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15 May 2020 | Nieuws

The Piket Art Prizes in times of corona (9): Naomi van der Linden

Until 1 June theatremakers, actors, artists and dancers are forced to sit at home. As part of the official measures aimed at keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control, exhibitions are off and performances have been cancelled. What do these measures mean for Piket Art Prizes’ young artists? Part 7: Naomi van der Linden.

Impact of the measures

For the theatre world the corona measures came as a real shock. “Technicians, actors, the people of the costume department: we’re all in the same boat,” says Naomi van der Linden, 2019 winner in the Dramatic Arts category. Naturally, she had been expecting certain measures, but assumed these would concern large events. “But when events with more than 100 participants were cancelled, it was clear that theatres would be hit. It’s really quite drastic. How are we going to deal with this in the future? Two empty chairs between the members of the audience? Are we ever to return to the pre-corona situation?” She hopes the government will provide financial support for the cultural sector. “What is happening now makes it clear how important art is. Art offers comfort in difficult times.” Naomi, too, saw her agenda emptying. “I would direct the Childrens’ Choir Festival of Nationale Opera & Ballet, but it was cancelled.” Naomi was also part of the cast of Nachtvlinders (Moths), which would be performed at the now cancelled Oerol Festival (Terschelling). “I do hope the Childrens’ Choir Festival and Nachtvlinders will take place at some later date.”

So what now?

Naomi is keeping herself occupied. “I am painting a lot in the sun on my balcony,” she says, “I stick to the rules and only go out for a walk or for shopping.” In addition, she is making audition videos, and is working on new material. “I’m writing songs and texts. I think theatremakers will be absolutely ready to go when the new season starts.” She does miss the theatre. “It’s where I can think, reflect, get inspired.” But she understands health matters are foremost. “At present, my mother is working very hard at the Haga Hospital intensive care helping corona patients. And this is exactly where the focus should be: people whose health is fragile, health care workers. I hope the situation will stabilize soon.”

Trailer Rundfunk: Jachterwachter

Plans for the future

Fortunately, Naomi had just finished shooting a new Christmas series when the corona measures were brought into effect (more on this on the Piket website soon). “It was all just ready.” The same holds true for the motion picture Rundfunk: Jachterwachter in which she features prominently. The film should have been in Dutch cinemas in April, but the launch is now scheduled for 21 May. Naomi doesn’t know yet whether there will be a festive premiere event. “I am just waiting patiently for things to happen. Fortunately, the film’s already there.” The shooting was a treat. “The story is set on a camping site and I’m one of the camping guests.” Naomi and the well-known Rundfunk duo, Yannick van de Velde and Tom van Kalmthout, met at the Amsterdam Toneel en Kleinkunst Academie. “It was great to work with former classmates. We had a lot of fun on the set.” Otherwise Naomi’s agenda is empty. “But I don’t worry. All will be well.”

Photo: Hessel Waalewijn