© Brecht Van Maele
Thomas Bellinck (°Recklinghausen, 1983) graduated as a theatre director from the RITS, the Brussels school for audio-visual and dramatic arts, in 2009. Before training as a theatre director Thomas studied Germanic Philology at the University of Leuven. During his education at the Rits he performed in several productions at Nieuwpoorttheater, Theater Antigone, and 't Arsenaal. Having been selected for Het Theaterfestival 2009 for a political action with illegalized immigrants on a hunger strike, he opened the festival with a speech entitled "We were dying and then we got a prize." The same year, together with Ewout D'Hoore, he created a play together with inmates at the Leuven Auxiliary Prison, the rehearsal process of which was captured in the documentary TV series Leuven Hulp.
In 2010, together with actor and former fellow student Jeroen Van der Ven, Thomas established the theatre company Steigeisen. Under the flag of Steigeisen and often in collaboration with the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS), Thomas and Jeroen created the performances Fobbit; Billy, Sally, Jerry and the .38 Gun; Lethal Inc.; De Onkreukelbare and Memento Park. In 2011, Lethal Inc., a PowerPoint performance about the quest for ‘humane’ execution methods, was selected for Het Theaterfestival 2011.
In addition to his work with Steigeisen, Thomas also performed in the Frank Nuyts opera Middle East (Muziektheater LOD) and, together with patients at the Sint Jan de Deo psychiatric hospital, worked on Berg (Campo), a cinematic account of an invisible play. In 2013 Thomas built Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo (KVS), a futuristic historical museum about life in the former European Union. After an initial run in Brussels, the museum travelled to other European cities, such as Rotterdam, Vienna, Athens, Wiesbaden and Marseille.
In 2015, together with writer and theatre maker Pieter De Buysser, Thomas established ROBIN, a Brussels-based production society for made-to-measure artistic work. Since 2016, Thomas has also been employed as a doctoral researcher in the arts at KASK/School of Arts (HoGent), where he is a founding member of The School of Speculative Documentary, together with filmmaker An van. Dienderen and photographers Michiel De Cleene and Max Pinckers.
He is currently working on Simple as ABC, a growing series of performances and installations scrutinising the European ‘mobility management machine.’