Silent Heroines in Rotterdam - Rotterdam Zet Door

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29 May 2020

Silent Heroines in Rotterdam

The TV series Silent Heroines (Stille Heldinnen) by Women Connected tells stories of women in Rotterdam with different backgrounds.

Women Connected is a performing arts network that uses theatre to connect Rotterdam women of all cultures, backgrounds and generations. Working together on professional productions gives these women’s voices a platform. Immediately after their successful performance Silent Heroines’ Disco XL in Theatre Rotterdam last March, the theatres had to close. Inez Schatz, assistant director at Women Connected, ‘But things didn’t quieten down, the phone just kept ringing!’ Now that the physical rehearsals, meetings and performances are cancelled, Women Connected continues to work online. One of the things that came of this is the TV series Stille Heldinnen in Rotterdam on OPEN Rotterdam.

 

What can we expect from the broadcasts of Silent Heroines in Rotterdam on OPEN Rotterdam?

Inez: ‘The series tells stories of Rotterdam women who are now at home. Via our social media channels, we asked people to send us anonymous secrets. We forwarded these stories to women in our community who are individually and artistically creative. They work this into music, costumes, poems, drawings, etc. We also interviewed women in the empty theatres and we cycle through the city with two vlog cameras. We give assignments to film specific things at home, such as ‘how do you make your coffee?’

You are now organising rehearsals online via Facebook. How did you come up with that idea?

‘The WhatsApp groups we have for the physical rehearsals kept filling up with messages, and the phone was ringing off the hook.’ Inez explains. Everyone is yearning for contact. We have the community. So, we came up with the online rehearsals via Facebook live. For people who don’t know us, it might seem a little strange. It’s very intimate, we share our life stories.’

The show Silent Heroines’ Disco XL in March was so successful that you sold out the large auditorium in Theatre Rotterdam for two days.

‘Last year marked 100 years of women’s suffrage, and for that, we brought together 1,000 women in the main hall of Theatre Rotterdam. Our Silent Heroines’ Disco XL was so well received that our tickets sold well all season,’ says Inez. ‘It didn’t take long before De Schouwburg decided to move Silent Heroines’ Disco XL to the main hall in March 2020. And because that too was sold out in no time, a second night was added. Everyone loved it!’

After such a big success, there is probably a new goal in mind…

Inez: ‘Our ambition is to reach 10,000 women in 4 years. We want to work with all the theatres in the city. The Silent Heroines’ days with performances on all stages and in all neighbourhoods, performed by women from Rotterdam.’

How can women participate?

‘The TV recordings are still in full swing and we need input for that. Women can post their secrets to Ms Anonymous, Kabelhof 8, 3072 WJ in Rotterdam,’ says Inez. ‘It’s also great if women want to vlog. If interested, women can register via info@womenconnected.nl.’

The episodes of Silent Heroines are broadcast every Tuesday on OPEN Rotterdam. You can watch Episode 1 here. After the broadcast, there is a live ZOOM session where everyone can participate. You can register via email info@womenconnected.nl or WhatsApp 06 51 93 45 50.

Text: Anne Klapmuts

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