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October 24, 2017
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David Swatling

David Swatling grew up in the small upstate New York town of Halfmoon, the name of the first Dutch ship to sail up the Hudson River in 1609. This is the first of many coincidences that led him to The Netherlands. He studied speech and drama at Syracuse University, where he played the title role in the American premiere of a play based on the classic Dutch children's book "Kees de Jongen" about an imaginative boy living in late 19th century Amsterdam. After graduation, he moved to New York City, formerly New Amsterdam. He made his Off-Broadway debut in "The Passion of Dracula" playing the butler of Dr. Abraham van Helsing, the psychic detective from Amsterdam. In 1978 on his way to Poland for an experimental theater workshop, he stopped in Amsterdam during the Festival of Fools which had turned the city into a madcap carnival of comedy and street theater. A few years later (1985) when life in the Big Apple was getting far too stressful, he was in a bar with friends when one of them asked, "Does anyone want to sublet an apartment in Amsterdam?" Within three weeks, he was on his way to a new life in the Old World. His first job was acting in an English translation of a 17th century Dutch play in Amsterdam's historic Stadsschouwburg theater. While continuing to act and direct for several small English-speaking theater companies, he started working for Radio Netherlands as a news reader. He



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