monique polak

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Two Dutch Women on Arts Notebook -- with Stan Asher

This morning, I was a guest on Stan Asher's Radio CINQ program, Arts Notebook. So, not only did I get to catch up with Stan -- he's a former CEGEP teacher with a great interest in Holocaust education -- but I also got to meet his other guest, who turned out to be a Dutch performance artist. (Since I'm of Dutch descent myself, I found this a very exciting development!)

I'm one of two spokespersons for this year's Blue Metropolis Literary Festival for Children, so Stan asked me questions about the upcoming festival and also about writing for teens. I must say we had such a lively discussion I forgot I was on air!  Here's the link to Radio CINQ's website -- when I checked just now, the interview had not yet been posted, but hopefully you'll be able to access it soon....

What I really want to do in today's blog entry is tell you about Jacqueline Van de Geer, who is the other woman in today's pic. (As you must have figured out by now, that's Stan standing in between us.) Jacqueline was in studio to talk about her latest performance piece, La Guerre en Moi. It's a one-woman show based on her memories of growing up in post-war Rotterdam, and she also draws on memories her father shared with her. Rotterdam was bombed twice during World War II. Jacqueline was born some 13 years after the war ended, but as she explained, there were still many signs of what had happened in her city: "I was brought up in a scarred city," she said. Even though Jacqueline's dad was only a child during the war (he was nine when the war ended), he -- and his wife, too -- were deeply affected by their wartime experience. "I felt an enormous guilt from my parents," Jacqueline said.

Another interesting thing about Jacqueline's work is that it's performed in her own living room. She does what is called home theater. In her case, that means the audience is small; there's room for only 16 people. Jacqueline says theater-goers need to adjust to the unusual venue: "It's a big challenge for them to be in someone's living room."

Tonight and tomorrow's 8 P.M. performances are sold out, but there are second performances at 9 P.M. I'm going to try to go!

Here's another link in case you want to learn about the International Home Theater Festival. I know I do!

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Sunday, 19 May 2024

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