“As soon as the spotlight comes on, you’re that type”


AZEWIJN – Toneelvereniging Ons Geluken Azewijn would like to add a few members. Chairman Jeroen Schinkel notes that stage fright is a barrier for some people to participate. He doesn’t think it’s necessary: ​​”We work together towards the final product, and it’s done in a relaxed way.”

By Karin van der Velden

“Not everyone likes to be in the spotlight”, Jeroen knows. “But you don’t have to play the main role either. You can start with a small roll, with some text. People are afraid of memorizing text, while it is not so bad for most roles. The big roles do not go to someone who is involved for the first time and finds it exciting. We spend quite a lot of time trying to get things to go together better. No one knows the text by heart on day one. Of course, this requires time and energy. You have to learn the lyrics at home, you have to know the play. Yet it actually comes naturally. We started in May with the play, which we stage in November. Now there is a summer holiday, but in September we start the exercises again in Aschwinhuus on Thursday evening. At the beginning, we all sit at a long table and read our text from a book. Then we go on stage with the book in hand. The director ensures that there is chemistry between all the players. For example, for the success of a joke, the moment you stand up is important.”

Everyone has their own way of learning the text. Jeroen does this by often listening to the text. “When the group reads from the booklet together, I make a recording and play it back when I’m on my way to work. At a certain point I can speak my text along with the recording. Other players use their notebook so intensively that by the end of the project it is completely worn out, with marked texts and dog ears. My book will still be like new. You also have two types of players; the player who knows the literal text from day one and the type who still make their own interpretation of it during the performance. This often causes hilarity during rehearsals, but also sometimes during the performance. Sometimes it is difficult because what your predecessor says is the trigger for your text. If your co-player just doesn’t say the one word, you’ve lost the text for a while. It’s not a bad thing either, we help each other through it and we always managed to put in a great performance.”

‘We would like to
people with
muscle pain in
the jaws of it
laughing again

Jeroen admits that he still finds it exciting to perform: “The first time when the door opens and you have to get up… But as soon as you say or do something and the audience reacts, the adrenaline kicks in, and that provides energy. Then you’re good to go. This interaction with the audience is very much present in acting. Even when you put the clothes on, you are that type. As soon as the spotlight comes on, you’re that type. On stage, you don’t see the room at all, maybe just the front row.’

People can also participate in the drama societies other than on stage. Our Pleasure is also looking for volunteers who want to hold a board position or who want to help make the website and maintain social media. There is a technical committee that always makes a different interior design. “Once we have a living room, then an office and now a hospital. We also need hospital supplies and we need people to collect the props. People take care of the clothes, make-up, hair. During the performances, people are needed for ticket sales and ticket control and to ensure that the curtain opens on time. Or who sells lottery tickets during the break. Those people only need to be present one or two evenings during the performance. Perhaps it is also an easy way to make acquaintances. It is so nice when there are volunteers for it. Players can concentrate better on playing if they have to worry about peripheral matters as little as possible.”

The group consists of about twelve members, ranging in age from their twenties to their mid-sixties. There is no age limit, older people are also very welcome. Anyone who is a member of the drama society decides for himself: should I play this season or not. If it is known who is participating, a play is selected. It is also possible with ten people, but Jeroen prefers that a few more come along. “Because there is always someone who skips one time, the rinse is sometimes thin. The director decides the distribution of roles, of course the players themselves have an influence on this. Everyone should feel comfortable.”

Chaos on stage
The Azewijnse drama company plays mainly comedic plays. “We want people with sore muscles in their jaws from laughing to go outside again. They are really farces with confusion and chaotic scenes on stage. It’s what we love most about playing, but the audience expects it too. The venue in Aschwihuus is always filled with residents of Azewijn, but also with people who do not live in the village.”

The farce ‘Wrong help in the emergency room’ is performed on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November in Aschwinhuus. “A temporary worker is sent to the emergency room to work as a cleaning assistant. When he reports for the cleaning job, he encounters a doctor who is just about to retire, and the man mistakes him for his successor. The substitute thinks it will. When he starts working as a doctor, it makes for funny scenes.”

youth theatre
Ons Geluken has also for a number of years had a youth group with children between 8 and 15 years of age. Unfortunately, this group has stopped in corona time. Jeroen: “Of course, much more has changed for children in that time, so we have to continue with a new batch. Players for the youth theater can register until December. We would like to start in January with a new piece that we will perform in June. If we know in December how many boys and girls are participating, we will look for that number.”

Anyone who wants to experience the atmosphere is welcome to come to Aschwinhuus on Thursday evening, the rehearsal is from eight o’clock to around ten o’clock.

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