Andries Onsman was born in Leeuwarden, Holland. His work has been performed and published in English. A speaker of Dutch, he worked as a teacher of English, English as a second language, drama and music with the Education Department of Tasmania. He gained a Master of Education (1985) and a Ph.D (1990) from the University of Tasmania. Onsman read at various public venues in Hobart between 1978 and 1990. Two of his plays were performed in Hobart in 1978: Don't Kill Me Tonight by the Hobart Theatre Company and Sticks and Stones by the Salamanca Company. Another play, Flowers, was performed by TUK in Hobart in 1980. He created several children's pantomimes, performed by the HBT, for the Education Department, between 1981 and 1984.