(a short biography for publication can be found in the Press Kit)

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. Also in her musical-theatrical approach the connection through literature and visual arts is leading during her researchprocess for inspiration. In case of Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre at the Spui, 2008) Annechien used Baroque music for her sounddesign to connect Heaven and Hell in a theatrical way.


Above all, the most important element in her productions is music.

No wonder Annechien is directing drama, music theatre and opera as well. Her productions are to be seen both 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 Philharmoniker Berlin. In season 2012/2013 the youth opera Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna (Hartmann/Kampe) had its Worldpremiere at The Deutsche Oper Berlin, after which she staged there Gold and The Secret of the Blue Deer as well. Commissioned by the Philharmony Luxembourg she wrote and directed several musictheatre productions for the youth, both performances in the main hall with orchestra and studio productions with chamber music ensembles. In addition she stages regulary opera for the adult audience as well. After her operadubut L’isola Disabitataby Haydn at The National Reisopera (Dutch Touring Opera) in 2009, for example, Babyn Jar followed in Kiyv (Ukraine) and newly composed operas like Dijkdrift for Silbersee/Calefax Reed quintet. In theatre plays music is always an important "actor". Most of the time Annechien then creates her own sounddesigns, usually by intertwining text in a music way with compositions or by providing the spoken text a suitable underscore. A good example is the production Land of overseas, which Annechien made in 2014 for Theaterproductiehuis Zeelandia, and which was very well recieved by press and audience.  


Annechien directs both actors, singers as musicians and has developed a specific approach for each of them, which led to the fact that also musicians feel at home as performers on stage in her work. For the Calefax Reed Quintet/Oorkaan she wrote and directed in this way the successful music-theatre performance The Musicfactory, for which she received the Junge Ohren Price in 2012. A show without text, because music and performance are telling the whole story. With the same approach she created The Brass Gang by Sonus Brass and Par!s! Par!s! by Die Schurken. Also commissioned by festivals such as the International Chambermusicfestival and The Grachtenfestival she succeeds in inspiring musians how to "tell" music in an appealing way.


Annechien uses a story – sometimes existing, sometimes written by herself, sometimes in cooperation with another playwright – 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 both composers, playwirghts and designers is essential for her. The conceptual thought about the performance is developed in that way, that content and form merge organicly together. In rehearsals she finds it important that the actors/singers/musicians/dancers think along and have both theatrical and music awareness. To create a very own, but compelling theatrical story, Annechien doesn't shy away for the unknown and the intuitive. For this reason, she is often involved from the fresh start in newly developed music theatre & opera projects. 


First of all Annechien is working as a director in Drama, Music Theatre and Opera. Secondly, she writes with some regularity theatre plays and libretti, adapts novels for theatre and translates plays. In 2001 she made her professional debut with the adaption of the novel The Garden of the Innocent by Kristien Hemmerechts (Branoul). In 2002 she staged  her first own theatre play: Tranquillizers (The Frequency/Atelier d.). Since she has written several plays and libretti such as Black Perfume, Planets, The (new) Story of the Soldier, Marfoesjka & The Frost, Bonnie & Clyde and Pagliaccio. For an overview, see Scripts.