To the Bone

  • Samantha Janssen / theatre in education

“There were seven of us. We only wanted what everyone wanted. A bit of fun, a bit of love. But now all we want is peace and quiet. Did we know what we were doing? I loved him, I really did. Let me sound the bell, I asked. But he said: you’re a girl. As though I was an incomplete version of a boy’’ (Jacoba).


Samantha Janssen (Theatre in Education) developed a music theatre performance in which the amateur actors were both maker and actor. ‘To the Bone’ tells the story of Jacob and his seven daughters – daughters, instead of the son that he had so dearly wanted. “I started each rehearsal by reading and discussing the scenes we were going to deal with that day. I explained how I imagined the scene; the atmosphere and form. Then I let the actors improvise. I selected elements from these improvisations such as a movement, look or intonation that I liked and that I thought fitted in the play, and went from there. I deliberately give my actors a lot of space. I believe you can come up with a lot more if you’re doing it together, achieve more than when you’re trying to do everything yourself.”