Our ever-expanding team consists of experienced professionals, each with the necessary experience in storytelling, theatre and coaching



Arjen Barel (1973) is director and trainer at Storytelling Centre and artistic director/producer at Storytelling Theatre Lab. He developed the Share to Connect method to put applied storytelling on the map worldwide. Until 2017 he was responsible for the programme of the Storytelling Festival, which he founded in 2008. Arjen teaches Storytelling and Presentation at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. He also gives training courses for professionals in the use of storytelling in youth work and community work at various locations around the world. Travelling is in his blood. He has worked in Morocco, Palestine, Lithuania, Slovenia, Great Britain and Hungary. But he is also an enthusiastic holidaymaker. Even then, he can't stop storytelling and writes an extensive blog for his friends and family. Arjen is involved in performances as a dramaturge, director or writer. He has also written several books about storytelling.

Jasmijn Snoijink

Business director Storytelling Centre

After studying Media and Culture (towards New Media) and Journalism and Media (audiovisual variant) at the UvA, Jasmijn Snoijink (1977) founded the Mediaridders foundation with fellow professionals. A collective of media makers in search of the unexpected, unthought-of and unknown story. Sharing, bringing and listening to stories runs like a thread through her life. As does the enthusiastic entrepreneurship needed to get great projects off the ground. A trait she is happy to bring to Storytelling Centre's mission. Because sharing stories is at the root of a greater understanding of each other and the world around us.

Jan joris indra buis

Production employee

Jan-Joris Indra Buis (2000) was a Social Work student at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. For his study he did his graduation internship at Storytelling Centre from February 2022 till December 2022. Now he works for us as a production employee. Joris likes to be involved and tries to propose new and innovative ideas where necessary. He is able to see things from multiple angles and can therefore offer an alternative view. In his spare time he enjoys working on lego design, producing music and writing poems.

Maaike Kemmink


Maaike Kemmink (1980) is a freelance copywriter, translator and editor, and has experience in PR and communication. She has always loved stories. As a child she devoured books and later she studied English literature. With great pleasure and interest in everything Storytelling Centre does, she takes care of the content strategy, places articles on the site and is responsible for the social media.

Marjolein Frijling


In her work as a director or storyteller, Marjolein is always looking for the different layers within stories; multiperspectivity is her middle name. This is clearly visible in her life project 180 Amsterdammers, in which she interviewed 180 people with a different nationality from the capital. As a coach, she always strives to bring out the best in the performer in a conscientious and pleasant way. For what can you wake Marjolein in the middle of the night? A good story, of course.

Adriana Mincu werkt bij het Storytelling Centre.

Adriana Mincu


Adriana Mincu works in the financial department of both the Storytelling Centre and the Meervaart Theatre. Based on her passion for the cultural sector, she likes to contribute to bringing young people into contact with art and culture.

Sahand Sahebdivani

creative director storytelling festival

Since 2018, the Storytelling Festival Amsterdam has been under the creative direction of Sahand Sahebdivani and Raphael Rodan. They are well-known names in the storytelling scene and won the Amsterdam Fringe Gold Award 2017 with their performance My Father held a Gun. Sahand (1980) is one of the most appreciated storytellers in the Netherlands. He came to the Netherlands when he was 3 years old, but not without taking the Persian storytelling culture with him. He likes to take the audience along to his native country, based on old folk tales and more recent stories about his family. Apart from being a storyteller, Sahand is also a musician. He plays the tar and is very skilled in playing various other instruments. In 2003 Sahand opened the Mezrab 'House of Stories', a place for stories and music.

Raphael Rodan

creative director storytelling festival

Since 2018, the Storytelling Festival Amsterdam has been under the creative direction of Raphael Rodan and Sahand Sahebdivani. They are well-known names in the storytelling scene and won the Amsterdam Fringe Gold Award 2017 with their performance My Father held a Gun. Raphael (1980) is a storyteller, actor and workshop leader. He was born in the 'holy' land of Galilee in Israel and grew up surrounded by the stories of war, separation and demonising the other. His motivation as a teacher, workshop leader and performer is to use the power of stories to achieve just the opposite, to guide people in the search for our shared humanity and thereby connect people.

hamed rahmani

communication and project employee

Hamed Rahmani (1992) has a background in communication and fashion. Because of the special circumstances of the year 2020, he became interested in social and cultural issues. He experienced the power of storytelling himself during Refugee Millenial in the Humanity House in The Hague, where he talked about what it is like to grow up in the Netherlands with a bicultural background. And also to discover your sexual identity. At Storytelling Centre, he works on various projects, in which he also applies his communication background.

Thyson Miguel


Thyson Miguel gets a lot of energy from helping others. By sharing his own story he knows how to inspire people and get them moving. He is convinced that people can continue to develop themselves at any age. As a drama therapist and trainer at the Storytelling Centre, he guides people in shaping their own story and encourages them to express themselves in theatre or drama.

Els Streefkerk

inspirer in learning processes & connecting projects

Els participated in the development of the Storytelling Centre's European project 'Alternative Ways' (To Learn A Language), a toolkit for language trainers of low-literacy learners. She is currently working on the roll-out of this new method and provides training to NT2 teachers, language volunteers and everyone in between.

fouad lakbir


Fouad Lakbir guides young people in their creative development within his own foundation (Shokkin' Group Netherlands) and as a trainer at the Storytelling Centre. He likes to work on empowerment of young people, or meetings between young and old. Like no other he knows how to create a familiar environment and group feeling.

Yahya Natour


Yahya Natour works for Youth Empowerment, Cultural Center for Child Development, in Palestine. There he coordinates children activities and summer camps; using theater, sports, music, arts, and storytelling to reduce violence in communities. At Storytelling Centre he facilitates activities, is a translator and works with refugees. He wants to empower people who never got the chance to stand up for themselves.

Hester tammes


Hester Tammes is an enthusiastic storytelling coach and as such involved in various projects and performances of the Storytelling Centre. She draws on her experiences as a theatre maker and as a 'guest worker' in countries such as Pakistan, Surinam and Morocco where she was constantly confronted with differences and looked for ways to make those smaller.