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In Flanders and the Netherlands, there are a number of publishing houses that focus specifically on the publication of new theatre texts.

De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek (‘The New Theatre Library’, Amsterdam 2009) publishes theatre texts in small print-on-demand books and also offers a digital theatre library in which plays can be read and saved (but not downloaded in print). This way, DNTB wants to stimulate and archive new Dutch plays, new and existing translations of foreign plays and the contemporary discourse on theatre in the Netherlands and Belgium. DNTB does not receive any state subsidy.

Another theatre publishing house that is also based in Amsterdam is Theaterboek. All theatre texts published by Theaterboek are written by contemporary Dutch writers; both debuting and more established playwrights. They publish texts by Jibbe Willems, Rob de Graaf, Anouk Saleming, Don Duyns and many others. In the series 'The New Ones', Theaterboek publishes the work of debutant playwrights, among others the graduates of that year of the HKU - Writing for Performance programme. In addition, Theaterboek also publishes texts with theatre scenes for children.

The Dutch theatre publisher De Toneelcentrale is an amalgamation of a number of reputable publishers and has a very large and varied range of texts for musicals and plays for children, young people and adults. Numerous well-known and lesser-known Dutch playwrights have already been published by De Toneelcentrale, including Haye van der Heyden, Vonne van der Meer, Ger Beukenkamp and Gerben Hellinga. Numerous foreign authors are also represented.

Belgium has remarkably fewer publishing houses that focus specifically on theatre than the Netherlands. Bebuquin, a small Antwerp-based theatre publisher founded in 1994, is one of them. The driving force behind this publishing house, which describes itself as a project of theatre enthusiasts rather than a rigid and commercial enterprise, is above all the desire to give high quality texts a longer life. Bebuquin looks at each publication individually and does not publish according to a strict publication plan. It is possible that one year, it publishes only one text and the next year four. Sometimes it puts out only one author, sometimes a collection. Some of their products are aimed at more experienced theatre readers, while others are aimed at a wider audience or at art schools and other educational institutions. Bebuquin mainly focuses on Dutch plays written by authors who work in Flanders.

Finally, some more general publishing houses such as Davidsfonds and Prometheus also focus on publishing (new) theatre work.

Theatre publishers in Flanders and the Netherlands
De staat van de jonge toneelschrijver

De staat van de jonge toneelschrijver

our generation is often seen as
a lost generation
we feel lost
or we have lost something
a kind of idealism or collectivity
but I have the feeling that we have
actually gained a lot
compared to previous generations
in insight
in consciousness and self-awareness
in modesty
and certainly in sensitivity

Read the State of the Young Playwright as delivered by Anouk Friedli on Friday 25 February at the first edition of Shakesepeare is dead, contemporary playwright festival.