Since 1 November 2012, Noorderzon has been an official member of the European NXTSTP festival network. NXTSTP is a five-year programme that is funded by the participating network partners themselves, as well as by the European Union in the framework of the Culture 2007 Programme. Each contributes 50% of the funding. NXTSTP enables exceptional, new European artists and performers to take the next international step in their career and (artistic) development.


Noorderzon is proud to be part of this select fraternity for the second period of the project, simply referred to as NXTSTP The Second Generation. The current members are:

The programme runs from 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2017.


Eight European festivals have united in NXTSTP in order to stimulate both the production and the international circulation of new work by exciting new European theatre-makers. In this way, they hope to make a contribution to artistic innovation of the performing arts in Europe. The artists we wish to support through NXTSTP have already demonstrated, via previous performances, that they are worth this backing. They are now ready for a ‘next step’ in their career: the production of new performances on a larger scale for a wide public at several places in Europe (and beyond).

The NXTSTP network co-produces new work and thus gives the artist the necessary broader base and guaranteed outlet. Various festivals within the network present these performances, so that international circulation and relatively large visibility can be assured.  These presentations at festivals, which are often well attended by programmers, ensure considerable spin-off for the artists in question. In addition, the festivals offer residential or intensive work-period possibilities. These artist-in-residence facilities form another way of helping artists and of boosting innovation in the performing arts sector in Europe.

NXTSTP was initiated by Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in 2007. In the past five years – in de First Generation period – 36 performances by theatre-makers from 12 different countries received support from the network. In total, 1032 performances were staged (318 within the network itself). The first five years were also supported by the European Union, and we understand that the Union is positive about the coming five years.

Why Noorderzon?

In August 2011, the NXTSTP partners met officially at Noorderzon, where we were asked to participate in this network for the second period, 2012-2017. In doing so, we assume the position of De Keuze, an initiative of the Rotterdamse Schouwburg (Rotterdam Municipal Theatre), which was a member of the network from 2007-2012. For a good number of years Noorderzon has been giving up-and-coming European theatre-makers the opportunity to present their work to the progressive Groningen public.

Many NXTSTP artists have given performances at Noorderzon over the past few years (such as Gisèle Vienne, Edit Kaldor, Philippe Quesne, Charlotte Engelkes, Wunderbaum, BERLIN, Halory Goerger & Antoine Defoort, for example). In addition, Noorderzon co-produces (often jointly with Grand Theatre Groningen) new work by international makers. Such co-productions often involve an artist-in-residence setup or a work period in Groningen. The profile and activities of Noorderzon thus dovetail excellently with the NXTSTP philosophy.

Find out more about NXTSTP on their website