Project HOUSE started from the question of the Apeldoorn housing corporation De Goede Woning (The Good Home) to fine artist Francoise Braun: can you think up an art project with and for the residents of the Sprengendorp neighbourhood? Gradually the idea of a story-telling-performance emerged when a good collection of beautiful stories about the life in the village popped up.
Sprengenborg is a unique neighbourhood, built in 1923 as one of the first social residential projects in Apeldoorn. In 1985 it was the first listed Apeldoorn neighbourhood. The average age of its inhabitants is getting higher and higher; time to record the stories of Sprengenborg for the future, Francoise thought. Personal stories of its residents, presenting a portrait of Apeldoorn from 1923 till now, but also containing part of world history.
Thus the residents became story tellers. Eleven writers from Apeldoorn and surroundings have interviewed the residents to put their own stories on paper. I was one of those writers and put down the story of Mieke Wakkers ‘the lady of the fire’. Under the direction of Marjolijn van den Berg, lecturer theatre writing, the stories have been transformed to theatre texts. Now the novice actors could start rehearsing.
During two weekends in May 2012 these actors told their stories to the public with their own front gardens as a stage: to Sprengenborg residents and people from outside. Walking from one stage to the other the guide, leading the visitors, told a ‘guide story’. The guide stories, too, were based on memories of the Sprengenborg residents. My guide story, ‘Club de Kooi’ Kom kinderen is about a kind of Sunday school organized by two neighbourhood residents. With thanks to Frans and Erna who retrieved their childhood memories for me.