Birds of a Kind

Birds of a Kind
23 Apr '24 to 03 May '24
ITA Ensemble / Alize Zandwijk

Selected by Nederlands Theater Festival!

When the German-Jewish Eitan and the American-Arab Wahida happen to meet in the library of New York, they fall in love instantly. But is their relationship likely to succeed against the backdrop of the decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict? Or are they a contemporary version of the 'star crossed lovers' that Romeo and Juliet were to Shakespeare?

Run time 130 minutes
Genre theatre
Language Dutch
Surtitles English, Thu, April 25 & Thu, May 2

In Gesprek Fri, April 26 & Fri, May 3

Birds of a Kind

A distinct theme in the work of the Lebanese-Canadian writer Wajdi Mouawad is that great history and individual lives are inextricably linked. He shows how people from diametrically opposed cultures nevertheless try to live together. That is also the case in Birds of a Kind (Vogels)

Eitan's family carries the memory of the Holocaust with them. Therefore, his father cannot live with his son's choice of an Arab woman. Things are turned upside down when Eitan is seriously injured in a bomb attack by a suicide bomber in Israel.
The work of Wajdi Mouawad was put firmly on the map in the Netherlands by Alize Zandwijk. She directed his Bossen (2014), Kust (2012) and Branden (2010), which became a theatre hit. Birds of a Kind (2019) has previously been performed in Germany, also directed by Alize Zandwijk.

Birds of a Kind (c)Fabian Calis

Alize Zandwijk about Birds of a Kind

'About a meeting that is destined: a Jewish boy and an Arab girl meet in a library. A beautiful love story. But the Jewish father cannot accept his son's choice.
About the boy's quest for his father's roots, the roots of his family. Which causes a lot of confusion. Because nothing is what it is. About the roots of the girl who has found her homeland again. Because she did everything she could to exorcise it.
About enmity and about identity. About the birds that can fly back and forth over the Israeli-Palestinian wall. A breathless search for who you are. And that we should be able to live like the birds.'


Language NP Language no problem Gijs Scholten van Aschat Gijs Scholten van Aschat
Language NP Language no problem Chris Nietvelt Chris Nietvelt
Language NP Language no problem Steven Van Watermeulen Steven Van Watermeulen
Language NP Language no problem Marieke Heebink Marieke Heebink
Language NP Language no problem Jesse Mensah Jesse Mensah
Language NP Language no problem Frieda Barnhard Frieda Barnhard
Language NP Language no problem Nastaran Razawi Khorasani Nastaran Razawi Khorasani
Language NP Language no problem Yahya Gaier Yahya Gaier



"The actors' strong silent acting makes the drama play out on their faces as much as in the dramatic scenes they witness with us. In this way, Zandwijk makes the passage of the past into the present tangible."

de Volkskrant

"With her fanciful direction, Alize Zandwijk has made Birds of a Kind an exhilarating performance."

de Telegraaf

"A poetic attempt to connect."

Het Parool

"Thus Birds of a Kind intertwines larger history with personal lives and choices, or lets them collide."


"No comfort perhaps, but in this piece lots of glimpses of beauty."


"Directed by Alize Zandwijk, Birds of a Kind offers besides food for awareness a glimmer of hope that transcends polarising perspectives on genetics. An invitation to open the heart to that oh so treacherous other."

Birds of a Kind (c)Fabian Calis


Read more about the production's direction, scenography, costumes and music in our digital brochure.

Birds of a Kind (c)Fabian Calis


After the performance, come and think, listen and chat at In Gesprek. We invite a guest to further explore the themes of Birds of a Kind and to exchange experiences. If you have any questions, this is the perfect time to ask them. In Gesprek is free of charge and starts shortly after the performance in one of our foyers, is conducted in Dutch and lasts about half an hour.

Alize Zandwijk (c)Dim Balsem
Alize Zandwijk
Alize Zandwijk

Alize Zandwijk is a Dutch director. She studied at the Academy for Expression by Word and Gesture in Kampen. In 1997, Zandwijk won The Proscenium Prize, one of the VSCD Awards.

From 2006 to 2016, she was artistic leader of the Ro Theater. During this period, she was responsible for the company's artistic policy together with Guy Cassiers. She continued her career at Theater Bremen as Oberspielleier, for which she received the Kurt-Hubner-Preis in 2020.

In season 23|24 her direction of Birds of a kind will be reprised.

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directed by Alize Zandwijk
written by Wajdi Mouawad
translation Tom Kleijn
dramaturgy Peter van Kraaij
scenography Thomas Rupert
costume design Sophie Klenk-Wulff
lighting design Mark van Denesse
compositions Maartje Teussink, Amber Docters van Leeuwen
sound design Dennis Slot
animation Wim Bechtold

cast Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Chris Nietvelt, Steven Van Watermeulen, Marieke Heebink, Jesse Mensah, Frieda Barnhard, Nastaran Razawi Khorasani and Yahya Gaier
musician Amber Docters van Leeuwen

private producer Mies en Jaap Kamp
supported by Ammodo, KPMG
assistant director Daniël 't Hoen, Nazanin Moarref (intern)
assistant scenography Renée Faveere
assistant dramaturgy Elsbeth Hoefkens (intern)
head of technical staff Reyer Meeter
head artistic office Loesje Riethof
head production Michiel van Schijndel
production leader Kiki Meijerhoven
scenographical technical producer Ramon Huijbrechts
technical staff Arist Richartz (stage manager), Adriaan Beukema, Daan Kapteijn, Paul Meijer, Paddy Dawson, Wouter Pieters, Jip van ’t Veer, David Logger, Sjoerd Taekema
set construction Theater Bremen, Eddy van Gelder
costume department Wim van Vliet (head), Farida Bouhbouh, Leanne Vandenbussche
dresser Suzanne Kollen
hair and make-up Mirjam Venema, David Verswijveren
casting advice Hans Kemna
photography Dim Balsem, Fabian Calis
graphic design Serena Kloet
communication Julia Rachman
with thanks to Theater Bremen, Nesoptiek

This performance is supported by


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