A Conversation with Riccardo and Barend

Great news! In the coming months, Fontys Academy of the Arts is opening its doors to Tilburgers. In the coming period, you can take a closer look at the talent of Fontys students, and see the big names of the future shine on stage. From captivating plays and musicals to impressive musical performances and from visual exhibitions to dance performances. We spoke with participating students Riccardo Marracini and Barend Boes Kapitein about what they are up to. ​

Tilburg is a breeding ground for talent. At Fontys Academy of the Arts (FAA), makers from a wide range of disciplines are trained and prepared for a glittering career. And the whole city can enjoy all that talent in the near future! In fact, during the months of May, June and July, FAA is opening the doors of graduation performances to everyone. This gives you the opportunity to discover for free, or for a small price, what the artists, creators and performers of the future have to offer. 


One of those creators is Riccardo Marracini. Riccardo is a fourth-year student Circus and Performance Art (ACAPA). His graduation show, titled ‘Nusquam’  can be seen on June 20 and June 22 on location at FAA. “I specialize in the Chinese Pole; a six meter-high pole that I can climb. When I have to explain to people what exactly it is, I often say it's similar to pole dancing, but there’s a difference in the poles being used.” For his graduation project, Riccardo explored how he could challenge himself even further in his discipline, “Besides the art of circus, I am also very interested in stage design. So for my graduation performance, I started exploring what it would mean for my performance if I could make the Chinese Pole 'float' in the middle of the space. I find it very interesting to play with the laws of nature and create a different reality for the audience.”

Riccardo has big plans for this project, even after graduation: “From Circolo's Keep an Eye development project, I have now also received funding to further develop my graduation performance, for which I am super grateful. So I will be at Festival Circolo in October with a longer and better developed version of this performance!” 

Curious about Riccardo's performance? Check out FAA's website to reserve a spot!


Barend Boes Kapitein is graduating from the bachelor's degree in Theatre in Education. For his performance “R.U.R.,” he explored the boundaries of technology and humanity. “I am very curious and I always want to learn something new. In collaboration with Fontys' Curiosity Café, I started figuring out how to incorporate technology into theater. That's where this play ended up.” For the script of his play, Barend asked A.I. for advice. “I asked ChatGPT which play I should put on stage as a playwright to tell its story. As an answer, ChatGPT then came up with Karel Capek's RUR from 1920, a script that rhymes with the present time! I made a modern adaptation of that for my performance.” In doing so, Barend touches on a subject that is incredibly topical today. “The play is about a robot that develops feelings. It questions something we are starting to see more and more in our society; that we give a soul to something that actually has no soul.” 

'R.U.R' plays on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16 on location at Fontys and Friday, May 17 at de Nachtzuster. All information can be found at https://fontys.artsevents.nl/product/r-u-r-2-2/

The performances will take place from May through July at various locations around the city. These include students on stage in 013, Theater De Nieuwe Vorst, and on location at Fontys Academy of the Arts. A diverse range of artistic experiences is offered for all Tilburg residents. Mostly free admission, sometimes for a small contribution. Curious about all the performances? Then check the FAA website for more information!

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