But no other city went as far as Dresden, where the ‘Bürgerbühne’ was given own slot on the program of the Stadttheater. These meant they had the same number of support staff and the same budget as their professional colleagues. The productions were billed as part of the regular repertoire.
The experiment was an instant success. In the interview, Schulz puts his finger on the reason why: Miriam Tscholl’s “incredible energy”. Today, ten years later, Tscholl’s Bürgerbühne is considered a model of success. Last September, it was awarded the Commerzbank Foundation’s Future Good Prize worth 50,000 euros.
Anyone wishing to visit the 44-year-old at work has passed through a maze of corridors and staircases to the furthest corner of the Little House, the second of the two state theater stages. “Nobody bothers you here,” she says. The office is in the middle of the floor, a bookcase and white walls almost devoid of decoration. On one of the walls a few stage photos. “Our shortlist, but there’s more to come.”
Tscholl is busy selecting productions for the 4th European Civic Theater Festival. In the months leading up to the event, she is making a lot of phone calls and traveling around Europe to gain an overall impression. Most amateur theater groups are part of the independent scene, and are not listed anywhere “I’m more or less doing primary research; there is a lot going on all around Europe at the moment in the field of participatory theater, “she says in this vivacious way she has when she is waxing lyrical about something.