Yannick: “We have very nice friends who live around the corner. They are theater makers just like us. We put the peak hours of all four of us together and said: wouldn’t we be better off if we shared the children?
Anne Mike: “In our families, no week is the same. For example, Yannick has to go to Utrecht tonight, where he accompanies a directing student, Annelinde is now in rehearsal, Marijn is also rehearsing. I am in the preparatory phase of a production, so I will pick up the children from the childminder later.”
Yannick: “It is simply not possible to make a fixed schedule: there is zero regularity. But surprisingly, it has been going well for three years so far. We app to the friends on Sunday evening what roughly the plans are and then we pretty much roll through the week. Their daughter is three, the same age as Miró. They have their own bedroom in both our houses.”
Anne Mike: “This set-up started when the daughter of those friends could go to the same childminder as where Miró was. Then one of us might as well bring them at the same time, we thought. That’s how we rolled into it and now our lives are all intertwined. Although I think that sounds awful! I don’t want to be someone who ‘does everything together’. But in practice it comes down to that. We share a cleaner, the kids go to dance class together. Those friends recently even bought the same car as us.”
Yannick: “The basis is very generous: it is not a credit system in which one person is careful for two days and the other then also has to pick up for two days. Sometimes one of them is in a busier period, you can make up for those days later.”
Anne Mike: “Last November, for example, I went to Malaysia for a month for a residency. That was super luxurious and fantastic. It’s easier to make those kinds of decisions when you know that the back guard lives a block away.”
Yannick: “We have had a lot of conversations lately about why we still have two houses. If we already walk to each other three times a week with laundry baskets full of children’s clothes, you think: why don’t we all live in one big house together?”
Anne Mike: “It’s fun to fantasize about it: what would such a house look like? And what would everyone’s conditions be for living together like this?”
Yannick: “The only thing that sometimes rubs with this construction is that you run the risk of living past each other as a couple. For example, I have now been busy with our theatrical installation To be continued, which has just premiered. Then I spend a lot of time in Amsterdam, where I sleep in the room we still rent there. Meanwhile, Anne Maike is busy with an audio walk that will play at Oerol in June. It is great that it is possible, but there are times when it is only about the theater company or family logistics between us.”
Anne Mike: “But we are not types who say: tonight between seven and eight it’s time for us. The trick is to free up time in which that can arise organically.”
Halbe Zijlstra years
Yannick: “We actually had a love affair before our theater company was founded, but we actually felt both an artistic and personal click from the start. That flowed into each other.”
Anne Mike: “We both had just graduated from drama school. Yannick then ran Café Cox in the basement of the Stadsschouwburg and I had been busy with productions myself for a year. It was the Halbe Zijlstra years; we had to do everything ourselves.”
Yannick: “I saw how Anne Maike questioned all existing theater codes in a wonderful, brutal way. That really appealed to me.”
Anne Mike: “Our first production together was called Nineties, about our youth in the nineties. A production like a very sweet party candy, aimed at the nightlife audience in Café Cox. It was an instant success. I noticed that Yannick had the same kind of energy, the same drive. And the same naivety in estimating time. We are a bit limitless.”
Yannick: “I think that would be different if Anne Maike was purely my business partner. Then I would rather ask with an annual planning: is that wise? Now you also want to support each other as partners.”
Anne Mike: “There is only a thin line between solving something creatively or committing robbery.”
Yannick: “In the household we split it pretty fifty-fifty, right?”
Anne Mike: “I think so.”
Yannick: “We do errands around and around. Anne Maike hates vacuuming – so I do. In terms of care for Miró, we also share it equally.”
Anne Mike: “I am aware of traditional role patterns. If there is something wrong with Miró and the childminder sends me a message first, I think: ho ho, this might as well be sent to Yannick. Miró, for example, also got my last name. I think a name is a special thing to pass on. Yannick had that need less. In terms of reactions, it’s actually not too bad, we rarely hear about it.
Yannick: “Well, recently Miró suddenly announced that his name was ‘Miró Noomen’ – with my last name. I asked who taught him that? Grandpa, he answered proudly: Anne Maike’s father.”
Anne Mike: “Haha, so even my own family has made little impression.”
A version of this article also appeared in the May 20, 2023 newspaper.