‘Stadtraum-Theater in der alten Fliesenlegerwerkstatt.’ by Elisabeth Maier, Theater der Zeit, 4/2023.
Since 2021, Herbordt and Mohren, the two pioneers of the performing arts, have been operating their Schaudepot in the former workshop of an Altenbergweg tiler, in the midst of many rental apartments down in Stuttgart Kessel. Regarding the concept, Herbordt remarks:“Our basic idea is to bring theatre into the residential area.” During lunch break or after work, people stop by and watch videos of the productions that the Herbordt/Mohren collective has been creating since 2012. For their socio-political performative projects, the two were awarded the "Der Faust" German Theatre Prize in the genre-busting category in 2022. This “great encouragement” has only emboldened them to do more.
Looking out of window, Bernhard Herbordt's eye remains fixed on the balconies of the apartments on the opposite side. Across the way, there's a man smoking a cigarette. Even he could be a potential patron. “We dare to experiment with a kind of theatre in which everyone can put together their own performance at the time that suits them best,” says Melanie Mohren. “You can borrow recordings of the performances, like in a library.” The Herbordt/Mohren collective contemplates whether a regular audience can be generated for the theatre in small format, as an experiment. The pair are always on the lookout for more visitors. Their concept is implemented in small steps. In front of the Schaudepot, the communicative all-round artists engage in conversation with the neighbors. Or they invite them to special events, dropping flyers in mailboxes. The back and forth seems uncomplicated.
At a time when urban stages as well as independent theatres have to prove more than ever that they are socially relevant when facing ever tighter municipal budgets, with their concepts, the performers are transporting their art into the neighborhoods themselves. New cultural spaces such as the Schaudepot are indispensable. Many of neighbors from the southern part of Stuttgart have never even been to the theatre. But they're curious when the Schaudepot (literally: "show depot") opens its doors for actions, special events and performances. This term is actually known from the visual arts. However, no paintings are stored in these spaces and rooms, but performances from the conservatory.
An extract from the article by Elisabeth Maier for the Theater der Zeit of 4/23.
Link to the full article (in German).