Heutink Foundation makes ‘Toppers op Zondag’ shine

On Sunday 13th and 20th January, colleagues from the Heutink Group, in collaboration with Theaterhotel Almelo and dance and singing teachers Tessa, Jenny and Fee, created a 2-day theatre project for the children of ‘Toppers Op Zondag’ Weekend School. Colleague Annemiek explains her experiences over the few days.

Annemiek: “I work for the Heutink group and received a call from the Heutink Foundation in October asking if I wanted to help run a theatre marketing workshop for children on the 13th and 20th January? As I have a background in communication and enjoy working with groups of children, I immediately said yes. On the 13th January I was up early and on my way to Theaterhotel Almelo”.

Theatre workshops for 50 children

Nearly 50 children joined their coaches from the Weekend School in the impressive Theaterhotel Almelo. The group was split into two. Half were given a tour of the theatre in the morning where actor Bas Muijs gave everyone a peek behind the scenes and explained what its like being a professional (theatre) actor. The other half of the group learnt about ‘theatre marketing’ through various workshops given by volunteers from the Heutink Foundation. The children could experience what is involved in attracting an audience to the theatre or a performance. They got to work in groups to make personal VIP invitations, posters, decorations and banners. Making vlogs was very popular. Like true professionals, the vlog groups led us through the day.

Annemiek: “Together with my colleague Lieke, I gave the workshop ‘making a press release or article’. The morning group decided to interview other Weekend School children about their experiences on those Sundays. Great to see how they first asked the questions in a very shy way, but started to come out of their shell and started asking more questions. As a result, we made an article about the Weekend School, which included interviews and content about the two Sundays. In the afternoon a ‘real’ journalist and photographer from the regional newspaper Tubantia showed up. After the children asked the journalist everything under the sun, they were then interviewed themselves and these interviews appeared in a large article in the newspaper the following Monday”.

Part 2: in the spotlight!

Sunday 20th January was all about preparing and performing a show for family and friends. Children could choose two or three theatre parts and between half past ten and two o’clock in the afternoon they had time to prepare a dance, body percussion or singing act in groups under the supervision of a dance, theatre and singing teacher.

Annemiek: “Very clever to see how these children could come up with impressive ideas in 45 minutes. We, as temporary volunteers from the Heutink Foundation, supported the teachers and helped with the workshops. It was quite a task to keep the group of nervous and excited children behind the screens while the room filled with the family and friends of the fifty participants. The show itself consisted of a total of six acts which were all very well received. You can imagine how proud the family members were afterwards when they walked back into the foyer and especially how proud the children of the Weekend School were themselves!”.

It is difficult to say how much of an effect these two Sundays have had on the children, but it was great to build up a temporary bond with them in such a short time and see their faces glowing at the end of the last Sunday

“I really enjoyed this experience of working with this group of children, working with colleagues from Heutink and the Heutink Foundation, but also with the people from the Weekend School and the theatre!”

The Weekend School ‘Toppers Op Zondag’ offers motivated youngsters from group 7 and 8 (10-12 years olds) who need a helping hand and the opportunity to broaden their horizons in the educational, socio-cultural and social field. During twenty Sundays, children become acquainted with all kinds of professions, companies and institutions. The events are held by guest teachers from various fields. This means young people become acquainted with interesting professions and are given an opportunity to discover and develop their own talents.