The University of Twente and Productiehuis Plezant, together with their partner Utrecht University, have spent the past several months creating the Mindlab theatre production. This unique production explores what it means to live and work at a university, and aims to inspire and challenge all staff members to come together to talk about their struggles, their expectations and their ambitions. The premiere of Mindlab will take place tonight at De Theaterloods in Radio Kootwijk. The production will then travel to Enschede for six performances at the University of Twente’s Vrijhof theatre.
The University of Twente is keen to create an open and safe working and living environment, both within the university and on campus, and Mindlab is part of that ambition. ‘It is essential that we foster an open climate at our university, a climate that creates a safe space where dilemmas can be raised, considered and tackled,’ says Mirjam Bult, vicechair of the Executive Board. ‘The impressive Mindlab production makes a start towards achieving precisely that ambition.’
The initiative began when Professor Ellen Giebels, vicedean of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS) at the University of Twente, experienced two other theatre productions by Productiehuis Plezant: Rauw (‘Raw’, put on for the Dutch national police force) and Vuurdoop (‘Baptism of Fire’, for the Army). She decided that the time was right for a similar production about all the factors that influence the world of science. ‘Science is under scrutiny,’ Ellen Giebels explains, ‘focusing on questions of integrity, the benefit to society, the quality of teaching, internationalization and funding. Academia is a fantastic place to work, but it can sometimes be hard to keep all those plates spinning. That’s when I ask myself: what really matters, and what might not?’
Mindlab is partly based on conversations with employees at the University of Twente and Utrecht University. It encourages the audience to think and talk about the dilemmas, dreams and doubts that arise from time to time in the mind of every university employee. The Social Fund for the Knowledge Sector (SoFoKles) has awarded a grant to be used to develop Mindlab. Mindlab is a powerful inspiration for everyone who works at the university. For all those who give a large part of themselves to university life, with their heart and soul . For all those who one day would like to say: ‘it really was worth all the effort’.
Find out more about the production at utwente.nl/mindlab