June 14 / Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

Ivo van Hove steps down as artistic director of ITA, Eline Arbo succeeds him

On 1 September 2023, Ivo van Hove (1958) will be stepping down from his role as artistic director of ITA. This means that he will be handing over his position as statutory director and artistic director. The Supervisory Board intends to appoint Eline Arbo (1986) as statutory and artistic director alongside general director Clayde Menso and the business director for whom a recruitment process is currently underway. Eline has been with ITA as Associate Artistic Director since 2022. Ivo van Hove will continue to be associated with ITA as director of the ensemble and advisor.

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Leontine van der Goes: “After 22 years of intensive directorship, Ivo has expressed a desire to have more space for his (international) directing activities and to relinquish his leadership of ITA. We grant him this wholeheartedly. We are very grateful to Ivo for what he has brought to ITA; our international success is largely due to him. Ivo will continue to make his artistic contribution as director and advisor to ITA. With Eline Arbo, we have a fantastic successor with vision and leadership to whom we very much trust the artistic direction of ITA. She knows the organisation inside out and is aware of what is required in this role. Her inclusive way of creating theatre is loved both inside and outside ITA. We are proud that with Eline we can once again connect such an innovative leading director to ITA as artistic director. We greatly look forward to working together."

Ivo van Hove on his new role: "After 22 years of working diligently as a director, it is time for a new phase in my life and a new role within ITA. Together with the Supervisory Board, I explored what that new role might look like and I am very happy with the agreement we have reached on this. I can now fully focus on my artistic (directing) role for this fantastic ensemble starting from this autumn. It also gives me room to dedicate my time to other work outside ITA, such as international directing and the Ruhrtriennale. I will of course remain a passionate ambassador for ITA. My decision was partly prompted by the fact that Eline proved willing to take over my position. I am proud to hand over the artistic direction of ITA to her. Her passion for the big stage and her familiarity with dealing with an extended ensemble of actors makes Eline the ideal successor. I am confident that ITA's artistic future is in good hands with her. We will dedicate the coming months to a attentive handover process."

Eline Arbo on her new role: "From my first production at ITA, it immediately felt like coming home. Over the past year and a half, I have enjoyed and been inspired getting to know the company more closely in my position as Associate Artistic Director. ITA is a home where artistic innovation and love for the craft is palpable in every department, and where a diverse range of theatre and dance continues to both inspire and challenge. Over the past 22 years, Ivo has built a fantastic company with an internationally renowned ensemble of actors - including an incredibly strong team around them - that has put Dutch theatre on the world map. I am honoured that the Supervisory Board has the confidence in me to build on his work. I am greatly looking forward to working with the executive team to further shape ITA's future."

The Supervisory Board will finalise the process of the new appointment in the coming weeks.
About Eline Arbo
Eline Arbo (1986) has been with ITA since 2022 as Associate Artistic Director and is currently Ibsen Artist in Residence. Eline hails from Tromsø in Norway. After studying Theatre Studies at the University of Oslo, Arbo moved to Amsterdam to participate in the directors course of the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam, which she successfully completed in 2016.

Her debut at Toneelschuur Productions was with Goethe's classic The Sorrows of Young Werther. It earned her the BNG Bank Theaterprijs 2018 and the Toneelkijkersprijs 2018 in The Hague. After this, she directed the much-discussed De Revolutionairen, about the ideas of Albert Camus. In 2020, she directed the hit novel Gone with Eddy by Édouard Louis (winner of the Regieprijs 2020). A performance that was widely acclaimed as the best show of the 2019/2020 season, for which she also received the 2020 Toneelkijkers Award in The Hague. The four actors were collectively nominated for the Louis d'Or. Her last performance at Toneelschuur Productions was Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov. In addition to this, she also directed several performances with the Noord Nederlands Toneel, including Roland Schimmelpfennig's successful Zwart Water, which toured the Netherlands in 2019.

Besides her work in the Netherlands, Arbo has also directed several performances in Norway, including Henrik Ibsen's Hærmennene på Helgeland, which premiered at the Nationaltheatret in Oslo during the Ibsen Festival in 2018. She also directed Henrik Ibsen's large-venue production Peer Gynt in 2019, which was acclaimed by both press and audiences. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë in the form of its own adaptation, premiered at the Nationaltheatret in September 2021. In January 2021, Arbo won the prestigious Mary Dresselhuys Award for her work in recent years. In spring 2021, her adaptation of The Hours by Michael Cunningham premiered at ITA. Her performance The Years was nominated by the Netherlands Theatre Festival as one of the most talked-about performances of the 2022/2023 theatre season. In June 2023, ITA will premiere Arbo’s adaptation of Penthesilea with the ITA ensemble, followed in the 2023/2024 season by her adaptations of Prima Facie (Suzie Miller) and The Laws (Connie Palmen).

Eline Arbo often creates her own adaptations of existing repertoire, always seeking a social and political angle. Her work is characterised by a musical and theatrical entrance, where she manages to combine the personal with the political.