Bio

Stijn Devillé (1974) is a flemish playwright, theatre maker and artistic director of the music theatre company Braakland/ZheBilding (Leuven, Belgium).

He studied Modern French Literature and later on Theatre Science, both at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and graduated magna cum laude on a dissertation on Jean Genet’s theatre work. He received an Erasmus Scholarship to study Theatre Science at the Université d’Avignon. From then on, he studied Stage Directing at Brussels’ Drama School, RITS and started to work as a freelance director, dramaturg and playwright for companies as the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS, Brussels), where he staged Enda Walsh’ Disco Pigs, Theater Antigone (Kortrijk) and ‘t Arsenaal (Mechelen). In the late nineties, he founded his own theatre group, Braakland/ZheBilding (Leuven), which received state support almost immediately. He is guest professor (Drama & Fiction) at the Lemmensinstituut (Leuven) and at the Rits (Brussels).

For Theater Antigone, ‘t Arsenaal and Braakland/ZheBilding he wrote several texts, most of which were staged by himself: Variaties (1995), Clopixol 200mg (1998), Vroeg, een dinsdagmorgend (1999), Mitrajet (2000), La Dissection d’un Homme Armé (2001), In Shatila (2003), Lev (2004), Zoon (2006) and Hitler is dood (2009). Together with his artistic partner-in-crime Adriaan Van Aken he wrote Vertigo (2001), Kaspar (2003), Immaculata (2004) and Burgerman (2006).

As a student, he already received the Europalia Prize for Poetry (1989, given by the European Community) and the Germania Prize for Drama (1995, for Variaties) (the Germania Prize is a prize given by the Belgian Universities). La Dissection d’un Homme Armé and Lev have been adapted as radio plays and were broadcasted several times on the VRT (national radio).

In december 2009 his play Hitler is dood won the Taalunie Toneelschrijfprijs, which is the most important prize for new drama in Belgium and the Netherlands.

In his plays Devillé searches for themes that matter and for the musicality of voices. He tries to tell his stories in a form that corresponds with the content of it: monologue/dialogue, epic/oratorium, rhythm/tempo/verse. His characters are very often small individuals, living against the background of great historical events. Mostly the action takes place just after the drama has occurred: we see the characters trying to manage the consequences, we see their confused state of mind, their trying-to-comprehend-what-has-happened. It is Devillés most intimate conviction that it is this fase of life every human being fears the most and recognises immediatly.

His texts are published by De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek (Amsterdam) and are translated into French and German.

Stijn Devillé lives and works in Leuven. He is married and has 3 daughters and a son.