Well Made Productions

The Story of Travis


The Story of Travis is a new play inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 Broadway classic A Raisin in the Sun. It deals with the importance of having a dream, making your voice heard in a world that wasn’t built with you in mind, and finding a home. Moving from poetic monologues to recognizable family situations and spiritual dialogues, the show raises questions on the burden of the Black dream and what it’s like to be sent out into the world as your family’s only hope.

As a teenager, American-born Travis (played by Ruurt De Maesschalck) leaves his native Chicago to lead a nomadic life. He reaches the Netherlands where he falls in love, starts a family and builds a new life for himself. Then at 78, Travis embarks on one last big trip and returns to Chicago. Standing at his family grave he looks back upon his life. Bringing back memories from the past and rekindling conversations with his relatives, Travis prepares for his passage to the hereafter.

Between 2016 and 2019, Well Made Productions introduced the Dutch theater audience to The Raisin Cycle. Similar large-scale bi-cultural stories for a diverse audience are still made too sporadically, which is why Well Made Productions and Theater Rotterdam are joining forces in the 2022-2023 season.

The initiators of The Story of Travis are five black women, unique in the theater landscape: Ellen Tjon A Meeuw (business production) and Samora Bergtop (artistic production) from Well Made Productions, who once again team up with writer/screenwriter Esther Duysker for this new play. Director Romana Vrede gives the script her unique signature and Alida Dors (artistic director Theater Rotterdam) is responsible for the choreography.

Left to right: Alida Dors, Esther Duysker, Samora Bergtop, Romana Vrede, Ellen Tjon A Meeuw. Photo: Creative crew © Cye Wong-Loi-Sing / Brand New Guys


“Verpletterende familiekroniek is droomdebuut Romana Vrede.”

NRC ★★★★★

“Een hoognodige verrijking van het Nederlandse theaterlandschap.”

De Volkskrant ★★★★☆

“Een universeel verhaal dat aantoont dat je verder kunt reiken dan je ooit voor mogelijk hield.”

De Telegraaf 4,5/5 ★

“The Story of Travis wordt gedragen door een stemmige en treffende enscenering en goed spel van de acteurs.”


“Muzikaal zinderend meesterwerk.”


“Topprestatie met grote urgentie.”



Dionne Verwey as De Schrijfster
Howard Komproe as Pa
Jennifer Muntslag as Nola
Jetty Mathurin as Omie
Joy Wielkens as Zus
Ruurt De Maesschalck as Travis sr
Ritzah Statia as Ma
Yamill Jones as Travis jr / Grampa


Text Esther Duysker
Director Romana Vrede
Assistant director Toni Blackwell
Choreography Alida Dors
Assistant choreography Nicole Geertruida
Dramaturgy Karim Ameur, Aukje Verhoog
Content advice Simone Zeefuik, Ira Kip

Decor design Niek Kortekaas
Light design Niek Kortekaas, Axel Dikkers
Music composition Ata Güner
Costume design Erik Bosman
Assistant costume design Sandro Lima
Execution costumes Karin van der Leeuw, Sara Hakkenberg, Jacqueline de Maat
Hair & makeup Alejandro Blijd
Dresser Feben Seyum

Technical producer John Thijssen
Performance leader Sidney van Geest
Technicians Axel Dikkers, Arjen Fortuin, Hein van Leeuwen, Jimmy Niessen, Sidney van Geest, Sanne Fransen (internship)
Animation design and realization Wim Bechtold
Props Noa Muller
Production Angelique van Beckhoven, Annekoos Logtenberg, Emma Boots, Kaya Wessels (internship)

Audience dramaturgy Joëlle Raus Prudence
Education and interaction Jasmine van Putten, Anne Sollie, Gregory Vyent, Ilrish Kensenhuis, Naomi Tuininga, Sudesca Janse

Marketing and communication Dieke van der Spek, Odair Nascimento Alves, Michael Vogel, Robin Laurens, Sofie de Leede, Thamar Kempees
Press Gisèle Mambre
Design digital magazine Amanda Harput
Campaign image Coco Olakunle
Photography and video Bete van Meeuwen, Cye Wong-Loi-Sing, Selwyn de Wind

Executive producers Ellen Tjon A Meeuw, Samora Bergtop, Maurice Dujardin, Alida Dors
Project Manager Maurice Dujardin
Development Floortje Jongkoen

Thanks to Rubiën Vyent, Mitchell Esajas, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Wafae Ahalouch, Lynnée Denise, The Black Archives


Buy the script for The Story of Travis in De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek

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