Tryater’s history takes us back to 1965 when the Fryske Toanielstifting (the Frisian theatre company) was founded. This makes it the oldest company in the country.
The founding of Tryater
In 1963, a piece from the world repertoire was performed in Frisian on the initiative of the Frysk Nasionael Boun (Frisian National Bond). It was called “In slet fan tsien dollar” and was the A. Wadman translation of J.P. Sartre’s The Respectful Prostitute. Performed by semi-professional actors and the best of the amateur players under the professional direction of Pyt van der Zee, it was a success and two more pieces were later performed in the same way. In 1965, the ‘Fryske Toanielstifting’ was officially created.
In addition to performing the classics, more accessible pieces were put on. In ‘69, the company was renamed Tryater and four players were given permanent contracts. It would be a while before the company was recognised by the State and further professionalisation mainly played a role in the early seventies.
Growth up till now
The first artistic director, Cees Stam, did not stay for long. He was succeeded in 1976 by Pyt van der Zee, director for the company since the very beginning. Under his direction, Tryater developed from production company to full-blown theatre company, and a team of 13 players were intensively trained for two years. Thom van der Groot became artistic director in 1980 and the number of performances increased from 100 to some 250 and the number of productions from three to five per year. The company developed a portfolio of 80 auditoriums where performances could be put on with a stage area of at least six by four metres. When Tryater received recognition from the Dutch State, something it had been striving for for 20 years, the foundations were laid for the Tryater we know today.
Nowadays, Tryater plays everywhere for everyone. In Frisian and in other languages, in theatres, village halls, schools, on location and in our own building. With over 500 performances a year for some 50,000 children, youth and adults. Regional, national and international.