Ivo van Hove

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Ivo van Hove
Born (1958-10-28) 28 October 1958 (age 62)
Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium
OccupationArtistic director

Ivo van Hove (born 28 October 1958) is a Belgian theatre director known as the artistic director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam in the Netherlands and for his Off-Broadway avant-garde experimental theatre productions. [1] [2] [3] On Broadway, he has directed productions of A View from the Bridge (for which he won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play), The Crucible , Network , and West Side Story .



Born in Heist-op-den-Berg, van Hove began his career as a stage director in 1981, working with plays he had written himself such as Ziektekiemen (Germs) and Geruchten (Rumors). [4] He was artistic manager at AKT, Akt-Vertical and then De Tijd. Between 1990 and 2000 he worked as the director of Het Zuidelijk Toneel. Since 2001, van Hove has been general director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam (the Amsterdam theatre group). [5] He has coordinated productions at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Holland Festival, Theater der Welt, and the Wiener Festwochen. He has directed companies from Hamburg's Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Staatstheater Stuttgart, directed Hedda Gabler , The Little Foxes and Scenes from a Marriage at the New York Theatre Workshop and the award-winning A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic.

Apart from the theatre, van Hove directed Thuisfront for Dutch television; his first cinematic film, Amsterdam, came out in 2009. Van Hove directed the musical Rent for Joop van den Ende. At the Vlaamse Opera, he staged a production of Alban Berg's opera Lulu , as well as the complete Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner (2006–08). He put on a production of Janáček's De Zaak Makropoulos , and Tchaikovsky's Iolanta for the De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. From 1998 until 2004, van Hove was festival manager of the Holland Festival, where he presented an annual selection of international theatre, music, opera and dance.

Since 2001, he has been the general director of International Theater Amsterdam (formerly known as Toneelgroep Amsterdam), the prime theatre company of The Netherlands and the official municipal theatre company of Amsterdam. Van Hove's international focus explains why the company has been invited by international festivals such as Ruhrtriennale, Vienna Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and Festival d'Avignon, and performs in the United States, Russia and Australia, and why well-known directors such as Christoph Marthaler, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Johan Simons, Thomas Ostermeier, Luk Perceval  [ nl ], Simon Stone and Katie Mitchell have joined the troupe as guest directors. For Toneelgroep Amsterdam van Hove has directed Angels in America by Tony Kushner, the marathon performance Roman Tragedies (based on Shakespearean works), Opening Night by John Cassavetes, Rocco and his Brothers by Luchino Visconti, and Teorema (based on the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini, in partnership with the Ruhrtriennale), Antonioni-Project in tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni, La voix humaine (The Human Voice) by Jean Cocteau, Summer Trilogy in tribute to Carlo Goldoni, Children of the Sun by Maxim Gorky, The Miser by Molière, Scenes from a Marriage , Cries and Whispers and After the Rehearsal / Persona by Ingmar Bergman, And We'll Never Be Parted by Jon Fosse, The Russians! by Tom Lanoye, based on Chekhov, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller, Kings of War (based on Henry V , Henry IV, Part 2 , Henry VI , and Richard III by William Shakespeare), The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus and The Other Voice by Ramsey Nasr.

In 2015, Hove made his Broadway debut with a production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, which won Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play and Best Direction of a Play. He also directed Broadway productions of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (2016), a stage adaptation of the 1976 film Network starring Bryan Cranston (2018), and an upcoming 2020 revival of West Side Story .

Awards and honours

Van Hove won two Obie Awards for Best Production of an off-Broadway production in New York (for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler , respectively), as well as the East Flanders Oeuvre Prize (1995), the Theatre Festival Prize (1996), and the Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival (1999).

He was made a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2004. In 2007 he received the Prijs van de Kritiek in the Netherlands, a prize awarded by theatre critics. In 2008, he received the Prosceniumprijs, a Dutch theatre prize, together with Jan Versweyveld and in 2012 the Amsterdam Business Oeuvre Award. In 2014, van Hove received an honorary doctorate for general merit of the University of Antwerp.

In 2015, he won a Best Director Laurence Olivier Award for A View From the Bridge at the Young Vic and Wyndham's Theatre in London and the Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Director. Van Hove also won the Amsterdam Award for the Arts 2015, with Jan Versweyveld. In that same year he also received the IJ award by the city of Amsterdam.

In 2016 van Hove received The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing and became Honorary Citizen of Ham, Belgium. A View from the Bridge at the Lyceum Theatre was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Best Revival and Best Director and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Director and Best Revival, and won the Tony Award for Best Director and Best Revival. The Crucible at the Walter Kerr Theatre was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Revival and the Tony Award for Best Revival. Vu du Pont at Théâtre de l'Odéon was nominated for Molières for Best Director and Best Revival.

In 2016, van Hove was made a Commander in the Order of the Crown. [6]

Other awards:


Van Hove's signature style is an ultra-modern minimalism shot through with an expressionist theatricality. In an interview with Kate Kellaway, he commented

I don’t know what "being faithful to a text" means. There’s not one truth. As a director or actor, you have to give an interpretation of a line. I get 10 different people to say "I love you" – three words, an objective truth – and yet each time it is spoken it is different. I’m known for my preparation. For actors, this is not a threat, it is freedom. I like to create the world in which the text will blossom best. [7]

He has said in numerous interviews [8] that he approves of Ben Brantley's designation of him as a 'maximalist minimalist'.

He is regularly cited as an influence on many of the foremost names in a younger generation of theatre makers, including Sam Gold, Simon Stone and Robert Icke, all of whom he has invited to direct at Toneelgroep Amsterdam. [9]

Personal life

Van Hove is openly gay. His longtime partner since circa 1980 is set designer Jan Versweyveld. [10]

International productions

Productions in Belgium and the Netherlands

Toneelgroep Amsterdam

Zuidelijk Toneel

Theater van het Oosten

De Tijd




Opera productions



1997: Thuisfront (Home Front) (NPS) by Peter van Kraaij (co-production with Zuidelijk Toneel) 2008: Amsterdam by Jeroen Planting

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