Leopold Hoesch
Dag Freyer
Nicholas von Brauchitsch
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
1 x 30'
Lars Roland
Theater Mainz

The world-famous Gutenberg, carnival, Roman finds - these are all associated with the Rhine city of Mainz. The imposing cathedral, which dominates the panorama of the state capital, shows that church history is closely linked to the city's history. Opposite the cathedral is the Mainz State Theatre.

The striking building designed by Georg Moller in 1833 with the curves of the auditorium transferred to the outside was, among other things, the model for the Semperoper in Dresden. Esther Schweins introduces the Mainz theatre, reports on visits by the tsars and the carnival farces that have been traditional for 150 years. Plays written especially for the carnival season are performed on stage by amateur actors together with members of the ensemble during the carnival days. A scandal occurred during the first performance of Carl Zuckmayer's "The Merry Vineyard" in March 1926. The Rhenish winegrowers protested against the performance and marched outside the Mainz theatre with pitchforks and flails. The police stepped in front of the outraged winegrowers and protected the theatre. But among the audience, the negative reactions were limited and the production was a great success.

Time and again, the closure of the theatre in Mainz was discussed or a merger with Wiesbaden was considered. In difficult times, it was not unusual for the audience in Mainz to have a decisive influence on the programme - according to the motto "Whatever you want". Special attention was paid to the travelling stars Maria Schell, Will Quadflieg, Paul Hartmann, Elisabeth Bergner, Karl-Heinz Schroth, Gustav Knuth or Inge Meysel.

Since 1999, the Swiss Georges Delnon has been the artistic director of the Staatstheater Mainz. With his musical theatre productions and the very successful works of ballet director Martin Schläpfer, the Mainz theatre is once again making a name for itself beyond the region.

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