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‘Thanks for Being Here’ english text

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Thanks for Being Here

by Ontroerend Goed


English translation.


0. Entree

Where the audience enters the auditorium while being filmed by two cameras.

1. Square

Where the audience watches the world outside, watching a latecomer arrive.

2. Audience scan

Where the audience looks at themselves. And the camera slowly brings everyone into view.
Someone enters the stage and playbacks an announcement:
Yes hello um
I have an idea, but you would have to put this at the beginning of the show

I don’t really have anything to add
But I do think it’s important to know
That you are being filmed

Erm… you could say at the beginning of the performance, for example
There are cameras here

One on stage
One to the side, one above you

There is also one outside

Um, the film footage is not used
That is also important to know

And you don’t have to do anything as an audience euh….
You can just watch


3. Portraits/Expectations

Where different visitors are portrayed one by one.
And where we listen to recordings of the expectations the visitors had before going to see the performance.

Someone who actually really has a message for the world
who really, yeah,

wants to convince the world of a certain idea
or wants to pass on a certain message

and so, they are really happy that you came
because that means that he or she or they were able to plant that see

Thanks for being here…
I think it would be sarcastic

that it wasn’t meant that way
it was kind of rejecting and saying
thanks for being here mate

thanks for being here
or I completely misinterpreted it
and it was very sincere

which would make me anxious in another way
and think
oh, should I be here?

About love?

About love

That people come together
And that they’re happy to see each other

And that maybe they didn’t expect that

I think of people we’ve lost, um
people who once existed

but no longer exist or something
people who once were there
and who aren’t there anymore

in a way
alright, not in a super heavy way
but in a…. yes

that we’re grateful to them
that they were ever there

1: it can be a lot hey
it could be –

2: I hope something wild

1: ooh
yes I can go with that, something wild

2: thanks for being here, yeah I don’t know

1: some form of appreciation for who comes
some form of respect somewhere

2: yes I don’t know
or something very public

1: ah, yeah, yeah
2: interaction with the audience or something

1: and actually the interaction already starts now, huh

2: that’s true

1: maybe we are part of the
2: of the performance

thank you for being here
maybe like projected there at first?

that’s the initial thing that i expect to see
so i would see some sort of old school
90’s light on the stage

you know when you go to like a yearly office party or something
and then you have a sort of poeeef

you know digitally made
some sort of fireworks, you know

um yeah just
thanking the audience?

Who are we here with?
surely more than 100 people?
and that everyone is thanked one by one

eh, Jeroen, my name
eh yes I don’t know

Peter, Marjan
or by surname
Katrine Finch
John Smitssers..sson.

just to thank everyone one by one
for being there?

That there is a kind of…
kind of praising of the human being
of the individual

‘hey, so glad you’re here
nice that you exist’
and anybody can say that to anybody

so that seems incredibly cozy
besides, that’s one thing that’s desperately needed

because there are too many things
there are too many issues
the world is a labyrinth

there are too many people too
for now there is not much we can do about it

I think the show
Thanks for being here
is about the masses

about the whole
about everyone being one

about saying
that everybody sits together like sheep
in a room that is locked

they have to obey the performers, of course
they have to follow you
It’s also a very strict dynamic.

you have to watch
and you have to follow
so maybe that’s what it’s about?


thanks for being a friend
you know
how does it go?
thank you for being a friend
yeah, it makes me think of that song
it makes me feel good

I have no idea
I have no idea

I’ll probably read information about it first
and then have a certain feeling
or expectation when I go to the performance
never too much
That is never good

I will let it come to me
But apart from that, I have no clue

people who are going to meet
always in a different way

it’s always different people who are going to bump into each other
and then they have to say goodbye again

and the next day somebody else meets somebody else
and at the end of the show

I think they are all going to run into each other
and then

that they will know each other
but that they won’t know each other the way they see each other

and then they have to say goodbye again
so the performance is about seeing and saying goodbye

thanks for being here
makes me think of life
that you look back on

and that you’re grateful that some people have crossed your path
and how that changed the course of your life

so… how you then pour that into a theatrical performance
I don’t know

but that’s what I would talk about
I think that’s to be expected


4. Disco Mirror Ball

Where the audience watches a mirror ball hanging above them.

5. Audience enters on screen

Where the audience sees itself entering the theater.
Where two voices direct the audience, first in actions and then in characters who inhabit the theater.


L: Yes, we’d like to start with an empty space
A room with (color) chairs, (un)numbered

About (number) of rows, one behind the other
Two balconies

the space can remain empty for a while
except maybe for some expectant tension

we’d like the lights to be warm and inviting
it can remain silent for a little while

K: to the people waiting outside: in a minute I want you all to come in
Maybe stagger it a bit so you don’t come in all at once

you can decide who enters when
it doesn’t have to be complicated

yes, exactly, that looks good
And then you may now appoint someone among you who will come in first…

Okay so that will be…. Perfect.
you are going to do that very nicely

so, the first person can come in



K: Everyone in the auditorium, you can now wait just a few more minutes for the people who are still to come in.

Since you’re already seated you don’t have to get up, that would really make it far too complicated.

The house lights are still on, the doors are still open
And, yet, most of you can feel

The show is about to start

Maybe you check a few final things, make sure your things are in the right place, that your ticket is tucked away…
L: You start to prepare for the darkness that’s about to come
The atmosphere in the auditorium gradually starts to change

Your focus shifts from the outside world to in here
Inside this building, this auditorium

And some of you can start shifting your thoughts towards the front
Towards the stage

Those of you still coming in
Try not to break the concentration,
The growing expectation

And now that sense of expectation can gradually spread through the whole auditorium

And you can watch what’s going to happen.

6. After the applause

Where a voice describes to the audience how a spectator behaves after the applause. And where the latecomer then gets up and leaves the auditorium.
The applause is over.
The lights on stage go out, and the lights in the auditorium slowly come back on.

Your eyes have to get used to the light – you blink, rub them a bit
You can feel one world slowly turning back into the other

You sit up a bit straighter
You look away from the stage, left and right – yes.

You smile at the person next to you.
You look at the people around you.

You stay seated for a while
You know the show is over, but you’re waiting
You’re not going to be the first to stand up.

You turn your head towards the stage again,
And you don’t have words for it yet, it’s more just a feeling

But your opinion of the show is starting to form in your mind.
Yes. Good.

You run your hands through your hair
And now Patricia, you can start thinking about leaving
You look at the exit

And now, you decide to pick up the coat that’s by your feet and stand up
The other people are still collecting their things so you have to wait a bit

And now you start moving towards the aisle
You move slowly. You shuffle a bit.

People around you are starting to talk to each other.
You catch words here and there.

You wonder what you’ll say if someone asks,
“and? what did you think of the show?”
Now you’re at the aisle. you let someone go ahead of you.

You slot in and walk along the stage towards the exit
You see the faces of the other people from the audience.

You keep heading out.
You briefly look back at the seat you were sitting in
You leave the auditorium.

And now you bump into someone you know
You walk past the bar and you decide to have a drink

You order a sparkling water and a beer
And here comes that question…

“What did you think of the show?”

  1. Patricia, You know what you want to say so you share your thoughts.

“Yeah,” says the other person.
They leave a pause, they nod and then they say:
“Yeah, I see that, but – “

And now you listen to the other persons opinion
while you nod and drink your sparkling water.
Your glass is empty. You wonder whether to go home or order another.

You order another sparkling water.
You tell them about another show you saw recently.
You say, “this reminded me of another show I saw,

Where they had a scene after the curtain call,
I think they could have done that here, right?”
“Oh, that’s a good idea,” the person says,
“That would have been great.”

You both fall into a silence, but that’s ok.
It isn’t awkward.

And now the other person says something completely different, another idea that they think would have been great if it had been in this show.

And now you can get into a groove, each of you suggesting ideas for other scenes you think should have been in this show.

And now the other person says something that really makes you laugh.
You order a beer and a cava and you say: ok fine but I really have to go home after this.

You drink your drink.
You say goodbye.
You leave.

7. The Outsider

Where the latecomer addresses people outside and asks one of them to come in with her.


8. Added scenes by the audience

Where we hear recordings of previous audience members giving ideas for the performance.
Where the actors sit in the audience and say along to the recordings in the picture as if they were their voices.
Hi Leo
I’ll quickly run downstairs
I, actually mean Ontroerend Goed
Because it’s directed to all of you of course

I was there yesterday
As you know
And euh…. There’s a lot in it
Also really my thing

So I feel like it’s going to become a beautiful performance
One thing that’s still on my mind
I think…Involving the audience more

Of course the show is about the audience
So I thought
Why not ask us
To make up scenes

And to interview us or record us?
And to use those recordings again
In the show
Live recordings or
You could also ask people to leave you a message
On a phone like I’m doing now

Euh, I don’t know if that could be clear..
But I think so
Maybe.. In the venue..

So.. yeah, that was an idea
Good luck!

And I’ll come and watch the show for sure
When it’s finished
If such a thing exists..
Bye bye

yes of course I saw the performance of Thanks
Euhm and yes … yes…. Very nice!
That you ask us to add something like that.

um….I have to be honest,
Uh … nothing really comes to mind at the moment.
Uh… But I think it’s a really cool question.

That you involve people in this way after the show.
And I think it’s a really cool question.

So hopefully other people will have more input?
And yes, bye!

Yes, I do have an idea for the performance
If you just

During the performance
Go outside
Go to somebody randomly on the street, start talking to them
And bring them inside

In the venue
Or even on stage?

And then, that person can
Stay or leave or join in, that’s for you guys to see

But if you could just bring
bring them into the auditorium

I don’t know.
I think that would be..
A new experience or something.

Um, Yeah, I wanted to leave you a message
Because I had another
Yes, idea
For the show
Wait, hey.
Am I now

Um, so
I wanted to chime in on something because I um –
Because I –
had another idea I wanted to share with you guys

That maybe you can do something with
I don’t know.

I don’t know if it’s something you want, but
I’m a little tired
I’ll catch up another time
If it’s okay
Then um
If I’m a little sharper

Euh yes, if the performance is about us,
about the audience actually
Then I also think that the audience
should be the protagonist

So somehow, yes
That we actually become the actors
I mean.. euhm.. but I don’t really want that either

So without us really participating
Nothing participatory or anything
Good luck with that!

Adding something to the performance… um…
But yes, if you don’t get anything …

Yes I find that strange …
I think it’s a really big responsibility.

As a spectator, um…
Well, that makes you very vulnerable.

If you are… dependent on the input of…
of the audience…

Well, people sometimes have a bad day.
Or… are just plain uninspired.
So yes, have you … actually
thought about that?

It might be a little too conceptual,
Suppose you use
All through the performance

Only the voices of the audience
So never really voices of the actors

But just the audience
I don’t know

Of course I’m not a theater maker
But eh yeah
This is my idea

Yes, I’m just wondering uh
Who is going to choose those ideas?

I mean.. Isn’t there going to be too much material?
Eventually I think it will take too long.. no?

Or are you going to create some sort of archive of all those ideas?

Yeah, uh, hello, ontroerend goed.
Uh… I saw your show. Thanks for being here.

And I was wondering, uh…
when i saw the show
euh Is everything…. made up by the audience?

Because that would be really euh… mega cool.
uh yeah, I don’t know if that’s possible.

But if the whole show was really made up by the audience too
so everything is… by, with and for the audience.
that would, yes, that would be awesome.
it would be maybe euh… a bit… yes a mess

but yeah I dunno but
yeah, I don’t know if it makes sense.
But that would be really cool.

One, two, three, test test test
I’d like my name in the show: JEROM

Hey Ontroerend Goed
I’ve just seen your wonderful performance
And um

You then asked the question:
‘what would you like to add to the performance?’
Or uh whether there is a scene or something
that we, the audience, could suggest

I’ve been thinking about that
And I just really wanted
to ask my grandfather

He’s not here anymore
But I’m sure he would have had an answer for that
That he would have known a scene
And yes
That that his voice could have become a part of the performance
So yes

Hey Ontroerend Goed,
I just saw your performance Thanks for Being Here
I might have an idea

During your performance I was actually thinking about
The history of theater

Especially the turning point in the 16th century
The moment when theater went from outside
From open air
To inside

But actually the whole social function
From the outside to inside
The idea of a meeting place

Of a marketplace
A place where people talked
Where people came together

Sometimes not at all listening to the shows
But mostly listened to each other
And wanting to be watched

Sometimes the curtains of the boxes were closed
What happened then

God knows…
So the whole idea of

The theater as a social meeting place
As a microcosmos of society

You actually still see that in today’s ‘bonbonnières’
Which are made so that the audience
Can mostly look at each other

And almost incidentally at the performance
So I had to think about that
Fits with your performance I guess
That you have the audience say…

With binoculars
The idea of binoculars
Looking at each other

Maybe it would be nice
Should every member of the audience
Be scanned

That they come into view one by one
That would be very, very nice
Each face passing on the screen

Well.. yeah.
That’s an addition
That I would dare to do
Were I you

I would love a.. yes a classical scene
Erm… and when I think of a classical scene

I see before me…
Big costumes
Maybe… I don’t know…
Hoop skirts?

And dialogue
I really don’t want to miss out on that.

1: Hello… So um… Maybe it’s a bit of a crazy idea to see on stage, or maybe not, I’m down for everything ahm: a disco ball.

2: Ahhh, mmm
3: I really like it
4:  Yeah!
2: it can be interesting

3: I feel like it could suit in the center of the stage with a very nice lighting, the light reflects on everyone, it could create a great atmosphere
2: ah yeah, we could work with reflection also

4: But are you thinking of a big disco ball or a bit smaller one?
2: I really imagine a massive one actually in the middle of the stage
4: oh, yeah, yeah

1: I imagine a hundred many but no no no a bigger one yeah it would be nicer
3: Just one big one
1: a singular piece just… having a lot of fragments on people

3: an imagine that when it’s spinning the light also spins with it
2.oehh I really like the spinning
It’s a great idea

Yes Hello um
I have an idea, but you would have to put this to at the beginning of the show
I don’t really have anything to add

But I do think it’s important
To know
That you are being filmed

Erm… you could say at the beginning of the performance, for example
There are cameras here
One on stage
One to the side, one above you

There is also one outside

The film footage is not used
That is also important to know
And you don’t have to do anything as an audience euh….
You can just watch

Hello ontroerend goed,
I came to see your show
and I really enjoyed it. It was very nice

I don’t really have an additional idea for a new scene
but I would like it better

if there was a little music in the performance
just soft music, maybe a little emotional
a song that touches the audience.

I would like that.

At the end you had a bit of this emo music
that tearjerker music

But I was wondering because now the tempo is, um, the same all the time
I was wondering if, um
could we get a climax during the song?

You really hope that at that moment something will happen to the music. But yes.
Maybe it would help if the actress playing the audience suddenly starts to cry.

so she suddenly starts crying really hard.
Uhm it’s just an idea.
If that works it would be really, really golden
I think

Hey ontroerend goed
Thanks, thank you for the new performance

Euhm the question regarding new ideas.. I’m not really with you on that..
I feel like the show is already finished.

So I don’t really understand where you’re going to use those ideas
Or where you’re going to put them in the show

Bizarre question
For me, the piece is already finished


9. Archive and Rewind

Where ideas and expectations still resound. 
Where audiences from previous performances are shown.
Where we see tonight’s audience entering the venue but in reverse.
So we see them. Where in a credits line every player and contributor is thanked.
And where at the end the curtain is pulled back and shows an empty room, the room before everyone entered, before the performance began.

– The End. – 


+ . Delay leaving.

Where the audience is seen applauding themselves and leaving the room.

Motion on Motion off