THE WOOD, About Abuse Of Power, Returns to ITA And On Tour
Michiel van Erp has dozens of documentaries to his name and has won various international prizes. He also manages to move audiences on stage. With The wood Van Erp made his debut with the ITA ensemble a year ago on 4 November 2018. Trouw wrote: 'You can tell from the opening scene how well Van Erp can think in terms of images.' The wood is his first production for a big theatre. The performance, based on the book by acclaimed author Jeroen Brouwers, starts its run on 11 December in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam. The performance will also go on tour to Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Maastricht.
Jeroen Brouwers received the ECI Prize for Literature for The wood in 2015, the prize is awarded to the best literary work in the Netherlands. He depicts a Roman Catholic monastery with an adjoining boarding school for boys where a male community of monks exploit the boys with impunity. Everyone knows about it yet no one steps in. It is however, not the abuse that is central to the performance. No, it is the dilemma the lead character, brother Bonaventura, is confronted with. Het has to make a paralyzing decision: does he leave in protest or does he stay to help the boys as much as he can? 'What made these people stay and remain silent? That was also my challenge: to make it credible that Bonaventura just cannot possibly leave, can't possibly speak of what he has seen.', says Brouwers.
Director Michiel van Erp proceeded from this question in directing this theatre performance. For Van Erp, the boy's boarding school is a symbol for other closed communities. Van Erp: 'We live in a world where revelations concerning misuse of power and sexual intimidation are a daily occurrence. The wood is about the mechanisms behind the collective secrecy concerning abuse. It is also about the dilemma's one is confronted with if one is to take action and the courage that is necessary in order to step forward; and also that love does finally conquer all.