about speels collectief

Speels Collectief is a diverse, mixed-abled theater company. We strive for a composition of performers, makers and employees with as much variation as possible in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, and our company consists of people with and without (physical/mental/social) disabilities. People who face social exclusion in any form can be part of our company. 
Speels Collectief also embodies diversity and inclusivity in the working methods we apply and in the themes of our performances. In our lessons and rehearsals our working method is based on everyone’s individual capabilities, and the experience of our performers and makers is central to our performances. In this way we pull ideal images and social norms from their pedestal and look for new perspectives. Speels Collectief questions the norm, seeks wonder and embraces the unusual.


In our society, people are divided into categories and labeled as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’. This distribution determines the extent to which someone has the opportunity to be part of society and the art world. By making theater with the most diverse company possible, Speels Collectief breaks through this dichotomy and shows new perspectives. Because we believe it is not a certain body or mind that is limiting, but our society and its definition of ‘normal’.

Speels Collectie consists of the Community and the Company. Our Community is accessible to everyone. We offer lessons and create performances that take place at a regional level, in a social context (healthcare and educational institutions) and at theater festivals. We have two permanent groups in both Arnhem and Tilburg that are part of our Community. Performers from our Community have the opportunity to move on to the Company.

Our Company consists of a changing composition of performers that we select per performance. We choose the performers based on their talent and skills, but also on the basis of their specific perspective on the theme of the performance in question. The Company performances take place at a national level, in a professional context.


founders sanne & Merel


In 2014, Sanne and Merel founded Speels Collectief. Together they form the artistic leadership of the company. Merel graduated from ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem in 2016. She then worked as a teacher and maker at various theaters and museums. In 2021, Merel completed the master’s degree in Gender Studies at Utrecht University with her research into the practice of inclusive theater companies. Since then, Merel has focused entirely on the development and growth of Speels Collectief as an inclusive theater company.

Sanne Arbouw

Sanne also graduated from ArtEZ University of the Arts in 2016. Since then she has been a socially inspired theater maker. In order to be able to show a rich palette of perspectives in her performances, Sanne always works with the most diverse composition of performers possible. At Speels Collectief, Sanne creates performances in which she questions normative ideal images and offers a platform to unheard or rarely heard perspectives.

DOCUMENTS (dutch only)

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