STET’S mission

To stimulate and provide high-quality inclusive professional English language theatre in the Netherlands. STET aims for full accessibility, on and off stage. Our theatre is based in the very international city of The Hague. Most of STET’s programme can be seen in Het Nationale Theater in The Hague.

STET’s present and future

Nowadays, STET’s program averages from 8 to 12 performances a year. We offer professional, meaningful shows, most of which have received 4 or 5-star reviews from various acclaimed theater festivals. The open-air performances in the summer and  A Christmas Carol in December are recurring productions and have continued to be very popular with audiences.

The STET team is small but agile and consists of four self-employed people to create continuity in the daily tasks of production, programming, education, marketing, technique and administration. It contracts independent theatre makers, crews and other third parties per project.

STET is proud to have a loyal group of supporters. Each year thousands of members of the international community, Dutch and non-Dutch alike, attend. Performances, ranging from children’s plays to political dramas are staged for a wide and diverse audience: from students to CEOs, from toddlers to grandmothers and everything in between.

In the early years, performances were staged in sometimes unusual venues in The Hague, such as almshouses, chapels, shops, museums and small theatres. However, since 2012 STET productions have been performed mainly in the Royal Theater (=Koninklijke Schouwburg).

From 19 November till 2 December 2013 STET together with Dutch theatre company Het Vijfde Bedrijf and the Koninklijke Schouwburg has produced the first-ever Shakespeare Festival in the Netherlands.

Since 2013 STET Education department offers workshops and performances at schools or in the theatre, and since 2016 we also have open workshops for individuals led by international performers.

STET is part of the Kunstenplan of the Municipality of The Hague, a 4 year structural subsidy as one of the essential providers in this international city. STET relies on its audience, private and governmental funding for its finances. As of January 2011, STET has been recognized as a SKIP podium by the Fund for the Performing Arts. This is for a two year period. The current period runs until January 2023.

A group of devoted volunteers assists in promoting and carrying out the activities. Other generous volunteers contribute in kind with beds and bicycles or are members of the Reviewer Circle, established in 2012.  STET has also recruited a voluntary Board of four members from the Dutch and international community.

Since 2019 STET has an ongoing campaign to gather funds for its aim to provide fully accessible performances to our audiences with e.g. sign and deaf interpreters and surtitling. Our campaign STET NO LIMITS is supported by many for which we are very grateful!

For the full text of STET’s strategic plan, please click here.

STET’s history

In 2004 Dutch native Elske van Holk returned to the Netherlands from the UK after having worked for 6 years at  Southwark Playhouse, an innovative and leading fringe theatre in South London.

When Elske told people in the Netherlands about her work in London, many of them wondered if it would not be possible to create an English theatre for the ever-growing international community in The Hague. On June 6, 2006, Summit Conference was performed at the Koninklijke Schouwburg by The Hague-based Dutch language theatre company Tusk. This production was followed by the famous open-air Shakespeare performances of the  British theatre company Illyria, which have become a tradition. The first productions marked the start of a growing venture and STET The English Theater was officially founded in November 2006.