News: Director Eline Arbo and five new actors joining Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) has announce that director Eline Arbo has committed herself to the theatre as Associate Artistic Director. Alongside director Ivo van Hove, she will be part of the artistic core of ITA. From January ‘23, Arbo will be appointed Ibsen Artist in Residence, an initiative of the Philip Loubser Foundation, which gives directors with an international ambition the opportunity to develop themselves artistically.

In addition, ITA will welcome five new actors to the ensemble in the coming months: ‘Eefje Paddenburg, Daniël Kolf, Minne Koole, ‘Ntianu Stuger and Eelco Smits. Besides their outstanding qualities as actors, they also contribute to the ever-increasing diversity of the ensemble, in which there is plenty of room for diversity in age, gender, sexuality and cultural background.

Ivo van Hove about Eline Arbo: “I got to know Eline as a top director, and above all as a strong leader. In her position she will be responsible for the continuity and further renewal of the ensemble of permanent actors and the recruitment of freelancers. She will also be involved in artistic choices for guest directors and the repertoire.”

Ivo van Hove about the new actors: “Eefje Paddenburg has just graduated, but is born for the theatre. I look forward to creating the title role in Mijn lieve gunsteling, after the bestseller by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, with her. Daniël Kolf is a real self-made actor whom I got to know at The Damned as an inquisitive, passionate and intense actor. Minne Koole has played guest roles with great class several times in recent years. ‘Ntianu Stuger showed himself to be a promising talent with a strong personality during the auditions and has only graduated a year ago. And I am personally very touched that Eelco Smits is making his comeback after working successfully as a freelancer for a number of years.”

Eline Arbo (1986) comes from Norway. After studying Theatre Studies at the University of Oslo, Arbo moved to Amsterdam for her studies at the Directing course at the Theaterschool Amsterdam, which she successfully completed in 2016. In season 22|23, her direction of Penthesilea (Heinrich von Kleist) will have its premiere at ITA and her direction of De uren will be reprised.

Eline Arbo: “My first production at Internationaal Theater Amsterdam in 2021, De uren, felt like coming home. I am therefore very happy that I can continue to connect myself in the coming years as Associate Artistic Director and create even more performances with the absolute top ensemble of ITA. The Ibsen Artist in Residence is an exceptional opportunity to further develop my artistry at home and abroad.”

The new actors of the ITA ensemble

From left to right: Eefje Paddenburg, Daniël Kolf, Minne Koole, ‘Ntianu Stuger and Eelco Smits.

Eefje Paddenburg (1999) graduated from the ArtEZ School of the Arts in 2022. She will be permanently employed by ITA from season 22|23 and can be seen from 2023 in Mijn lieve gunsteling (directed by Ivo van Hove) and Bloedbruiloft (directed by Wim Vandekeybus).

“Well, ITA… as a student at drama school it seems like a terrifying, unattainable place where bizarrely good actors perform who know who they are. Now, three months after graduating, I will enter that place. I am shitting my pants, but I especially want to learn from all the inspiring people. I look forward to it!“ – Eefje Paddenburg

Daniël Kolf (1997) grew up in Suriname where he attended youth theatre school from an early age. In 2015, he moved to the Netherlands to develop at Theatre Schools in Arnhem and Amsterdam. After a few guest appearances in series such as Mocro Mafia, he played the lead role in the cinema hit De Libi. Following his performance in The Damned, he will be part of Bloedbruiloft (Director: Wim Vandekeybus).

“I want to be the best actor in the world and to become the best I have to play with the very best, the top. ITA is an important opportunity for me to realise my urge for storytelling on an international level. Gratitude is the word and feeling that comes to mind. Grateful to have a voice in the company of ITA. A voice that will be heard.” – Daniel Kolf

‘Ntianu Stuger (1998) is an actor and theatre maker. ‘Ntianu graduated from the Amsterdam Toneelschool & Kleinkunstacademie in 2021 and played successfully in various productions by Oostpool, HNTjong, Orkater and de Toneelschuur. Due to existing commitments, she will start with the ensemble from season 24|25. Until then, ‘Ntianu will be a regular guest actor.

“Thanks to the ensemble, ITA’s performances have always felt like a kind of masterclass in acting. It feels like an enormous privilege to be able to join them now! I can’t wait to develop myself further here and make theatre that hopefully will reach and touch people from all layers of our society.” – ‘Ntianu Stuger

Minne Koole (1993) graduated in 2017 from the Amsterdam Theater and Kleinkunst Academie. In 2018, he played one of the lead roles in the feature film Niemand in de stad, which earned him a Gouden Kalf nomination. He previously acted in theatre performances by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. From season 23|24 he will strengthen the ITA ensemble.

“I am very happy and proud to join the ITA ensemble. My dream to perform arose when I saw plays by this company. Watching in the hall, I almost learned more about myself than I did in real life. I have felt comforted, seen, confronted and confused. But most importantly, the actors here are phenomenal. To be able to stand and search next to them is a great challenge and terrifying, and therefore exactly what I want” – Minne Koole.

Eelco Smits (1977) was a member of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, predecessor of the ITA ensemble, from 2005 to 2019. Smits received the Paul Steenbergen Medal in 2018.

“I know better than anyone that ITA is a place where you meet the most passionate and inspiring directors and actors. Where theatre is made that is looked forward to. I am therefore very excited to resume our collaboration.” – Eelco Smits

The complete ITA ensemble is made up of:
Achraf Koutet
Aus Greidanus Jr.
Bart Slegers
Celia Nufaar
Chris Nietvelt
Daniël Kolf
Eefje Paddenburg
Eelco Smits
Frieda Pittoors
Gijs Scholten van Aschat
Hans Kesting
Hélène Devos
Hugo Koolschijn
Ilke Paddenburg
Janni Goslinga
Jesse Mensah
Maarten Heijmans
Majd Mardo
Maria Kraakman
Marieke Heebink
Minne Koole
‘Ntianu Stuger
Steven van Watermeulen

About the Ibsen Artist in Residence and the Philip Loubser Foundation
The Ibsen Artist in Residence is made possible by the Philip  Loubser Foundation to support directors of international reputation to develop an intensive connection with ITA. In addition, an annual budget is made available for personal artistic development, also outside ITA. In January 2023, Eline Arbo will succeed Robert Icke, who was awarded the Ibsen Artist in Residence for 2019-2022.

Established in 1997, the Philip Loubser Foundation has a long tradition of supporting talent in dance and music, in collaboration with renowned international institutions such as the Royal Ballet School, the English National Opera, the Royal College of Music and the Thüringer Bachwochen.

Main photo: Fabian Calis

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