Paul Binnerts, chronology

  • 1938: Born in Den Haag (The Hague), The Netherlands.
  • 1960-1968: Studied Dutch language and literature (bach. 1964), and was in 1968 the first in The Netherlands to graduate as a dramaturg under Professor Benjamin Hunningher at the University of Amsterdam.
  • 1967-1970: President of the International Student Theater Union (ISTU).
  • 1968-1971: Lecturer of drama and history of the theater at the Drama Institute of the University of Amsterdam, and producer of significant international avant-garde theater productions at the University Theater – a.o.: The Cuban Missile Crisis by Albert Hunt/Bradford Art College, The Serpent by the Open Theater of Joseph Chaikin, The Cry of the People for Meat by The Bread and Puppet Theater of Peter Schumann, and Deafman’s Glance by Robert Wilson.
  • 1971: Director, playwright, acting teacher, novelist and publicist on theater.
    • Became an expert on the ‘epic theater’ of Bertolt Brecht, and directed a number of his plays: a.o. The Measures Taken (1972), Man is Man (1988 and 2007) and Fear and Misery in the Third Reich (1981), which was televised nationwide 1983(KRO-TV). He developed ‘real-time acting for the postmodern theater, in which the actor, instead of becoming someone else (his role), becomes, through his presence as himself, the intermediary between the performance and the audience. He wrote a book about this new convention in theater: Acting in Real Time. Worked with professional actors in a number of theater groups, and students of Drama schools and Universities in more than 75 productions.
    • As a playwright he wrote over 20 plays, and directed most of them. His last play, LOST & FOUND (Westbeth/New York 2013), was directed by Nancy Gabor. Award winning plays are: Black Box (Biennale Bonn - New Plays from Europe, 2000), The Same Sea (Theatertreffen Berlin 2006) - both plays are based on novels by Amos Oz; and Mephisto, based on the novel by Klaus Mann (Het Theaterfestival Amsterdam 2006). Author of a libretto for the opera St. Louis Blues by Chiel Meijering (1995).
    • As an acting/directing teacher, since 1968, he inspired several generations of actors, directors and playwrights. His teaching credits include theater schools in The Netherlands (Theaterschool Amsterdam, Toneelacademie Maastricht), Germany (Universität der Künste, Playwriting Department) and universities in The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht), the US (Princeton University and New York University/Tisch/ITW). Acting/directing workshops in The Netherlands, Germany, Israël, Japan, US. In 2013 he conducted an international acting workshop for LaMaMa/Umbria (It), alongside with Nancy Gabor and Kristin Linklater.
    • Wrote and published three novels and several short stories (all in Dutch), articles and essays on theater and a book on acting.
  • 1979-1985: Lived in Frankfurt am Main as co-founder and director of one of the first professional ‘free’ (= independent, not for profit) theatergroups in Germany: Schlicksupp teatertrupp. Memorable performances were Der Brotladen/The Breadshop (1980) and Flametti (1983), which toured Europe and were invited to international festivals. Flametti was televised nationwide (HR/ARD, 1985).
  • 1985: Published his first of three novels: Intensive Care.
  • 1986: Returned to The Netherlands and founded Southern Comfort, for which he wrote and directed a.o. Forbidden Reproduction, Black Box and Mephisto.
  • 1992-1994: Editor in chief of Dutch theater magazine Toneel Theatraal. Chairman of the jury of Het Theater Festival.
  • 1992: Married to Nancy Gabor.
  • 2002: Based in New York and Amsterdam.
  • 2002: Publication of Toneelspelen in de Tegenwoordige Tijd – veldboek voor het vertellende toneel (IT&FB, Amsterdam).
  • 2007: Founded The Elephant Brigade in New York. Returned once more to Brecht with the production of Man is Man (Tisch/NYU and HERE Arts Center).
  • 2012: Publication of Acting in Real Time (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor).
  • 2014: Publication of Real Time Acting für ein Theater der Gegenwärtigkeit – Spiel Zeit Raum (Schibri-Verlag, Uckerland/OT Milow).
  • 2015: Works presently on a new play, Transit, based on the novel by Anna Seghers, and a novel, The End of the World.

Latest news and upcoming events

New Books!

New Plays!

  • Transit, 2015, Lost & Found, 2013, A Very (c) Old Case I + II, 2011


  • Private workshops together with Nancy Gabor in New York, Los Angeles and Portland (Or), Spring 2015.
  • ATKA/Theaterschool Amsterdam, September 2015