Special circumstances require special measures – and so at the Theater Schloss Maßbach in the district of Bad Kissingen in the middle of summer, a tragedy is on the programme: Lessing’s “Emilia Galotti”. The play had been postponed due to Corona and now has its premiere in the Maßbacher Lauertalhalle. It was converted into a venue months ago. For the sake of acoustics, it was lined with black sheets of fabric. Grandstand parts were set up for the rear spectator ranks. On the open-air stage in the castle courtyard, the comedy “Lies have young legs” by Ray Cooney is currently causing laughter for the audience. This piece had also had to be postponed before.
Artistic Director: “The audience belongs to the theatre”
Above all, the months-long lockdown from November caused theatre director Anne Maar, as well as many other cultural workers, a headache. Their Plan B from spring 2020 was far from sufficient: “We are currently on Plan M.” She and her team had used the time without performances for workshops and rehearsals. Nevertheless, exhaustion has gradually set in, she says. Especially over the winter, it was difficult to remain optimistic. Because: “The audience is part of the theatre.”
Public aid and loyal subscribers
All in all, however, the Theater Schloss Maßbach has so far coped with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Although there was a lack of income due to the forced break. However, many card subscribers even waived refunds and donated their already paid amount. “That didn’t worry us the most,” says Anne Maar and adds: “We have been well helped. We got November and December aid. The subsidies were paid last year in the same way as before. Of course, employees were on short-time work.”
Praise and respect for the theatre director
Meanwhile, their employees are happy to be able to play again since the end of May. And they are full of praise for their boss. “You can really emphasize how great the theatre management deals with contracts and actors here. This is not the case in every house. So I was really very, very, very happy,” says actress Anna Katharina Fleck. Her older colleague Angela Koschel-de-la-Croix also pays tribute to the artistic director: “I admired Ms. Maar very much for having persevered. I thought that was strong.” Both women belong to the ensemble of the comedy “Lies have young legs”.
Celebrations for the 75th anniversary have been cancelled
In order to ensure the necessary distances, the open-air grandstand cannot currently be fully occupied. The “Intimate Theatre” in the castle with only 87 seats is currently not used at all due to Corona. For the time being, the Lauertalhalle will serve as an indoor venue. The events planned for 2021 for the 75th anniversary of the Theater Schloss Maßbach have fallen victim to the pandemic. Its predecessor was founded in 1946 by Anne Maar’s grandparents Lena Hutter and Oskar Ballhaus. However, Anne Maar took advantage of the lockdown and published a book. It is entitled “Invitation to the Castle – 75 Years of Theater Schloss Maßbach” and is available in theaters and bookstores.