Theatergroup Carver was formed in 1989 by Leny Breederveld, René van 't Hof and Beppie Melissen. The group took its name from its first production, Carver- put yourself in my shoes, which was based on the work of the American author Raymond Carver. An apt choice, because the group has a similar ability to sketch poignant, tragicomic portraits of everyday life, depicting people condemned to each other's company. At the outset of each production, Beppie Melissen proposes a setting or shared domain which serves as an anchor point for a web of improvisations. Shars of experience, detailed observations, personal interaction and existential fragments are intertwined to form a theatrical documentary documentary portraying the lives of ordinary people, fighting solitude and the unrelenting world around them.This approach has resulted in a series of deeply intimate productions exposing the absurdity of human existence in a world where humour is the key to survival.
Theatergroep Carver has created more then twenty productions in the past twenty years. Two productions (The White Hall, 1995 and Fred, 1997) have been adapted for national television. One of the later productions, Pi, Po, Pu, Pa & Pé, has been adapted for national television as well and was broadcasted in 2003.
Cafe Lehmitz (1991) toured Switzerland and Ware Liefde (True Love, 1994) toured Spain (Festival de Otono - Madrid) and the United Kingdom and Overstag (2002) was performed at the Boulevard of the Broken Dreams in Barcelona (Spain).
Cafe Lehmitz (1991) was awarded the 1991 Dutch Mime Prize and the Dommelsch Theatre Prize. Fred (1997) was awarded the Albert van Dalsum prize 1997 by the City of Amsterdam an the Amsterdam Arts Fund. In 1997 Carver received the annual Prize of the Circle of Dutch Critics for their complete works.
For her role in Apache Dance (1993) Beppie Melissen was nominated for the Theo d'Or (best actress in a theatre production). For their parts in Het Weer (The Weather, 2000) Leny Breederveld was nominated for the Colombina (best feminine supporting role) and Jim van der Woude was awarded the Arlecchino (best male supporting role).
The production Tucht (2007) was awarded the Golden Sparrow 2007 (de Gouden Mus), the price for the best festival production.
Beppie Melissen was awarded the Mary Dresselhuys Prijs in March 2008.