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Saskia Janse and Onny Huisink

Saskia Janse and Onny Huisink in Arizona

Onny (Anne) Huisink and Saskia Janse are the co founders of Speeltheater Holland. Mrs. Janse is the playwright and Mr. Huisink the director. Both of them also work as designers from time to time.

The group was subsidized till 2013 by the Dutch government and the province of North-Holland and was one of the largest and most prestigious puppet theatre companies for children in Holland. 

After almost 40 years Speeltheater Holland decided to stop as a travelling company that had been founded in 1976.

Since 2013 the two artistic leaders work as director, playwright, and designers. In the coming years they will coproduce or collaborate with partners abroad and they (co) produce their own productions and other projects. They will also be active as teachers in workshops and master classes puppetry to train and teach their skills to young actors and puppeteers

The new name is Speeltheater Holland STUDIO

 In 2012 both artistic received the Order of Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau for their ground-breaking work in Theatre for Young Audiences and Puppet Theater in the Netherlands and abroad. In the same year they were very honoured to receive the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award in the USA.


Speeltheater Holland was a non profit touring theatre company in The Netherlands, about 25 km above Amsterdam.
Founded in 1976, the company has performed theatre for children for almost 40 years, under the inspiring leadership of Onny Huisink and Saskia Janse. Their performances range in size from plays using one to three actors as well as larger scale productions. Speeltheater Holland makes theatre for children from all ages and sometimes for adults. The company did not only present itself in Holland, but also all over Europe, the Antilles, the United States of America and South Africa

Most of their productions are translated in the language of the country where they perform(ed).
The productions include the use of puppets combined with acting and other theatrical disciplines. Different (puppet) techniques and other theatrical means are used for each production, but the visual element plays a prominent part in all performances.
For each production Speeltheater Holland engaged new actors, puppeteers and sometimes guest directors, and, depending on the nature of the performance, other experts such as composers, musicians, authors, choreographers etc. In addition to developing and presenting performances Speeltheater Holland also strived to be a breeding ground for young (puppet) theater makers.

See our Archive (Temporarely Dutch, but will be updated to English later) for older work and Shows and Projects for new work.


Speeltheater received numerous awards and nominations throughout their existence in the Netherlands. They were awarded twice with an 'oeuvre' award for their long and outstanding contribution to children’s theatre in the Netherlands. In 2010 they received the Golden Cricket for Adios for most impressive production (with Het Houten Huis). In 2012 they received the Karavaan Audience Award 2012 for their production Mysteries on Marken. But also outside the Netherlands borders there is a high appreciation for the work.

Victor Award 2008

With their awarded production Nicky Somewhere Else they had a very successful run in the New Victory Theatre on Broadway in New York.

They received several awards for the performance of 'Perô or the Mysteries of the Night'. In 2008 they received the Victor Award at the International IPAY Showcase in Tampa, Florida.This resulted in a tour with the Dutch cast with Perô or the Mysteries of the Night in the United States (2011) and a run in Seattle and Arizona with American actors. They did perform too at the Segerstrom Performing Art Center in Costa Mesa, California.

In 2016/2017 they did a remake of Stellaluna in Seattle at the Seattle Children's theatre again. a very good run of 67 shows, see reviews here


The collaboration with the Seattle Children's theatre  started in 1997 with the support of the NEA and the TCG. This alliance has resulted in many international productions like Stellaluna, Apple to Grandma and Nicky Somewhere Else, Glittra's Mission and Perô (all with an American cast) and Stellaluna 2.

Speeltheater Holland was also a partner in the Connecting Stories group, a network of Iranian, Dutch and North American theater people. This resulted in 2012 in their production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit in the Netherlands.