Willem Wassenaar
Minnertsga, The Netherlands

11 years exp.
Mid Level


A 2006 graduate of the Master of Theatre Arts in Directing at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University of Wellington, Willem Wassenaar is a theatre director and acting tutor. He is originally from the Netherlands. After he lived in New Zealand for over six years, he moved back to Europe in 2011 and is currently based in Berlin as a freelance theatre artist. Willem´s theatre practice is investigating crossovers of art forms and integrating autobiographical material in a variety of works. He directed for Deutsches Theater (2035 & CHERRYMAN JAGT MR WHITE) and jugendtheaterwerkstatt Spandau (MEDEIA), and teaches at several (youth) drama schools. He is also a guest tutor at the Institute for Performing Arts in Education in Braunschweig. His most recent project was THREE SISTERS: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, which he directed for drama school Die Etage in Berlin. In September he starts working for Tryater in The Netherlands.

In New Zealand, Willem worked as a freelancer for various professional companies, was the Artistic Director of a youth theatre school called LONG CLOUD YOUTH THEATRE and ran ALMOST A BIRD THEATRE COLLECTIVE together with Sophie Roberts. His practical research focused on staging classics in such a way that they resonated with contemporary audiences and were firmly rooted in a modern context. Directing highlights include ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, ANTIGONE, BLOOD WEDDING, ROMEO AND JULIET, EQUUS, THE SEAGULL, VERNON GOD LITTLE, THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING, SPRING AWAKENING, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and WOLF'S LAIR. Willem was awarded the Most Promising New Director at the 2007 Chapman Tripp Awards for directing ANGELS IN AMERICA.