YET (Youth Europe and Theatre) is a multi-country theatre exchange project for students between the age of 15 to 18 that started in Noordwijkerhout in the Netherlands. It has had many partners in Greece, Italy and Finland. The project takes place every autumn when one of the tree participating city's is hosting the other two groups. During the project the participants stay with host families to get to know the culture and way of living of the guest country.

The next yet will be in the autumn of 2008 in Noordwijkerhout.


The first three year round of the project was between Greece (Zakynthos, 1997), Italy (Palermo, 1998) and the Netherlands (Noordwijkerhout, 1999).

The second three year round was without Greece but with a new partner in Finland. The order of countries they visited this time was: Italy (Palermo, 2001), Finland (Oulu, 2002) and the Netherlands (Noordwijkerhout, 2003) was last again. Although during the last stop in Noordwijkerhout the school from Italy wasn't there for unknown reasons.

In 2004 there was no YET, though there were some rumours about a school in Istanbul, Turkey joining in, however this never happened.

In 2005 only Finland and the Netherlands were left and they went to Oulu for YET 7.

2006 was a whole new experience because there was a third school again. This school was in Rome, Italy and all the project coördinators decided that a new three year project would start and they came to the order of: Italy (Rome, 2006) Finland (Oulu, 2007) and The Netherlands (Noordwijkerhout, 2008). This was because Agnes de Lely, who first came up with the idea for the project in 1996, would be retiring in 2008.

After 2008 the future of the project, YET 10, is unsure again.

The Floor is Yours

During Yet most of the time it is real hard work to make sure that you get your play up and running within les then 8 days. Despite all this there is some extra time made free for some other things to get your mind of the play for a little while. One of the nights during the first week of the project there is a thing going on called the floor is yours. There everyone can go on stage and show his or her talents. Mostly there will be some music with people singing, playing guitar or other instruments. There’s also a lot of improvised theatre going on and some dancing. This is probably next to the performances and the national presentations the most fun night during the project.

National presentations

In the very beginning of the YET project there were some tough negotiations between The people from Greece and the Dutch people, because the Greeks wanted to have the play that they were doing that year to be done completely in there own language so they could show the audience and the participants who they were. Eventually the Greeks were convinced that it couldn’t be done but to make sure that every country could present themselves in a way to show the others who they were, the national presentations were invented.The national presentations is the only part of the entire two weeks of Yet which can be prepared before the start of the project. Every participant is supposed to join not just the actors but also the people of the media group, the art factory and the musicians. They will think of some subject that they can build there presentation around (like local heroes, inventions or stories). The presentation usually takes about 15 minutes and mostly the groups make fun of themselves or sometimes they even make fun of the cultures and habits of the other participating countries. Before the actual performance of this presentation the participants get the afternoon of, which is mostly used to rehears the performance once more. This is also the only time in the project when you are working with only people of your own nationality.

The different groups

The participants of the YET project are divided into different groups based on what you signed it to do and not based on there nationalities because as soon as everybody gets to the hosting city all the participants will be mixed. So when you are an Italian actor you will be in a group with other Italian actors but also with Dutch and Finnish actors.Mostly every country brings about 30 students and about 5 staff members.

the actors

The actors are the most logical group to participate in the YET project since it is a theatre project. The actors work in mixed groups of about 15 people (sometimes more). They work with a director and a directing assistant from both from one of the countries so when you are in the Italian team, that doesn’t mean that you are an Italian by nationality but that you are in a team of actors led by an Italian director and his or her assistant.All you do as an actor for almost two weeks is rehearsing the play. Sometimes you’ll do some improvising exercises or other crazy stuff to keep the actors happy, like perform the play in some weird other stile. This was done with the Italian play during YET 9, all the actors where bored and didn’t wanted to rehearse the play anymore when the director decided to do something different and do the entire play for once in a melodramatic opera style. It worked out so great that they decided to leaf a part of that in the play as the new opening of the show.The play the actors will play is always chosen by the hosting country and will be cut into tree pieces, but as soon as the director gets the script he or she can completely change it as long as there is still something left of the original idea of the piece it’s okay.These two weeks will kill you because it is extremely exhausting, more than you can ever imagine before you participate in the project.

the art factory

The art factory is a group of students divided in the same way as the actors over tree art directors. The art factory contains the dress makers and the technicians who will also be dress makers in the beginning of the project (though no one ever tells them that and they will find out when it’s to late to go back).The dress makers obviously make the dresses for the actors and figure out what kind of make-up fits which character. They also make the setting and the set pieces.When the technicians are finally aloud to do there actual work during the last few days they build the stage, hang the lights and arrange the seating plan.

the media group

From YET 2 until the most present YET projects there has also been a reporter group to document everything that happens during the project and publicize it in the YET newspaper, on the YET website (since yet 4) make pictures for the photo album which will be on the website and in the photo album afterwards and on film. Except for the performances they also film a lot during rehearsals, the floor is yours, the national presentations, the field trip and in the time that the participants have of. Little clips are placed on the website and when everything is over they will create a two disc (in the past on two VHS tapes) DVDs, one with the tree performances and one with al lot of the other tings that happened during the project.

The media group didn’t existed during YET 1 because no one could imagine how great it was going to be. So when half way trough the project the teachers found out how great it was and that once it would be over there would absolutely nothing but memories left, some teachers, like Agnes de Lely the principal of the Dutch school and the woman who came up with the idea for the project in the first place, decided to make some pictures with there own camera’s and to write down stories so everyone would have some stuff written down with some pictures to take home so they could think of the project for ever. That’s why during the second Yet in Palermo there was a media group (of course also with mixed nationalities) to do all of this and it has been like that ever since.

the music group

Almost every play in theatre history has had some music to bring a certain feeling to a play. This is also the case with the plays of the Yet project. There for there has always been a music group to accompany the plays with some appropriate music. The music group has so far always been led by the Dutch music teacher Sjef van Leeuwen. The music group is the only group which hasn’t been mixed since the beginning, the first time that the music group was mixed was in Rome during Yet 8. Before that it only contained Dutch students.The music group nowadays contains about 10 students but before it was mixed it contained about 4 or 5 people and the musicians used to feel pretty left out and like they weren’t part of the project because they weren’t mixed.

the field trip

Every year it’s not just hard working, besides the day of on which the students can do what they want there is also a field trip every year. This field trip mostly goes to something cultural or historical. Or to someplace that every person must have seen when they’ve been to that country, like during Yet 5 and 7 the field trip took the students to Rovaniemi, the city where the real Santa Claus lives after which they went into the city to have a real Finnish dinner: Reindeer.


* [ YET 9 website]
* [ YET 8 website]
* [ YET 7 website]

External links

* [ The YET Hyves page]
* [ The Dutch school] (in Dutch)
* [ The Italian school in Rome] (in Italian)
* [ The Finnish school] (in Finnish)
* The Finnish school at the Finnish Wikipedia

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