Photo Annechien Koerselman

Photo © Monique Kooijmans / Poster photo © Joris-Jan Bos


Annechien Koerselman is fascinated by stories larger than life. At four years old her mother taught her to read. Since she has devoured books from Greek myths, fairy tales to modern literature. Her theatre work reflects of course this fascination. On the one side she is staging myths (sometimes rewritten for theatre by herself such as The Flying Dutchman and Bonnie & Clyde), on the other side these stories are used as inspiration for the concept and set design of the productions.


Annechien has directed myths such as Atalanta by Peer Wittenbols (Oostpool, 2004), Bluebeard by Dea Loher (The Frequency/Atelier d., 2004) and The Flying Dutchman (Het Vervolg, 2006). For Bout'chou - 4 seasons (Philharmonie Luxembourg, 2014/2015) she created a world full of fairy tale images and music, so the adventures of the little elf Choupinette could come to life. In case of Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre at the Spui, 2008) Annechien used Baroque music for her sounddesign. In this theatrical way she tried to connect Heaven and Hell.



Above all, the most important element in her productions is music. No wonder Annechien is directing in theatre, musical theatre and in opera as well. Her productions are to be seen in The Netherlands and abroad. In 2015 she staged for instance the newly written opera The Monster in the Maze (Middleton/Dove) at the Berliner Philharmony Berlin and Tischlein deck dich (Hartmann/Androsch) at Theater an der Rott Eggenfelden. In 2013 and 2014 the youth operas Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna (Hartmann/Kampe) and Gold were presented at The Deutsche Oper Berlin. Commissioned by the Philharmony Luxembourg she wrote and directed the musical theatre productions Firebird (2013), Bout'chou-4 Seasons (2014/2015) and Carmencita (2015). In 2009/2010 she staged the opera L’isola Disabitata by Haydn at The National Reisopera (Dutch Touring Opera) and in 2010/2011 she created (Script & Stage direction) The Musicfactory with the Calefax Rietquintet, a musical theatre production for the youth, which recieved in 2012 the Junge Ohren award. In theatre plays most of the time she creates her own sounddesigns, usually by intertwining text in a musical way with compositions or by providing the spoken text from a suitable underscore. A recent example is the production, very well recieved by press and audience, Land of overseas, which Annechien made in 2014 for Theaterproductiehuis Zeelandia.



Annechien uses a story – sometimes existing, sometimes written by herself - as the basic starting-point for her productions. Then, driven by a conceptual idea, she strives to an interesting fusion of text, music, image and movement: “total theatre”. To achieve this, teamworking with the designers is essential for her. Mostly together with them she develops a conceptual idea about the performance, the base of the form. Then, to create to a very own and compelling theatrical story Annechien doesn’t shy away for the unknown and the intuitive. Therefore often all different art disciplines from actors, dancers, singers to musicians play a role in her theatre productions.



First of all Annechien is working as a director in Theatre, Musical Theatre and Opera. Secondly, she writes theatre plays and libretti, adapts novels for theatre and makes translations. Recently she released the libretto Black Perfume (The Diamantfactory), based on the novel Morphine by Mikhail Bulgakow. In 2001 she made her professional debut with the adaption of the novel The Garden of the Innocent by Kristien Hemmerechts (Branoul), followed in 2002 by the direction of her first theatre play: Tranquillizers (The Frequency/Atelier d.). Since she has written several plays and libretti such as The (new) Story of the Soldier (2014), Marfoesjka & The Frost (2010), Bonnie & Clyde (2009) and Pagliaccio (2007). For an overview, see: Info/Texts.

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