Successful crowdfunding Theaterencyclopedie

19 March 2015

The crowdfunding campaign of the Theaterencyclopedie for making thirty videos of performances internet-ready raised 16,790 euros.

At the beginning of February 2015, the Theaterencyclopedie (Theatre Encyclopedia) launched its ZIJN /  NIET ZIJN ( TO BE / NOT TO BE) campaign on voordekunst, the number one platform for cultural crowdfunding. Six weeks later the campaign has proved to be an enormous success: 119 donors raised a total of 16,790 euros, exceeding the target of 15,000 euros by 11%.

A source of insight and inspiration

The campaign demonstrates the importance that private individuals, theatres, producers, educational institutes, businesses and charitable funds attach to maintaining the visibility of the history of theatre in the Netherlands on the Theaterencyclopedie.

Of particular note was the action taken by a group of people associated with theatre maker Hinderik de Groot, who together donated enough money to adopt two Studio Hinderik productions from the 1980s and 90s.

Some quotes from donors:

  • ‘As a keen theatre lover, I feel it is really important that special and memorable theatre productions should not just be preserved in an archive but, more importantly, they should be made accessible to as many people as possible.’
  • ‘Theatre history provides the breeding ground for today's theatre.’
  • ‘Because, despite its inherent transience, theatre acts as a source of insight and inspiration.’


What was the campaign for? The Theatercollectie (Theatre collection) contains a large number of film recordings of famous past performances, such as: Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? put on by the Nederlandse Comedie with Ank van der Moer, Café Lehmitz by Carver,  Leedvermaak by Baal and Troev of de verdronken visser by Jozef van den Berg, the dance performance Föld by Dansgroep Krisztina de Châtel, to name but a few. These films have all been preserved, but no-one can watch them.

The aim of the ZIJN / NIET ZIJN campaign was to make unique recordings of complete performances accessible via the Theaterencyclopedie. It started with a selection of 30 recordings. The additional funds raised made it possible to add other recordings, such as De Presidentes by De Trust and De Perzen by Hollandia.

The Theaterencyclopedie

The Theaterencyclopedie dates back to 2011. The site works similarly to Wikipedia and the information is updated daily by a host of enthusiasts and professionals. You can find all kinds of information about old theatres, performances, biographies of actors and actresses, photographs, film clips and sound recordings, such as historical theatre songs and interviews.

The Theaterencyclopedie is a publication of the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam and Stichting TIN.

Published by  Special Collections UvA