Searching for Arianna

Entrance to the Van Campen Theater in Amsterdam , where Nozeman performed © Wikimedia)

Arianna Nozeman (1628-1661) was the first actress on the Dutch stage. Although she came from a family of thespians, this was a daring career choice for a woman in Calvinist Holland, given the clergy’s disapproval of theater as “a sink of iniquity”. Nevertheless she played leading roles in the plays of the leading Dutch writers of her day, and she even went on to become the country’s first female ballet dancer, as well. She died young, and on her grave in Amsterdam she is remembered simply as her husband’s “housewife”. But she had left her mark in the theater world, for dramatists from then on sought to replace her with new actresses. In this programme one of her descendents, Malou Nozeman, goes in search of the traces left by her little known ancestor.

Produced by Dheera Sujan. Presented by Malou Nozeman

Euroquest broadcast 10 May 2002