the theatrical supermarket
MEGA:STAGE was a theatrical city project of the 4 students, Armela Madreiter, Kim Groneweg, Leonie Dehne and Ruth Kemna of the Master's program 'Applied Theatre' of the Thomas Bernhard Institute at the University Mozarteum Salzburg.
Salzburg spring 2020: empty streets, closed theatres, closed playgrounds: the city in a state of emergency - just like the whole world. Home office, social distancing, web conferences determine our everyday life - if we are privileged enough to do so. At 6 pm we go to our balconies and applaud for those who keep everything going - the workers who are now considered 'relevant for the system'; nursing staff, supermarket employees, delivery staff, doctors, cleaning staff... They are suddenly the protagonists of our pandemic-ridden everyday life.
'The city as stage' - this is also the founding idea of the Salzburg Festival, which is also the starting point for the theatre project 'MEGA STAGE Salzburg', which aims to explore another Salzburg behind postcard motifs and festival scenery. The baroque ambience of the city as a stage for a sacred world theatre - this was the initial idea of Max Reinhardt and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, which changed and shaped the city forever 100 years ago.
Accordingly, 'MEGA STAGE Salzburg' is dealing with places and people that were previously less visible and suddenly moved into the spotlight and ennobled with the 'knighthood' of 'system relevance'. Who are these people? How has the city changed in the times of Covid-19? Where are the places in the city where 'relevant' work takes place? What are the places and people who have now become visible and indispensable?
Their stories and fates were collected in a 'supermarket of stories'. On the shelves, instead of goods, there were references to places, stories, fates. A kind of archive of contemporary 'heroes of everyday life'.
The supermarket was set up in an empty shop in the shopping street Linzer Gasse in N. 72. For 10 days, the doors were open at regular opening hours to any passer-by. The spectators* chose a tour to certain places in Salzburg from the shelves. At these locations they experienced short performative interventions or theatrical events, either individually or in small groups - following a path of shifts in perception and visualization.
It was an incredible amount of work to find and set up this theatrical shop and to come up with functioning "sales strategies". Then there was the development of the individual performances at the various locations in the city. In the end, it almost became a small festival. What will remain are many friendships between us creators and various residents of the city of Salzburg and hopefully a new awareness for the diversity of this city and the people who live in it.
Performed: 18-25 of July 2020 in an empty shop in Salzburg, Austria
Directed by: Leonie Dehne, Kim Groneweg, Ruth Kemna, Armela Madreiter
Mentors: Univ. Prof. Christoph Lepschy, Christine Umpfenbach
Stage Design: Michael Hofer-Lenz
Applied Theatre Program - Thomas Bernhard Institut - University Mozarteum