Public remembrance of the Second World War occupies a prominent place in Dutch society, and never is this more apparent than each year on 4 May, Remembrance Day. Established as early as 1945, 4 May has developed into the prime locus of debate about national remembering and, consequently, about national identity. A special role in this debate is claimed by the long-standing tradition of commemorative theatre practices remembering the Second World War.
Although this rich tradition of reading and playing theatre texts has existed since right after the liberation in 1945, these performances have never before been researched as part of Dutch remembrance culture. Therefore, this project maps the development of institutional Dutch commemorative performance from 1945-2020; and analyses a selected corpus of commemorative performances, in order to identify the dramaturgical strategies used to reinforce or resist existing ways of remembering and forgetting.