Theater Stap

Theater Stap stages performances that centre on people with a mental disability. The authenticity of the performers always comes first. Marc Bryssinck is the artistic director.

  • Professional theatre and dance company
  • Performed by people with a mental disability
  • Appears on the professional circuit in Belgium and abroad
  • Led by Marc Bryssinck since 1997


Different view

‘Our performances invite others to look differently at theatre and by extension all the arts. They reflect our belief in the qualities of actors with a mental disability and place their imagination at the centre. From this fresh perspective, we enter into a dialogue with the world.’

Brass band costumes

‘Theater Stap’s performers, the “Stappers”, can move the audience by drinking a cup of coffee or knitting. On stage, a small, seemingly trivial action like this can become an existential gesture of immense commitment. But they might equally well dress up as a brass band and throw themselves into a jerky dance routine that is almost hard to watch. Their performances unite these two extremes – the sublime and the vulgar – seemingly effortlessly.’

The Entry

‘All sorts of works inspire us, but there’s one artist who stands head and shoulders above the rest: James Ensor. And above all ‘Christ’s Entry into Brussels’. Our production “Ensor Competition 2021” was based on it. Dimitri Leue, who is also an Artist in Residence, took charge of the presentation. It’s great how the KMSKA makes this kind of cross-fertilization possible. We’re also looking forward to connecting with other Artists in Residence.’

Childlike lack of inhibition

‘Besides the KMSKA collection, I’m inspired by artists like Jean Rustin and Roger Ballen, who show people on the margins of society in all their hardship, vulnerability and eccentricity. Painters like Basquiat and Appel, meanwhile, follow where their paintbrushes take them, based on colour and a childlike lack of inhibition. And then there’s Bram van Velde: he also serves the inspiration of the moment, but tries to find the stillness in it.’

Person behind the performer

‘I’d love to work with Alain Platel one day. He’s a remedial educationalist by training with a deep interest in the person behind the performer. His performances grow out of the dancers’ imagination and passion and because of that, they are always universal.’

Next steps

‘We want to involve the Stappers even more in the visual arts. They can help give direction to our ambassadorship for the KMSKA.’