KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds brings theater to the elderly

ITA production 'De stille kracht' (The Hidden Force) can be seen digitally in 1500 care homes for the elderly

To support older people in what is, for many, a lonely time, the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, International Theater Amsterdam (ITA) and Stichting Gouden Dagen is bringing the theater to the elderly. Together, they are making the production De stille kracht, with, among others, Halina Reijn and Gijs Scholten van Aschat in the lead roles, available to 1500 nursing homes in the Netherlands. De stille kracht is based on the book by Louis Couperus and is directed by Ivo van Hove.

Tomorrow, for the first time since 2018, De stille kracht can be seen from the International Theater Amsterdam via an ITA Live stream. Especially for Stichting Gouden Dagen, KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds is making a recording of the production of De stille kracht available for elderly care homes. Both the KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds and Stichting Gouden Dagen are committed to combating loneliness among vulnerable older people. Nursing homes can register for the performance at a time of their choice in December via Stichting Gouden Dagen.

“Social contact is not self-evident for everyone and, since COVID-19, many more elderly people feel lonely. There is a need for contact, warmth, fun and connection. Together with Stichting Gouden Dagen and International Theater Amsterdam (ITA), we want to support this group of elderly people and give them the feeling of a wonderful afternoon or evening out. Where it is physically difficult or, like now, even impossible to go to the theater, we’re bringing the theater to the people. In this way, they can watch a story well-known to their generation at a time of their choice within the walls of their own nursing home and still get a sense of that theater experience”, says Mark Versteegen, director of the Stichting KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds.

Wouter van Ransbeek, director of ITA explains: “Usually, theater is always something with a fixed time and place. I am happy that with this unique collaboration, we can bring Couperus’s Dutch classic to places where we don’t normally go. And that we can connect the stage on the Leidseplein with 1500 nursing homes right across the country.”

De stille kracht
De stille kracht was a hit television series in 1974, and has since been regularly performed as a play and remains immensely popular with a wide audience. According to Ivo van Hove, the play’s director and director of ITA, writer Louis Couperus is still relevant to this day and age: “Couperus is the most global writer in our literature. He deals with themes that go far beyond the Dutch border and that concern the whole world. In a completely liberated, non-moralizing way, he writes about searching and restless people straddling two centuries. People who say goodbye to old certainties and who learn to deal with a new world full of question marks and without answers.”

The story of De stille kracht is set at the end of the 19th century and revolves around the cultural chasm between East and West, in this case, Java and the Netherlands. The Dutch colonials are becoming aware that while they nominally have control over Java, the island also maintains its own natural order. This order is maintained by 'the hidden force' (the goenagoena) – a term that refers to both the unfathomable aspects of Eastern culture and a form of wizardry.