Anne Kuit

Anne calls herself a naïve analyst, maker, queer, rule-breaker and a language enthusiast.

How did you end up at WISPER?

About three years ago, I went to see a performance directed by Eline George (who was educational staff member theatre for WISPER at the time, ed.) in Brussels. We started talking and she asked if I was interested in working for WISPER. I really was , but because of all the lockdowns, I wasn't able to teach much at the time, but luckily I made up for it after that.

What does your creative process look like?

It's different when teaching compared to making something myself. As a teacher, I always try to challenge the performers about their idea of theatre or about what acting should look like. Theatre is so much more than saying text on a stage. I want my students to let go of that idea and to focus on making theatre starting from their bodies and their own experiences. I use the viewpoint method for that, for example. I find the making and learning process just as important as the result: going on a quest, learning and laughing together.

Are there certain themes that particularly fascinate you as a creator?

In my projects there is always - to a greater or lesser extent - social engagement. I sometimes call my work "nuanced activism". You can't improve the world with one performance, but the theatre is the ideal place to illuminate different perspectives.

Lately, I've been working a lot around (my own) queerness, which keeps popping up in what I do as an artist. Both in a conscious and unconscious way, both subtle and thoughtful. I always like to quote drag queen and activist Adore Delano: "Being gay, I think we're put in a position where we have no choice but to be an activist, and we learn to love that." Being queer is such a big part of who I am, it naturally always finds its way to the stage. And being queer, in the world as it is, is still about activism, even when - like my last performance - it is really about queer joy.

(Anne beautifully describes what queerness means to them on their website:, ed.)

In my classes, this theme reflects in a high sensitivity to gender stereotyping and heteronormativity. Especially in lessons for children you still hear 'mama is afraid of the spider' and 'papa will beat the spider to death'. These are gender roles that I actively try to counteract with while acting, both during rehearsals and on stage. Of course mothers who are afraid of spiders exist, but they are already represented wide enough. (laughs) Partly for this reason I also started giving workshops on 'gender inclusive writing', to make organizations and companies aware of how much you can achieve with the right language and representation.

What does teaching do to you as an artist? Does it offer new insights for your own work?

What I love about teaching is that you get a lot of feedback from students. They are the ones experimenting and a lot happens during such a process. Being in close contact with art lovers - but not in a professional environment - is also very rewarding. As a teacher, you are actually very close to "the theatre audience”.

You can't improve the world with one single performance, but the theater is the perfect place to illuminate different perspectives.

How do you prepare for teaching?

Very thoroughly. I often start from a particular learning objective, but sometimes my preparation is a little more free, starting from a source of inspiration. Preparing something to the smallest details is part of who I am. Being prepared is what I need to be able to let go. During a lesson I don't want to be preoccupied with directing, I want to focus all my attention on what is happening and give as much tips and feedback as possible.

What do you do to find inspiration in case of an artist block?

I do something completely different, so that I don't have to think for a while. I go to the theatre myself, or I read books to get into another world for a while. Or I just force myself: "I have to work on this for 25 minutes now, no matter what comes out of it."

I once had a history teacher who said to our class: "You guys have such a hard time starting, why is that?" This lead him to teach a class about "starting something”. Amazingly helpful. Using the Pomodoro timer technique can also help. You don't have to be sure, you don't have to finish ... But you have to start.

Suppose you are given unlimited resources to fully immerse yourself in something: a technique, a topic ... What do you pick?

A big location theatre project with amateur actors and some rock-solid creators. I'm very fascinated by space, so creating a performance on the moon seems like a good idea to me as well. (laughs) On the way to the moon we would all have seen the earth from a distance, so that we can do a nice climate-activist performance about the overview effect. But in that case I would also need unlimited resources to build an electric rocket ...

What is the best creative advice you ever heard ?

I had a postcard with the quote "Everything is copy" by Nora Ephron hanging in my dorm room. That phrase is very liberating. Everything has been thought of before anyway. To come up with new work, you just have to compose or re-order what is already there.

What common misconception about your art profession would you like to contradict?

That when you take a theatre course, you are given a text and you have to perform it. It's so much more than that.

Finally, do you have a good artistic tip for us?

During the Christmas vacation, "Bambiraptor" will be performed at the KOPERGIETERY. A wonderful family play about a child's thoughts and imagination. I recommend that everyone visits good children's shows more often. In January, for example, 'Een leuk avondje uit' by director Jetse Batelaan is also showing in Ghent. He always makes such good performances, it goes without saying that this one is also highly recommended.

Photo credits: Mélanie Musisi - Henry Krul - Victoriano Moreno - Louis Kerckhof

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Anne Kuit copyright Melanie Musisi
Written on Mon 6 November '23