Ann Dargies: Experiencing theatre

When we talk about independent theatre, we mean pro­­fessional theatres that are neither state or city nor private theatres. These are projects and ensembles from a large range of genres, including, but not limited to, straight theatre or musicals, dance and performance, as well as object and puppet theatre. Some groups keep their own playhouses, others migrate from one location to the next.

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Freie Szene Darmstadt is an association of more than 30 Darmstadt drama groups and individual artists who jointly use the Moller Haus theatre. Theatre makers who feel a connection with the independent theatre scene and whose work is centred in Darmstadt may join the association. In addition to representing their interests, the support asso­­ciation offers its members a platform for artistic ex­­change and cooperation. Another one of the asso­­ciation’s tasks consists in organising the independent theatre scene. The goal is to stimulate and promote Darmstadt’s theatrical landscape. The base of the Moller Haus theatre consists of the independent drama groups and their projects, productions and constructive colla­­bo­­ration on the one hand and an active executive board as well as full-time employees on the other hand.

The association has been operating the Moller Haus theatre as the playhouse of the independent scene since 1998. The groups performing here are predominantly professional theatre makers, whose work is of a high ar­­tis­­tic level. In accordance with its particular organizational form, the Moller Haus theatre presents a variety of en­­sem­­bles, who provide the public with a diverse programme.


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The programme’s focus is on children’s and youth theatre, whose target audience consists of three- to 18-year-olds and their families as well as children’s facilities and schools. Further pillars of the association in­­clude: aesthetic education, theatrical educa­­tion, adult theatre, minor arts, and dance.

The Moller Haus theatre has become a meeting place for theatre makers and enthusiasts. The bar and cosy lobby are places for not only the artists to meet but also the visitors to get in the mood for the performance or let the evening wind down.

Ann-DargiesAnn Dargies chairs Freie Szene Darmstadt e.V. and the Moller Haus theatre. She is a drama instructor, actress, clown, stage director, theatre teacher and acrobat. She manages Theater Transit and is active at the clown and ensemble theatre school “Schule für Clown und Ensemble­theater”. The author is also a drama lecturer at the Lingen Institute for Theatrical Education of the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences. She is active as a consultant for clown, drama and theatre education for various clients in Germany, Austria and Italy.