Melbourne | Sydney | Adelaide | Perth

Ruud Breteler (The Netherlands) head of Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam, presented a series of free public lectures and seminars on developing community partnerships, culturally and linguistically diverse audience development, cross-cultural programming, and international exchange in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam is internationally renowned for producing new, culturally diverse programs and catering to culturally and linguistically diverse audiences and communities. In 1998 Ruud Breteler decided to ‘listen to the people’ to increase audiences.

Theater Zuidplein now focuses on the non-Dutch populations of Rotterdam such as the Turkish, Moroccan, Surinam, Antillean and Cape Verdean communities. The company uses this rich diversity as a base for developing and presenting new work, building new audiences, and establishing international exchanges.

In 1998 Theater Zuidplein, under Ruud Breteler's stewardship, became the key venue for culturally diverse programs. In a few years more than half of Rotterdam’s population will be of non-Dutch origin. By the end of 2004 thirty per cent of Theater Zuidplein’s programming was based around these communities. Theater Zuidplein supports young and older artists and organises and produces festivals, all around cultural diversity.

Ruud Breteler holds a BA in Dutch literature and a Masters in Theater Sciences from the University of Utrecht. Between 1990 and 1997 he was the General Manager ‘De Kist’, Rotterdam and producer for the Rotterdamse Schouwburg. From 1997 to 1998 he was the General Manager Production, Rotterdamse Schouwburg. He is now head of Theater Zuidplein, Rotterdam which presents over three hundred programs per season.

Ruud Breteler presented Theater Zuidplein as a case study of successful program and audience development utilising cultural diversity.

Participants worked in small groups on culturally diverse programming and audience development strategies.

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Presented by the Australia Council’s Community Partnerships and Market Development Division through it’s Leading Voices program, Kape Communications, Multicultural Arts Professional Development (MAPD), Arts Victoria, RMIT, the Australian Multicultural Arts Foundation, The Royal Netherlands Embassy, Victorian Multicultural Commission, City of Melbourne, Arts WA, para//elo, Arts SA and Multicultural Arts Victoria.