The Rotterdams Wijktheater
The Rotterdams Wijktheater is run by a small professional staff of theatre and film makers, technicians, producers, and outreach workers. Typically, new productions are based on interviews and improvisations, which are subsequently processed into scripts that is rehearsed over a six month period. The resulting play is performed by community members themselves. Sometimes, projects are commissioned by external organizations, like public health agencies. But more often than not, participants themselves come up with themes like fear, loneliness, addiction, violence in public space, intercultural relations in the community, or tension between parents and teenage children.
The Rotterdams Wijktheater has no permanent company of actors, although some make return appearances. Usually, companies are composed of non-professional actors from the neighbourhood where a particular project is based, written and rehearsed. Participating performers usually have no prior performance experience. In fact, few of them have ever seen live theatre.
Starting in 2001, RWT has also been responsible for organizing biennial and later triennial community arts festivals. This event is called International Community Arts Festival (ICAF), which over the years has grown in importance. It is here that ACTA and RWT became acquainted and laid the basis for COAST.