Viviane De Muynck is best-known as one of the principal actresses in Needcompany. In the early nineties she met Jan Lauwers, artistic director of Needcompany, with whom she has since done much captivating work.
She studied drama at the Conservatory in Brussels, where she was a student of Jan Decorte. From 1980 she was a member of the Mannen van den Dam collective and acted in Strindberg’s De Pelikaan, Feydeau’s Het laxeermiddel, Bernhard’s De macht der gewoonte and Strauss’ Het Park. In 1987 she won the Theo d’Or Prize for her performance as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which Sam Bogaerts directed for the De Witte Kraai company. After that she joined Maatschappij Discordia and performed in Alfred Jarry’s UBU ROI, Judith Herzberg’s Kras, Handke’s Das Spiel vom Fragen, and Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night.
Collaboration with three theatres in the Netherlands resulted in Count your Blessings with Toneelgroep Amsterdam, directed by Gerardjan Rijnders, Iphigenia in Taurus with the Nationaal Toneel in The Hague, directed by Ger Thijs and Hamlet with Het Zuidelijk Toneel, directed by Ivo Van Hove. She also acted in two Kaaitheater productions: in 1994 in Pijl van de Tijd (Martin Amis), directed by Guy Cassiers and in 1995 the part of Odysseus in Philoktetes Variations (Müller, Gide, Jesuren) by Jan Ritsema, alongside Dirk Roofthooft and Ron Vawter. She also made guest appearances with The Wooster Group in O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape and other plays. She acted in Relazione Pubblica, a choreographic piece by Caterina and Carlotta Sagna. In 2007 she played the leading part in Ein fest für Boris, a creation for the Salzburger Festspiele.
Viviane De Muynck also works with musicians, such as on La Trahison Orale (oratorio by Maurizio Kagel) with the Schönberg Ensemble (conductor Rembert De Leeuw), Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte (Arnold Schönberg) with Zeitklang (conductor Alain Franco) and the Spectra Ensemble (conductor Philippe Raté), Lohengrin (Schiarrino) with Neue Musik Berlin (conductor Beat Furrer and director Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski). She collaborated with Eric Sleichim and the Bl!ndman Saxophone Quartet on Men in Tribulation (May 2004). In 2006 she took part in the production Walking in the Limits, a joint venture with Franz Krug & Heiner Reber, and Lauf zum Meer (2009), directed by Thorsten Lensing and Jan Hein, with the jazz musicians JeanâÂÂ Paul Bourelly, Gilbert Diop and Willy Keller.
She makes regular appearances in film and TV productions. She acted in Vinaya, a film by Peter van Kraaij and Josse De Pauw and in De avonden, directed by R. Van den Berg, after the book by Gerard Reve. Two other notable film parts have been in Vincent and Theo (directed by Robert Altman) and The Crossing (directed by Nora Hoppe). She was twice nominated for the ‘Gouden Kalf’ at the Utrecht film festival: for the film De avonden and for the TV-drama Duister licht by Martin Koolhoven. In 2005 she acted in the first full-length film by Fien Troch, Someone else’s happiness and also appeared in Geoffrey Enthoven’s film Vidange Perdue(2006). This was followed by the feature film Vreemd Bloed (2010) by Maria Goos and Mark Timmers, as well as a notable part in the acclaimed television series Oud België (2010), a fiction series by Indra Siera based on a scenario by Peter Van Den Begin and Stany Crets.
Viviane De Muynck is much in demand internationally as a guest lecturer on theatre courses and workshops. In addition to this she has taken to stage directing in Germany. In 2000 she directed the first performances of Die Vagina Monologe at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, and As I Lay Dying (2003), an adaptation of William Faulkner.
Since the opera Orfeo (1993) by Walter Hus and Jan Lauwers, she has acted regularly with Needcompany. Over the years she has appeared in The Snakesong Trilogy (Le Pouvoir, Le Désir and the full version), Needcompany's Macbeth (1996), Caligula (1997), Morning Song (1999), DeaDDogsDon’tDance/DJamesDJoyceDeaD (2000), Goldfish Game (2002), No Comment (2003), Isabella’s room (2004), All is Vanity (2006), The Deer House (2008) and The art of entertainment (2011). For DeaDDogsDon’tDance/ DJamesDJoyceDeaD she joined Jan Lauwers in writing the script. For All is Vanity, she adapted Claire Goll’s book of the same title herself. In 2006 she was awarded the Flemish Community Prize in the performing arts category.