"I’ve always been passionate about interdisciplinary work, stimulating creative ideas & critical dialogue and making international connections within the performing arts community. I’m a staunch advocate for international exchange both in the professional performing arts world as well as in academic performing arts education. I have often forged collaborations between international artists, and I translate and direct many foreign works and adaptations, introducing actors, students and audiences to this exciting (and often unfamiliar) work that is not readily available to them."
Erwin's interest in international performing arts does not limit itself to directing and teaching both here and around the world. In 2010, he was approached by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC and Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York to become part of their Department for Cultural Affairs.
Four years, he held the part-time position of Director of Performing Arts in which he was a liaison between US and Dutch/European cultural organizations, universities, presenters and artists, helping to foster the exchange of ideas, residencies, concerts and productions so as to enrich the cultural field on both sides of the Atlantic. While in this position, he's had the opportunity to guide, connect, support and meet with many professional artists and organizations. He has been a funding, organizational and programming partner for numerous theater and music festivals and performing arts venues.
"These last years, I have learned that I want to continue to strive for international performing arts mobility, be an intermediary between artists and organizations, and do all that I can to help forward the value of the performing arts in our society. Through my partnerships with performing arts venues and festivals in my role as Director of Performing Arts, I have become increasingly interested in curating/programming, connecting this to the role of the performing arts in our society at large. In that realm, I have organized & facilitated various symposia and round-table discussions, and have been a speaker at events such as: Georgetown University’s Convening on Cultural Diplomacy and Global Performance; Connecting Dots/Culturebot’s The Creative Case for Diversity; and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Pivot Meeting - connecting culture and the arts to science, economy and social topics."
Maas has been a frequently invited guest speaker & lecturer about Cultural Diplomacy, International Performing Arts Relations and International Theater at renowned universities such as; Yale School of Drama, NYU TISCH School of the Arts, Georgetown University, Theaterschool Amsterdam, Trinity Rep at Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Escuela de Cine de Barcelona. He also served as a consultant, programming partner, guest speaker or expert on (peer review) panels for numerous organizations, conferences and festivals, inlcuding; The ISSUE Project Room, Department for Cultural Affairs Los Angeles, National Theater Institute at The O'Neill Theater Center, American Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Under the Radar Festival/Culturebot NYC, Fusebox Festival Austin, Gaudeamus Muziekweek NYC, Distinctively Dutch Festival Pittsburgh, Louis Andriessen 75 Festival Washington DC, ZOEM! New Dutch (Youth) Theater Festival NYC, and the Fulbright Foundation / Netherland-America Foundation.
Erwin is a core-member of Theater Without Borders, connecting artists globally working in the realms of socially engaged performance making, theater in conflict zones, and cultural mobility & human rights issues. He is a member of the Artistic Advisory Board for the ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, NY – chaired by Yoko Ono with fellow members such as; Robert Wilson, Kate Valk, Julien Schnabel, Jim Jarmusch, and John Turturro, among others. Maas co-chairs the Netherland-America Foundation Alumni Committee, strengthening the Fulbright & NAF Alumni Network by organizing cultural, educational and social activities. And he is a member of the Netherland-America Foundation Cultural Committee, where he continues his advocacy for international performing arts exchange.