Theatre company Fast Forward was established in 2001 by Helga Van Loo, Peter Schoenaerts and Peter Van Kemseke. Their main aim was to produce educational plays for the tens of thousands students of Dutch in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Educational theatre in Dutch
A lot of people start studying Dutch for professional or work requirements - they need the language to find a job, to study, to read official documents - rather than personal reasons. That is why, from the very beginning, many of them find it hard to really 'live' in the language.
Fast Forward produces Dutch plays that are charming and inviting, thus enhancing the learners emotional envolvement. We also want to introduce (foreign) students of Dutch to the rich cultural life that Belgium and The Netherlands have to offer, and encourage them to participate.
Didactic approach of our educational plays
We (re)write our plays by using the most frequent Dutch words. Everyone who knows a bit of Dutch can (almost) understand everything. To make sure that advanced learners of the language don't find the plays too easy, we don't shy away from subclauses or more difficult sentence structures. That is no problem at all for the audience members whose Dutch is not that advanced yet, because a beginner's 'passive' knowledge of a language is often much more extended than their 'active' knowledge. Besides, our plays are also very visual, and we use synonyms, repeats and reformulations to ensure that even difficult words or phrases are understood in the context.
A successful future ahead...
In recent years Fast Forward has become the biggest producer of educational plays for students of Dutch. We toured Belgium, The Netherlands, Indonesia and the United States.
In 2002 the Flemish Community nominated our first play 'The More The Better' for 'Best Innovative Educational Project', in 2006 we were awarded the Marga Klompé Prize in The Netherlands for the work we have done helping foreigners integrate in our society, and in 2007 we received the medal of the Province of Flemish Brabant.
Our productions are usually made possible with the support of vzw 'de Rand', the Taaluniecentrum NVT and the Dutch department of the Leuven Language Institute (K.U.Leuven).
Since 2009, we have also been producing plays for children, and we hope to be able to offer educational plays in French and English in the near future.