The ‘Bögen’ in Innsbruck are known for late nightclubs and crazy parties, but in one of the archways below the train tracks, Viaduktbogen 32 to be precise, you’ll find the ‘Bogentheater ’, which is easy to overlook. The facade isn’t particularly eye-catching and it’s not very big, but the Bogentheater proves that size doesn’t matter. It’s the passion of the people that does! The fact that this theater is so small actually adds to the experience making it that much more intimate and special – the action is right in front of you!
Time to Start the Show
It all started in 2003, when Stephanie Larcher-Senn and a small group of like-minded thespians sought to put on plays. Back then they bounced around from location to location, anywhere they could find a stage. It was not always easy, but five years ago, they found what would become their permanent home in the Bögen. It was a mess when they first acquired the place, and it took a lot of sweat and elbow-grease with their fearless leaders Stephie and Barbara Juen-Walder leading the pack to get it where it is today, but they were passionate about their project and knew it would be worth it in the end. Finally, their dream became a reality and on Oct. 25 2011 they opened their doors.
Theater, Club, Community
It is not just a theater, they are a club, a tight knit group, a family, which has grown over the years to over 50 members. They are not in it to get rich, in fact, none of them even get paid! Their theater is partially funded by the city and by the region, but other than that they only make money through ticket sales – everything else is pure commitment. Costumes and props are mostly donated or lent to the theater by the actors, which means their productions may lack the glitz and glitter of larger, well-funded theater but they make up for it in creativity and imagination.
They are self-steering, which means on the one side of things the members organize everything themselves from cleaning to bartending to staffing the door. On the other side of things anyone can suggest a play to put on, anyone can act, anyone can direct, and if you want to write your own play, you can do that too! In fact, coming up in March they will be putting on a self-written play.
Their production season goes from October to July, with only a short summer break for maintenance and general re-grouping to get ready to start again. This year is extra special as they will be putting together a 5 year celebration coming in late spring/early summer, watch for that on their website !
They don’t just put on plays, they are always looking to expand and build, offering the “Emotionstraining” once a month. These workshops offer the actors an opportunity to work on their craft and offer a chance for newbies to join the ranks! Anybody who wants to come is welcome to check out the spirit of the Bogentheater crew.
Currently they are putting on a production of ‘Kishon’ presenting 5 sketches from the satirist Ephraim Kishon, which will be followed up by a play written by one of their own entitled ‘Der hohle König Leviathan’ starting at the beginning of March and ‘Barfuss im Park’ by Neil Simon starting at the end of March.
Whether it is funny, serious, or sad the Bogentheater puts on productions from the heart and it is definitely a must-see in Innsbruck!
all photos @Bernhard Stolz