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Guy Cassiers

Guy Cassiers (1960) initially studied graphic art. That visual training was to prove crucial in his development as a theatre-maker. For five years he headed up the Oud Huis Stekelbees youth theatre (later Victoria, now renamed CAMPO) in Ghent. He then spent eight years as artistic director of the ro theater in Rotterdam before becoming artistic director of Toneelhuis in 2006. Along the way Guy Cassiers developed a very personal theatrical language in which technology has the rather surprising effect of deepening emotions. He combines that fascination with technology with a passion for literature.  High points include Bezonken rood (Sunken Red, 2004) after the novel by Jeroen Brouwers and the four-part Proust cycle (2002-2004). After Onegin (based on Pushkin’s novel and marking the director’s debut at Toneelhuis), in the 2006-2007 season Cassiers set to work on part one, Mefisto for ever, of his Triptiek van de macht (Triptych of Power), which describes the complex relationship between art, politics and power. Parts two and three, Wolfskers and Atropa. Avenging Peace, followed in the 2007-2008 season. His latest project was De rechter en de beul (The Judge and the Executioner), a performance on the very sensitive theme of euthanasia. Guy Cassiers is currently working with composer Kris Defoort on a new opera, House of the Sleeping Beauties, from the novel by Yasunari Kawabata, due to open in May 2009. In September 2009, Guy Cassiers will stage Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano (1947). In the period 2010-2013 he will be preparing to stage both Wagner’s opera Der Ring des Nibelungen and Musil’s novel Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (The Man Without Qualities). Since his four Proust productions, Cassiers has had a preference to work in ‘cycles’ of productions. A cycle gives him the possibility to explore a theme in greater depth, to create more coherence and to communicate more intensely with the audience. In The Man Without Qualities and in Wagner’s opera Guy Cassiers continues his exploration of the relationship between individuals, politics and power. He is also planning a play entitled Gilles & Jeanne, about the fifteenth-century serial killer Gilles de Rais and the martyr Jeanne d’Arc. He has had national and international recognition for his innovative work and received numerous awards.