The old AINSI cement factory in Maastricht serves as the creative base from which Hoge Fronten – led by dramatist Lieke Benders – creates theatrical programmes that put a southern Dutch twist on universal themes and presents them on the national and international stage.

The performances by Hoge Fronten invite the audience to literally and figuratively move and to search for universal similarities that transcend religions, convictions, and individual values and truths. In her work, Lieke Benders emphasizes in a playful and poetic way the social importance of nuance, compassion, and empathy. Her starting point is always her own observations of the needs of people and the spirit of the times.

Over the past six years, Hoge Fronten has collaborated with various partners to create performances for children and adults alike. These performances were held in theatres across the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as at various national and international festivals. The troupe has since built a fully customizable repertoire, but continues to produce new shows as well.

- © Saris & den Engelsman

Lieke Benders

Lieke Benders grew up next to the church in Sittard. She graduated from the Maastricht Academy of Performing Arts in 2003 as a director and has been the CEO of the Hoge Fronten foundation since 2010.

She plays a pivotal role in developing and carrying out new productions. Her work straddles the boundaries between visual arts and theatre, theatre and daily life, and traditional and modern theatrical forms. The story itself determines the form each production will take.

My ideas are rooted here, but they take shape everywhere. What I used to be ashamed of I now embrace.

(Lieke Benders – Volkskrant)

The performances created by Lieke Benders and Hoge Fronten are a play on contrasts. In a society that values competition, performance, hard facts, money, and shock effects, she deliberately chooses a different direction. The tone is emphatically not aggressive, loud, or shocking. She chooses instead a different approach to her theatrical language.

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