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100 years of the Haarlem Stadsschouwburg

September 8th – December 31st, 2018

Museum Haarlem proudly presents an exhibition in honor of 100 years of the Haarlem Stadsschouwburg, presented at Het Gasthuis Take a journey through the theater’s history in all its eras.

The Stadsschouwburg will commemorate its 100th anniversary on September 30th, 2018 with the play The Witch of Haarlem, specially written by Haarlemer Frederik van Eeden for this illustrious occasion. This jewel on the Wilsonplein was built between 1916-1918 with an anonymous donation of 250,000 guilders – an amount worth almost €3 million today.

In 1919, the Schouwtoneel became the first permanent theater company located at the Schouwburg, opening with a play about Haarlem. Despite the wide range of quality productions shown here in the 1920’s, the number of visitors to the theater declined over the first decade. The city was continually compelled to fill the income gap, ultimately resulting in the theater being leased to the city in the 1930’s. Concordia became its new permanent theater company in September 1945, at which time productions about the Liberation and Haarlem’s 700-year history were very popular. The 1960’s ushered in yet a new era of theater at the Stadsschouwburg; new Dutch theater talents such as actor and songwriter Herman van Veen and comedians Freek de Jonge and Bram Vermeulen had their breakthroughs on the Haarlem stage.

The mid-1980’s were a tumultuous period for the theater, seeing many directors come and go in a short period of time. The Haarlems Toneel theater company was nonetheless very successful in the early 1990’s. In 2001, the theater embarked on an intensive renovation project in order to preserve the building’s historic character. After a five-year closure, the theater was reopened in festive fashion by Princess Máxima on September 26, 2008. The new Stadsschouwburg continues to be an important part of Haarlem’s heritage, bringing together the city’s past and present in this unique building.