InterActing was founded by Pim Donkersloot of the ChildCenter Foundation and Saskia Maas of Boom Chicago.
CEO & Co-Owner Boom Chicago
Saskia Maas is CEO and co-owner of Boom Chicago, the Amsterdam-American comedy ensemble that has been around for more than 28 years. Saskia studied text linguistics at Tilburg University and Foundations of Management at Nyenrode Business School. She also successfully completed THNK, the School for Creative Leadership. She is also the mother of two sons, one with autism. In her TED talk (link to the Ted Talk) she describes the value of improv theater for young people with autism.
More about Boom Chicago: In 1993, Boom Chicago introduced improv comedy to the mainstream Dutch audience. The style of theater consists of sketches that are made up on the spot, based on suggestions from the audience. Since then, Boom Chicago has made millions of people laugh at the Rozentheater in the heart of Amsterdam’s Jordaan. You can visit the Boom Chicago website here. (link to Boom website homepage).
Secretary Jeroen Klompenhouwer has been working as a communication consultant for over 15 years and gained his experience in government and healthcare. In his spare time he has played a lot of improv theater and given workshops and training courses at schools and companies. He has volunteered for the Red Cross and Pax Kinderhulp.
Treasurer Tomer Zakai is director/owner of Consult&Co, a dynamic and creative administration and consultancy firm aimed at small and medium-sized Dutch enterprises. Tomer started his office to be an all-round financial partner for their clients and to offer services that cover entire financial management, from administration to tax advice and (corporate) financing.
The Educational Team
Jake is a teacher at Boom Academy and head coach at InterActing. In 2010, he ended up as a Belgian in Amsterdam and built a career on stage. He has gained experience as a creator and performing artist within the dance, musical, club, music and theater worlds. In 2019, he dived into improv and immediately joined Boom Chicago and InterActing. He enjoys working with the students to help them grow and show their full potential.
Trainer Stacey Smith is an actress at Boom Chicago and has a lot of experience teaching improv classes all over the world. In Boston she was the Comedy School Manager at ImprovBoston and in Chicago she taught at Second City and Improv Olympic. She loves musical improvisation and also has her own solo show STACEJAM.
Dutch-speaking theater assistants
Cynthia de Graaff
Cynthia de Graaff is an actress, voice actress and translator for dubbing. She has worked as a children’s directing assistant with Billy Elliot the musical and is an experienced workshop trainer.
Visual Effects Artist
Djamali is one of the theater assistants at Interacting. He has an eye for the creative in both his work as a Visual Effects Artist, and on stage during improv. In 2019, he started the improv course Intro to Improv at Boom Chicago and then completed the full curriculum. This led to him becoming part of the house team Pointing at Fingers and getting involved with InterActing, where he guides the students with great joy in their development in comedy.
Zoé is a child psychologist and has worked as a counselor for children and young people with autism. She was responsible for devising for creative projects for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (autistic features) and has given lectures on this topic at universities and colleges. According to Zoé, theater is the way to educate young people with autism playfully, to help them develop social-emotional skills and increase their self-confidence.
Pim Donkersloot started ChildCenter in 2001, an organization that offers treatment and guidance to children from the autistic spectrum on a non-profit basis. Pim is a pedagogue (UvA) and specialized in autism and related disorders. He is a father of 3 children, 2 of whom are from the autistic spectrum, is also the author of two books, including ‘Autism, a problem for the whole family’.
In addition to numerous articles in national and foreign media, he and three colleagues have also made a free translation of the famous book ‘The Child with Special Needs’ by Prof. Dr. Stanley Greenspan under the title: ‘If your child needs special attention ‘. In Washington DC, he has been trained for years by child psychiatrist Greenspan, who gained great fame in the world with his floor time approach for children with communicative and interactive challenges. He is also a supervisor at RINO Noord-Holland (in-service training and training in mental health care).
Performer & Teacher
Kevin Walton has been working as a performer and teacher for over 27 years with experience at leading British companies such as The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Institute of Contemporary Arts. He has a lot of experience in teaching children who face a challenge in any way through his work for UNICEF and Save the Children, where theater techniques offer a great outcome. Since 2002 he has been working with children with autism and other communicative disabilities, which resulted in 2011 in the Ark Foundation, which he founded together with Paulla Keen to offer a place in Amsterdam to children who cannot develop in regular places.
Actress & Teacher
Lizz Kemery is an actress and was the founder of the current InterActing curriculum. She studied improv comedy with The Groundlings, The Upright Citizens Brigade and The Free Association. Originally from Philadelphia, she works as a performer in New York.
Dr. Jill Adler
Dr. Jill Adler is first and foremost a mother of a daughter with autism, and has contributed to a number of articles that have been published in various American special-interest books (including Voices of the Spectrum). She is the founder and director of the East-West Parliamentary Practice Project (EWPPP). Jill Adler received her PhD in law from the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington DC and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University. She also teaches at the University of Amsterdam and Webster University in Leiden.
For almost a quarter of a century she has alternately served as chair and vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Dutch-American Fulbright Center. As the driving force behind ChildCenter (which includes Inter-Acting), Dr. Adler knows better than anyone how to represent the interests of this non-profit foundation.
InterActing is a non-profit theater school and without the help of our incredible donors we would be nowhere. Want to support us?