Paul Binnerts

International theater director, acting teacher, playwright, novelist, and publicist on theater.
Directed productions in The Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France, USA and Japan, performed at festivals in Europe and Japan.
Internationally renowned expert on the ‘epic theater’ of Bertolt Brecht.
Developed the technique of ‘real-time acting’ for the postmodern theater.
Published a book on this style of acting: Acting in Real Time, translated from the original Dutch by himself and Stephen Wangh, (University of Michigan Press, 2012), also in German, translated by Rainer Kersten: Real Time Acting für ein Theater der Gegenwärtigkeit – Spiel Zeit Raum (Schibri Verlag, 2014). The original Dutch version of 2002, Toneelspelen in de Tegenwoordige Tijd, enjoyed a second revised edition (IT&FB, 2018).
Artistic director and/or director of three independent theater groups: Schlicksupp teatertrupp, Frankfurt am Main (1979-1985); Southern Comfort, Amsterdam (1986-2014); The Elephant Brigade, New York (2007).
Author of over twenty plays.
Award winning plays/productions: Black Box - Biennale Bonn, New Plays from Europe, 2000; Allein das Meer (The Same Sea) - Theatertreffen Berlin, 2006. Both plays are based on novels by Amos Oz; Mephisto, based on the novel by Klaus Mann - Het Theaterfestival Amsterdam, 2006.
Teaching credits include theater schools and universities in The Netherlands, the UK, Germany and the USA (Princeton University and New York University/Tisch/ITW), and international acting/directing workshops.
Author of several novels and short stories (publ. in Dutch).
Lives and works in New York and Amsterdam.

Latest news and upcoming events

New Books!

  • Het Leugenlabyrint (Eng. Labyrinth of Lies), a novel, Prometheus, Amsterdam, 2021.


‘The Hague, May 9th 1940. Bert Meijer van Leer becomes the proud owner of a German motorbike. Little does he know that the motorbike, a Zündapp, will save his life and cause his downfall. On May 10th the German army invades Holland. On that day Emmeke, Bert’s sister, celebrates her birthday. Emmeke and Bert are Jewish, but not practicing. Bert has been baptized and marries Lien who is Protestant. Emmeke is married to Joost, who isn’t Jewish either and anti-religious out of principle. Ingredients for a fatal chain of events.

Their ‘mixed marriages’ can’t protect them against the measures the Germans take against the Jews: excluding them from the society they live in through registration and public humiliation by forcing them to wear the Star of David; and, if they don’t comply, arrest, imprisonment, and deportation to a concentration camp.

In Labyrinth of Lies author Paul Binnerts witnesses how the Germans slowly tighten the screws. His characters are facing decisions, of which only afterwards can be said they were the wrong decisions. The only thing he can do is keeping them company.’