Dutchess Abroad

J u d i t h   v a n   P r a a g

hey 2004-present
hey 1990-2003
hey 1980-1989
hey 1955-1979

thumbnail of self portrait in pastels

Art Exhibits 
Stage Design 


set sketch

ensemble of 'the Blacks'

In December of 1980, Armando Bergallo and Hector Vilche made me part of Tallèr Amsterdam, the theater/ art coop, they founded twenty years earlier in Uruguay. In 1983 I met Afro-American director Rufus Collins (see also) , former member of the original Living Theater. Rufus was invited by the Dutch government to start a multicultural theater company. Together we put our signatures on several shows (and Yes! Rufus introduced me to the uncle of his Godchild, Mick Jagger). I enjoyed working with people who had another cultural background than my own. Soon theater critic Lieke van Duin named me THE designer of the so called minority theater companies.

In 1984, I founded S'ABeL, a nonprofit, so I could apply for local and federal grants to realize my own projects. Literary aspects of the theater became more and more important. I started writing and making studio art.

A cultural exchange between Texas and the Netherlands inspired me to visit Austin in 1987. Coleman Jennings, then Chair of the Drama Department at UT, urged me to return. The Gerard Hordijk Reis Fonds for Artists (part of Prince Bernhard Foundation) awarded me a grant which enabled me to get a workspace at UT's Performing Arts Center in 1992.

Convinced that my fun and colorful theater designs ought to be put in mass production, Zia & Iqbal Lukmani invited me to Bombay in 1989. They offered me an office in Bombay's tax free zone and the directors of the Bombay based Khadi Cotton Emporium –with 400 hand loom villages all over India– asked me to be their designer. Back in Amsterdam I got a call, "could I cook for the cast and crew of Romeo, a movie starring Monique van der Ven?" I said yes.

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Portraits in Color or Words