A glance at the innsbruck.info events calendar is enough to see that the city has a very lively arts and culture scene. Especially in the theater sector, a lot has happened in recent decades. In addition to the Tiroler Landestheater a number of off-stages provide the population and guests with theatrical delicacies. I would like to briefly introduce five addresses from the wide range on offer here.
Among the off-stages, this is Innsbrucker Kellertheater is the oldest. When it opened in 1979, it joined the ranks as a second "alternative stage" alongside the Theater am Landhausplatzwhich closed soon after. Who wants to dive into the history of these two, founded in the 1970s, cultural centers: In my book „Zwei Bühnen, acht Mal Kultur“, published in 2021 in the Reihe Kulturorte i have dealt with them.
Since 2009, the director and writer Manfred Schild the Kellertheater. Splashy summer comedies and literary plays attract a loyal regular audience to the cellar vault at the Adolf-Pichler-Platz. In the 1980s, it stood for new, alternative, experimental theater in Innsbruck, and today it shares this claim with a whole series of stages and ensembles. For example the Staatstheater.
Contrary to the big name, Staatstheater, founded in 2001, does not have its own venue. Since 2009, the actors and actresses Carmen Gratl and Ute Heidorn and the costume designer Esther Frommann have been steering the fortunes of the association since 2009. With a good dose of humor and a lot of female power, the three bring fast-paced and unconventional plays to the stage.
At present Staatstheater plays the Treibhaus with „Tennessee Blend“ from Thomas Gassner, Markus Oberrauch and Bernhard Wolf, best known as Feinripp Ensemble. A revival, because the Western already provided in the spring of 2022 in the Remise at Innsbrucker Hauptbahnhof for proper speed and smoking Colts.
In the district Dreiheiligen, in the Jahnstraße, you can find the "small and resistant" Theater Praesent. "The program is dedicated to contemporary drama, has a feminist orientation," says Michaela Sennwho together with Elke Hartmann is the artistic director. The small off-stage likes to show bulky, challenging plays that are also received controversially by the audience.
Having your own venue is both a blessing and a curse in the so-called independent scene. Shaping freedom also means maintaining an infrastructure. The two directors act as a duo for everything - from bookkeeping and press relations to play selection or preparation of events, everything is in their hands. After Sergej Gößner's „Lauwarm“, a revival was seen in December with „All das Schöne“ from Duncan Macmillan, a revival could be seen. At the end of January 2023, Theater Praesent is going out: The sports play „Körper am Ende der Welt“ from Carina Dürig and Marion Rothaar will be performed at the „BRUX – Freies Theater Innsbruck“ performed.
World premieres and the development of own pieces are also part of the „Triebwerk7“ Michaela Senn is part of the four-member management team. After a production in the „Ferrarischule“ (to the contribution about it here along) the association showed lately „wir: im berg“ the author Miriam Unterthiner. Developed the piece as a co-production with the theater Dekadenz in Brixen (South Tyrol).
With the "performative mapping" of Brenner Basistunnels, Triebwerk7 once again referred to its objective of giving space to experimental, interdisciplinary forms of theater. Like mosaic stones, „wir: im berg“ showed facets of the theme of the mountain, the concept of "digging" and the north-south connection, and scenes joined together to form a picture. The association does not have its own venue. For „wir: im berg“ Triebwerk7 chose the already mentioned BRUX.
The cultural center opened in 2012 in the Wilhelm-Greil-Straße does not develop its own pieces, but makes its professionally equipped infrastructure available to creative artists - thanks to generous public funding at really attractive conditions. In recent years, BRUX has thus become an interesting address for anyone who appreciates contemporary artistic forms.
And this brings us to the last selected stage, the Westbahntheater. The premises in the former Konsum in the Feldstraße 1a behind the Westbahnhof may be a bit hidden, but the program is worth seeing. From the beginning, the Westbahntheater has relied on an interplay between professional and amateur actors. In addition to purely professional ensembles, there are also mixed ones on stage time and again.
Led by the actor Konrad Hochgruberin the last 20 years, Westbahntheater has established itself as a permanent fixture in Innsbruck. Three to four productions can be seen annually. The focus is on plays that subtly tell something about the present time. "They don 't address current issues in a striking way, but rather between the lines, so to speak," says Konrad Hochgruber.
Thus, the premiere of Alberto Fortuzzi's „Maddalena“ (November/December 2022) catapulted the audience back to Venice in 1750, to Teatro Sant' Angelo. But the theme being negotiated is as topical as ever. The main character Goldoni wants to reform the theater, dare something new, away from the Commedia dell'Arte, towards serious plays, character studies, plays taken from life. To do this, he needs allies and finds them.
Innsbruck's off-stages seek and find allies in an audience that is curious about new things. With great passion, they offer committed, fresh and innovative theater for every taste and every palate all year round. A glance at the innsbruck.info calendar of events shows the diversity - and it's worth it. Because there is a lot to discover in the off-scene.
Photos, unless otherwise indicated: © Susanne Gurschler
Innsbruck has captured her heart, and the view of the Nordkette mountains soothes her soul. A journalist, non-fiction author, bookworm, amateur photographer, dog owner and mountain walker #ghostsofinnsbruck