de Roovers is an Antwerp-based theatre group of four performers/creators. They never work with a director, each creative process is a collective search for the story that needs to be told at that particular time. The actors immerse themselves in to literary theatre, molding classical repertoire such as that of Shakespeare, Tchechov and Aischylos to their will or setting to work with contemporary writers such as Paul Auster or Judith Herzberg. But you can just as well find them making theatre for children or venturing into musical theatre.
The collective came into being in 1994 when Robby Cleiren, Sara De Bosschere, Luc Nuyens and Sofie Sente graduated at the Conservatory of Antwerp. Photographer and set designer Stef Stessel, who has been a part of de Roovers’ trajectory from the very beginning, undeniably helps define the typical style of de Roovers.
Robby Cleiren ° 1971
Robby started de Roovers together with his classmates after his education at the Conservatory of Antwerp. He co-starred in a number of plays, including Maria Stuart, Van de brug af gezien, All my sons, Alcestis, Blue Remembered Hills, Oom Wanja,Oresteia, Timon van Athene and Alsemkomt.
He further played with other companies and playhouses such as TG STAN (The Monkey Trial, The Cherry Orchard, Zomergasten and Bedrog), KVS (Rusland voor Beginners, Van Plato tot Nato, Als dan), De Kakkewieten (Universal Irritant, De Ingebeelde Grieken, W@=d@ Mexico, Impossible Im Apocalypse Wauw), CREW (Terra Nova), Exiles (F=ma) NTG (Het Wijde Land), Kaaitheater (Maria Salomé), de Onderneming (Het Dikke Schrift, Het Bewijs, ça va), Malpertuis (De Bezoeker) and De Tijd (Voorjaarsontwaken).
He also co-starred in movies such as The Broken Circle Breakdown and De Helaasheidheid der Dingen (Felix van Groeningen), Dirty Mind and Linkeroever (Pieter van Hees), Een ander zijn geluk (Fien Troch), Het Vonnis (Jan Verheyen), Les Cowboys (Thomas Bidegain) and tv shows such as Marsman, Clan, Cordon and Deadline 14/10.
Robby also teaches at the Conservatory of Antwerp.
Sara De Bosschere ° 1972
Ever since she was a child, Sara could be seen performing on stage. When she was nine years old, she made her debut in the professional circuit in what was then the City Theater of Antwerp. She played the youngest daughter in a play by O’Neill. When she was sixteen years old, director Lucas Vandervost invites her to co-star in Voorjaarsontwaken.
Sara started de Roovers together with her classmates after her education at the Conservatory of Antwerp. She co-starred in a number of plays, including Maria Stuart, Van de brug af gezien, All my sons, Twee Vrienden, Blue Remembered Hills, Oom Wanja,Oresteia, Timon van Athene and Alsemkomt.
She further played with other companies and playhouses such as Toneelhuis, maatschappij discordia, De Tijd and Toneelgroep Amsterdam. She has performed on international stages on several occasions (i.a. Lisbon, Ljubljana, Oslo, Lausanne and Minneapolis).
She has worked with directors such as Jan Decorte, Peter Van Kraai, Roy Faudree, Josse De Pauw and Gerardjan Reijnders and Jan Joris Lamers.
In May 2014 she co-starred in the production The Civil Wars by Milo Rau. This production is still touring today and is performed at many important international festivals. Recently The Civil Wars received the jury prize at the German festival Politik im Freientheater in Freiburg.
Furthermore she co-stars in movies such as Belgica (Felix Van Groeningen), Exit (Boris Paval Conen) and Wasteland (Pieter Van Hees). She can also be seen in the Emmy-awarded television series Wat als?
Sara is regularly invited as a guest lecturer by the theatre schools of Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Maastricht.
She has been a member of the evaluation commission Performing Arts of the Flemish Government since 2013.
Luc Nuyens ° 1967
Luc started de Roovers together with his classmates after his education at the Conservatory of Antwerp. He co-starred in a number of plays, including Maria Stuart, Van de brug af gezien, All my sons, Alcestis, Blue Remembered Hills, Twee Vrienden,Oresteia, Timon van Athene en Alsemkomt.
He further performed in several projects with companies such as NTG-Het Salon, maatschappij discordia (i.a. Die Raüber, Fin de Saison, Liebelei, Familie, De Kersentuin), De Vere, Compagnie De Koe (De slag van Glottis), HETPALEIS (Filoktetes), Het Toneelhuis (Kasimir en Karoline), BRONKS/Walpurgis (De Kleine Zeemeermin) and Theater Stap (De Bank).
Luc co-stars in movies such as Groenten uit Balen (Frank van Mechelen) and Dirty Minds (Pieter Van Hees) and television series such as Het Eiland and the Emmy-awarded Wat als?.
He lectured/lectures at RITS, P.A.R.T.S, the Conservatory of Antwerp and LUCA.
Sofie Sente ° 1970
Sofie started playing with the then recently established company de Roovers after her education at the Conservatory of Antwerp. She co-starred in a number of plays, including Maria Stuart, Van de brug af gezien, All my sons, Alcestis, Oom Wanja, Oresteia, Timon van Athene and Alsemkomt.
She further played with companies and playhouses such as De Appel (i.a. De eenzame weg), Het Nationaal Toneel (Duifje Klok), Malpertuis (Troje Trilogie), De Bloedgroep, Ibycus (De Tolbrug), Lampe (De maten van het mogelijke), Het Toneelhuis (Kasimir en Karoline) and Het Vervolg (Duizend rozen).
She starred in movies such as Rundskop (Michaël Roskam) and The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix Van Groeningen).
Sofie regularly acts as guest lecturer at the conservatories of Antwerpen, Maastricht and Leuven.
Stef Stessel °1964 - set designer/photographer
Stef is a founding member and standing set designer of de Roovers.
He further works as a freelancer for HETPALEIS, Bronks, Het Muziek Lod, Muziektheater Transparant, Het Toneelhuis, KVS, De Onderneming, Steigeisen, Sermoen, Theater Stap and De Kakkewieten.
In addition, Stef is a guest lecturer at RITCS.