The Comedy and Poetry of survival

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In The Comedy and Poetry of Survival, Van Beurden dynamically and humorously links the spirit of the Commedia dell’Arte with the crazy times of today.


Katrien van Beurden traveled around the world for years to rediscover the Commedia. With her great fascination she searched for this raw tragicomic folk theater, which in the most extreme times managed to connect with the people to the annoyance of the state and church. Times where courtesans became first actresses, did marketing with their bosoms, and then openly spoke about their desire for independence. Back to a time where the actors literally played on life and death.


With a bag full of masks Van Beurden traveled to war zones in the Middle East, to wealthy oil families with their golden toilets in the US and, with the help of a sturdy moped, to a remote tribe in India.


In her fascination to be close to the fire, she found hopeful stories, players and audiences all over the world. With boundless craziness and desires, these players kept playing while the world seemed to end. People who kept playing with boundless craziness and desires while the world seemed to end.

“Van Beurden took the masks and archetypal characters of the Commedia to collect authentic and beautiful stories that transcend time, space, and culture.”

Judith Chasee, Boston Université


“Van Beurden is a pioneer. She is the first to remove the Commedia from the European context and breathe new life into it.”

Giuliani Filacanapa, Research Professor bij University Paris 8 

(specialist in mask and Commedia dell'Arte)


“What this group dares is nothing less than admirable. A combination of craftsmanship and pleasure combined with the greatest courage. Because how exciting is it that the players, from all over the world, dare to improvise with an audience that sometimes has to get involved. The result: An hilarity that substantively and movingly slaps you on your forehead.”

Jeroen de Man, director Toneelgroep Oostpool en Het Nationale 


Concept en spel: Katrien van Beurden

Maskermaker: Den Durand