Nine Short Stories about Exile
in the Kingdom of the Netherlands




Aankomst is a 30 minute performance of story-telling and object theater that made it's debut at Het Theater Festival Vlaanderen at the Brakke Grond in Amsterdam on September 10th, 2003. I was asked to write a piece for an event called VER VER VER (VERhalen oVER VERplaatsen or Stories About Moving).

The evening opened up with Michael de Cock (Publiekstheater) who recited a text based on interviews he made with refugees. I followed with 3 Short Stories About Exile. My first story was called Aankomst (Arrival) about my arrival in Holland in 1996. I delievered this story in Dutch... a first for me and it was nice to feel that I could make people laugh in a language I'm still struggling with. The second story is called Advies van een Stomme Amerikaan (Advice from a Dumb American) about assimilation and integration of immigrants with one bit of advice for the Dutch to ease tensions between themselves and immigrant Turks and Marrocans. The third is called Land Deform, a short sci-fi story about a Dutch scientist born in the year 2000 that correctly predicts the melting of the polar caps and the entire flooding of his homeland within his life-time.

Unfortunately there is no video of this performance which Arthur Zonen, director of the Dutch Theater Festival, called "Prachtig! Prachtig! Prachtig!". (Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!)

Since then the concept has evolved into a proposal for 9 stories about my integration into Dutch society which will be 60 - 70 minutes long all in Dutch! ( There will be an English version.) Among the new stories are Oranje Nassau Moments, The Decalvinazation of Jan Van Den Berg, and De Ballen van Hans Kesting (The Balls of Hans Kesting).


Premiere: September 10, 2003 Brakke Gronde, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS

Clusterd II Theater Festival Vlaanderen, De Singel, Antwerpen, BELGIUM

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