Graz-based Theater im Bahnhof tells the story of a community in which a detention centre and a distillery change the lives of the inhabitants.
Talk following the performance on Fri 16/10
A hundred years ago, a flat in the Upper Styrian municipality of Vordernberg was more expensive than on Vienna’s Ringstraße. As recently as seventy years ago, the municipality was one of Austria’s wealthiest. Today, postindustrial Vordernberg has been hit by migration. But there are people who oppose the forecast demise.
In this valley, in which the sun only ever shines briefly, lies the most beautiful prison ever built. The new Anhaltezentrum (detention centre) stands as a symbol of departure into a promising future. It is good for the detainees, the security personnel, the private sector, and tax revenue. In fact, this prison isn’t a prison at all, but merely a place of transit where people wait to be released into a new life. Can’t Austria be better for once than the industrious Scandinavian countries that usually have the most beautiful showcase projects?
In the light of this prison, Theater im Bahnhof tells a story of entrepreneurship in its most original form. Someone comes to the municipality and starts up an illicit distillery, the 500 euro settlement incentive is the starting capital. Business is soon booming, after all the schnapps is delicious – and gradually love and admiration begin to grow for the place and the personal stories of its residents.
By and with Jacob Banigan, Ed. Hauswirth, Johanna Hierzegger, Gabriela Hiti, Eva Maria Hofer, Markus Klengel, Helmut Köpping, Rupert M. Lehofer & Christina Helena Romirer
Filmcast Lynne Ann Williams, TiB-Ensemble and inhabitants of Vordernberg and Eisenerz
Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Co-produced by steirischer herbst & Theater im Bahnhof
Dramaturgy Martin Baasch & Petra Pölzl
Project management Jakob Schweighofer
Technical management Karl Masten
Project sponsor Holding Graz
Theater im Bahnhof (AT)
Founded in Graz, Theater im Bahnhof is not only a stage that changes depending on each production, but also the largest professional free theatre ensemble in Austria: around 20 artists work continuously on its reinvention, evoking hitherto unseen sides of the theatre concept and so constantly redefining it. According to its own description, TiB – the ensemble’s well-known abbreviation – sees itself as “contemporary folk theatre” that has located itself at the intersection between tradition and pop culture. Theater im Bahnhof has already demonstrated its diversity many times at steirischer herbst, most recently in “Operation Wolfshaut” in 2013, a cooperation with Gaststubentheater Gößnitz which ran in pubs around west Styria.