Attention young makers: Do you want to get started with a new show in a shipping container on the NDSM Wharf and present it during #OHIJ20? Sign up for our iconic Zeecontainerprogramma by March 19th.

Sign up as a maker for the iconic Zeecontainerprogramma (Shipping Container Program)

During the Zeecontainerprogramma, you will develop a new mini site-specific theater piece of about 15 minutes in, around, and/or on a shipping container. You’ll present the show several times a day from July 10th through the 19th during the Over het IJ Festival 2020. It is also possible to create a continuous show or installation. You’ll present your piece to a critical, but open and enthusiastic audience that can contribute to or be involved in the development of your work. 

Sign up! 
Sign up for the Zeecontainerprogramma by March 19th by sending a draft of your concept plus the CVs of any (direct) collaborators to In this document, you will find several issues to keep in mind when drawing up your first concept draft for the Zeecontainerprogramma. These will include the content and themes of your plan, the concept, motivation, style and form, location, audience, publicity, and practical matters. If you have any questions, please email the above address or call 020-4922229.

We challenge you to think outside the box as much as possible while developing your piece. You can do so much more with a shipping container than you may think! For instance, in the past makers turned the container on its head, sawed a hole in it, climbed it, made it move, or even used it as the confined space that it is. If you can convince us of your plan, we will look into the possibilities. The container has a capacity of 15 people maximum. 

The measurements of a standard container:
Interior dimensions: 5.89 x 2.35 x 2.39; width of the doors: 2.34 x 2.28; volume: 33.2 m3

We ask that the content of your piece relate to the context of the festival and the urban surroundings: the big and small stories of an ever-changing city. What would you make and what stories would you tell on this spot, here in this shipping container, in the context of the Over het IJ Festival, the NDSM Wharf, North Amsterdam, and the city as a whole?

Creation and presentation phase
After the development of your theatrical concept, you’ll get to work on the theatrical translation. The actual creation phase takes place during the two weeks preceding the Over het IJ Festival. During the festival you’ll stage your piece for 10 days, approximately 8 times a day, for about 15 viewers per show. While making and staging your piece, you will develop it ever further and continuously test its expressive power. Direct contact with the audience will play an important role in this.

Central questions in the development trajectory
We offer makers a development trajectory with artistic and production guidance and workshops. The following questions are central: How do you relate to the context of the Zeecontainerprogramma (the NDSM Wharf, Ferrotopia, the Over het IJ Festival, and, more broadly, the city), what does your piece communicate to the audience, what form will you choose, who will you work with, and what discipline(s) will you choose? Also, you will explore working with the location as a starting point, the literal form of the shipping container, and what a set means in this confined space. 

Over het IJ Festival appoints an artistic guide to each maker or group. Producer Elise de Fooij is responsible for the practical development and support. During the final assembly week, every maker can call upon the technical team. Several companies and makers who started their careers in a shipping container or elsewhere at the Over het IJ Festival will also nominate several makers for this year’s Zeecontainerprogramma. They will also play a role in the guidance phase. 

For whom
The Zeecontainerprogramma is for new makers and/or artists who are in the final year of their arts education, have just graduated, or have recently begun working as independent makers. 

Some of the 12 makers who will join the Zeecontainerprogramma will be nominated by companies or makers who started their careers at the festival. The rest of the makers will be selected through this open call for makers who are not supported by a company or production house. 
We ask you to be able to be part of the whole trajectory: concept development, workshops, meetings with te guides en the making and playing of your work.

Finances and production
For each shipping container performance, there will be an allowance available. There is also a small budget for the set, lighting, and props (travel costs are also included in this). Over het IJ Festival will take care of the basic infrastructure; we provide electricity in the container and water is available in the backstage area. Also, Over het IJ Festival has the necessary basic equipment, such as simple dimmers and sound sets.


Over het IJ Festival
With its unique, contemporary, and idiosyncratic programming and a diverse audience, Over het IJ Festival is the only high-quality summer site-specific theater festival in Amsterdam. The starting point of the festival is the city, with all the stories, issues, and developments that come with it. The program consists of work by theater makers and artists who work from a perspective of engagement with the urban surroundings. Not only NDSM Wharf and North Amsterdam, but the whole metropolis of Amsterdam can be a source of inspiration and a playground. 

Over het IJ Festival gives a platform to the voices, questions, and issues that resound and play a role in the city. We also try to think about how we can (continue to) shape our city. We are curious about all the stories and perspectives of those who live in and make use of the city and the spaces they move around in.  We challenge the theater makers and artists we work with to immerse themselves in this: In the end, they also live in and make use of the city. The combination of all the pieces creates a program that offers an image of the city we live in together, and in which there is all the space needed to experiment with new theatrical languages.

NDSM Wharf, North Amsterdam, Amsterdam
We attach the Zeecontainerprogramma to the festivalheart at the NDSM Wharf, whoch forms an important context for our festival.

The rapidly changing NDSM Wharf – miniature habitat and laboratory for urban development – is the direct physical location and context that both the organization of the festival and the participating makers of The Shipping container program must relate to. The NDSM Wharf is part of North Amsterdam, and zooming out even further, of the city of Amsterdam. A city that keeps growing: The so-called the metropolis of Amsterdam reaches to the North Sea at the harbor of IJmuiden on one side, and on the other side to the armory of the Muiden Castle. 

The total population of the city grows every day. Together, all these people give the city a heart and a voice, embodying the promise of what it could become in the future. A voice that, especially in North Amsterdam, we can’t emphasize enough. Too often, citizens don’t feel heard or are involved too late in urban development and plans for the future. The (older) inhabitants often feel forgotten or passed over. Some people want everything to remain as it is, others want to go back to how it once was, and still others want to be self-sufficient and self-governing. 


By March 19 
Submit a draft of your concept of a maximum of three A4 pages with attached CV and images where possible/necessary via We will make a preliminary selection of participants on this basis.

Sunday March 29 (13:00 to 17:00) 
The first workshop afternoon on the NDSM Wharf with the artistic team of the Zeecontainerprogramma; getting to know the other makers and their plans, the context of the NDSM Wharf, and working on location. The workshop is an inextricable part of the whole trajectory.

April (through the end of July)
- Concept development: approximately two meetings per maker with the artistic guide.    
- Supply title and publicity text. 

- Meetings with artistic guide; 
- Finalize concept, budget, and schedule;
- Inventory of set, lighting, and sound.

Sunday May 24 (13:00 to 17:00) 
Second workshop afternoon on the NDSM Wharf with the artistic team of the Zeecontainerprogramma; getting better acquainted with the other makers and their plans, the NDSM Wharf and working on location, exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge. The second workshop is an inextricable part of the whole trajectory.

Beginning Tuesday, June 30
- Beginning the theatrical translation of the concept at the NSDM Wharf;
- Concrete translation to the context of the NDSM Wharf; construction, rehearsals, and montage week in each shipping container.

Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July (15:00-18:00)
Dress rehearsals; makers view each other’s work.

July 10: Zeecontainerprogramma premiere. 
July 10  through 19: Performances during the Over het IJ Festival.
Wednesday July 15 (14:00): Interim evaluation with all the makers. 
July 20: Dismantling shipping containers and conclusion of finances.