary performance forms such as Spoken word and storytelling.
– Co creation. Makers and artists work together with participants, always focusing on the talents, stories, and experiences of the city residents.
– Art is for everyone. We continue to look for methods and locations to reach a new, diverse audience, who normally do not go to the theatre very often.
With successful results, great productions and a very diverse audience, ZID’s multidisciplinary performances and projects bring the world around us onto the stage.
Methodology and Training
With her own special way of working, ZID connects artists with urban talents and city dwellers. The ZID-method has two pillars. The first one is co-creation, a far-reaching cooperation in making a production. The second is training, to provide the entire artistic team and all participants with the necessary tools to jointly engage in the artistic process. The training is deeply rooted in the tradition of ZID and has its origins in all-round theatre,
involving people in all aspects, both physical and cultural.
ZID regularly asks international experts from her broad international network for trainings and workshops.
One of the most successful examples of ZID’s methodology is the game Storycatcher. This has been played by many people and organisations since it was developed.
ZID attaches great importance to working internationally and exchanging experiences, and has toured with performances, given workshops and participated in conferences in many European countries, South America, the United States and Morocco.
We are working on various projects within the EU thanks to funding from Creative Europe and Erasmus +.
ZID was the Dutch representative in the European project Caravan NEXT, a large-scale partnership of 14 partners from 13 EU countries. The initiators were Odin Teatret (DK) and University of Turin (IT) and the theatre partners Atalya/ TNT (SP), Omma Theater Studio (GR), Brama Teatr (PL) and Studio 7 (GER).
The Caravan Next project finished in June 2019, but the network of international participants and partners remains active and still grows. This allows the formation of new partnerships through, for example, the European Erasmus + program
Many people are involved with ZID on a yearly basis; either as participant and/or as member of the audience. In 2015 10.000, in 2016 15.000 and in 2018 even 25.000.
We believe that art can achieve social change. For that reason, we will start a new organisation from September: BASIZ. BASIZ will focus on artistic interventions within the social domain, while ZID will continue to organise the artistic productions and the ExploreZ festival.