Academy programme 2023

Besides the closed programs for schools, SPRING Academy also organizes various events that are open to a wider audience. Below you find an overview of these events, with a short explanation.

General programme

The following Academy events are open to everyone. 


Curious for new developments & new makers? A look behind the scenes of their artistic processes and considerations? In OFFSPRING, you are invited to react to work-in-process, the proposals of a new generation of makers. In 2 double bills with aftertalk, you will be surprised, tickled and challenged to talk with the artistic voices of tomorrow.

Topic Talks

Topic Talks are deepening conversations on SPRING themes: current issues that matter. What trends do we notice in the contemporary performing arts scene and how do they relate to the world around us? This year's Topic Talks include the topics 'Performing Care', 'Between Provocation and Invitation' and 'Black Body - White Gaze'. Experienced moderator Merel Heering will engage with artists from the festival and/or interesting guest speakers. The Talks are for the curious listener, the critical expert, the student and the professional. They are easy to combine with a visit to a performance, but can also be attended separately. They are free and open to everyone. 

Acting Like a Robot

Acting Like a Robot is an ongoing multi-year collaboration between Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, HKU, Ulrike Quade Company and SPRING, combining research, robots and theatre. 

Developing robots and their behaviour presents challenges that are not only technical but also involve what might be called the dramaturgy and design of the robot as social agent: how do social robots address their human co-performers and afford interaction with them, what scripts do they follow, how to design and choreograph their appearance and movements? In the Acting Like a Robot research project, we bring together theatre makers and roboticists to investigate how theatre can contribute to the design of robot behaviour and the interaction between humans and robots and, vice versa, how robotics opens new terrain for theatre-makers. During this afternoon in Het Huis we will present our current research as well as projects of others that inspire us. We will start with three short lectures by Evelyn Ficarra (University of Sussex), Edwin Dertien (UTwente) and Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University). After that, visitors can take a look at (and interact with) various projects-in-progress including an installation that allows you to perceive the world as a robot, and a duet between a dancer and a robot.

Open Round Table: AI & the Arts

What can AI do for the arts? What can the arts do for AI research? How can AI and the arts help to answer each other’s questions? These are some of the questions that will be addressed during the roundtable AI & the Arts, organized by the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) and the Special Interest Group AI in Cultural Inquiry and Art with the SPRING Performing Arts festival. We will speak with festival felllow Chris Salter (Professor and Director of the Immersive Arts Space of the Zurich University of the Arts), Kim Vincs (Professor of Interactive Media and director of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University), Asa Hovitz (composer and performance maker) and Mehdi Dastani (Professor and chair of Intelligent Systems and co-chair of the Human Centered AI focus area at Utrecht University). The discussion will be chaired by David Gauthier and Maaike Bleeker

Open call

For the following parts of the programme, SPRING is calling (emerging) artists and students: actors, directors, writers, advanced theatre students, dramaturgs, interactive designers, nerds, scholars, activists, artivists, philosophers and advanced performing arts/ technology students who would love to learn more during the Masterclasses and Open Programmes of SPRING Academy 2023. Meet renowned SPRING artists as well as artistic peers and innovative scholars for an inspiring SPRING Academy experience.

Masterclass Tim Etchells (Forced Entertainment)

Application deadline: 30th of April

Tim Etchells, artist, writer and director of the renowned company Forced Entertainment, leads a masterclass exploring key concepts and approaches from his practice. This masterclass is aimed at (emerging) artists and students in the final stages of their professional education. More information on the masterclass and how to apply, can be found here.


SPRING passe-partout