Experiencing Theatre and Cultural Management — Germany


Dates: 1.9.2015 – 31.8.2016

Venue: Marburg, Germany

Programme, action: Erasmus+, European Voluntary Service

Participant: Hana Magdoňová

Something about the project: It is composed as long-term EVS, the association “Theater GegenStand e.V.” is receiving organisation. It is an independent theatre with team comprising professionals as well as amateurs. Theater GegenStand regularly organises theatre and dance performances, workshops and public reading. As an “open theatre” it offers a possibility to join its activities to all interested people.

The tasks for the volunteer: The volunteer is welcome to join into all of Theater GegenStand‘s artistic and administrative activities. At the beginning of his stay he will be asked to take over various everyday routine tasks around the office and theatre, to understand how Theater GegenStand works and to get to know the town, the various venues, and the people involved in Theater GegenStand. These tasks will include distribution of flyers and posters around town, front-of-house jobs, helping to prepare for performances etc.

Once the volunteers has settled in, he should choose a project within the frame of Theater GegenStand‘s activities, for which he will take responsibility. The nature of this project very much depends on his individual interests and qualifications. He may direct his own theatre production working with our actors, he may take over the stage design for one or more of our productions, design our website or printed publications or organise the funding for a project. Usually volunteers develop the ideas for their projects during the first weeks of their stay through meeting people and getting to know our activities.

EVS report:

“Hey Hana, I found for you a one year Theatre project, abroad, which you can join! ”

“Wow, ok, great! I am in! And where is it?”

“In Germany, Marburg.”

“Ah…Ok, well, so I´ll go to Germany. Why not. ”

My EVS experience started somehow like this. Even I heard about this volunteer service before, the reality of this year brought me very different experiences as my expectation were and become very important, uniq part of my life. I will try to describe important facts which should know everyone, who´s thinking about to go to Marburg as a volunteer.



Marburg is really great, beautiful small city in Mittelhessen region cca 100 km north from Frankfurt. My first reaction for this city was: “OMG, I will live in Hogwards now?” I think, I was not so far away from truth. With beautiful gothic architecture of old university building, castle or St. Elizabeth catedral it´s seem like a fairytale. Since Mittleage is this city know as a student city and for example Brothers Grimms studied here and found lot´s of material for their story in this region. Atmosphere of the student city has been know especialy in participation of the students in the topics like human rights, politic. You can find anarchic, rainbow or welcome refugee flags all around the city. Students activities like reading, protest, theatre, concert party are creating the most important culture of the city. Even we can call Marburg as a small city, we can find here a lot´s of different nations living here together in the very nice family atmosphere, where the volunteer can feel comfortable.


Theater GegenStand

TG is the receiving organization EVS volunteers. It´s a half professional theatre group, which work in Marburg for long years. And tries to support in technical and organizational way everyone, who comes to the theatre and want create the theatre performance. Members of TG are students or people with another job, which love to do theater in their free time. In season year has TG a few stabile projects, which works every year like Kurzdram festival

(where are present new german text from beginning dramatics), SommerProjekt (the biggest  project of TG in the year, it has been presented in site-specific places of the city), some fairy-tales for kids and some other activities.

The main job of the EVS volunteer is in technical, organization support of these projects. What is actually necessary: make a technical support for evening performance like lights or sound, help with make-up or selling the tickets before performance, help with building stage design etc. Very important part of the job is also propagation of projects in the city – like hanging posters, flyers etc.  But still these supportive activities don´t take the main part of volunteer time. It´s always just a few hours per a week. The volunteer still has enough time to join himself in the way he likes, of his own qualities. F.e.: I leaded a workshop of the Physical Poetry first few months, after in the second part of my EVS I did a theatre project Three Sisters by A. P. Tschechow with 10 actors of TG. I also join some another small projects as an actor. But just for comparing: Carmela volunteer from Spain, which was here in the same time as I, is not really the “acting type” and she did a lot´s of great job as an graphic or making videos or trailers.

Accommodation, Diet, Free time

Volunteers live in very nice street in the center of the city – Weidenhausen. TG rent for volunteers part of the floor in the house with three rooms which work like seperate 1 room flats with shared bathroom. TG do not provide any food for volunteers, they simple give him the money from EU, which are donate for this reason. There is many way how to spend free time in Marburg. As I mentioned before, there are different students activities which you can join, basic cultural activities like museums, galeries, theatres or cinemas, sport activities as well. Marburg is very beautifull city with with great historical monuments and amazing nature around the city so I personaly just love to walk around. If you would need bigger city, Frankfurt is around 1 hour far with the train and allowes activites of the big city, which Marburg cannot. But of course the price for the tickets its bit higher than in Marburg.


Personal feelings


I never really planed to live aboard in the city like Marburg. I´d prefer London, Berlin, Paris etc., but however, I am very gratefull for the year spent right here. It brought me my personal picture about life in Germany, personal culture shocks etc. Also to be in Germany was not priority for my EVS. That was the theatre and here in Marburg welcomed me and offered me everything what I need. And I think, this is exactly the main thing. Who would like to spent the year with doing nothing, just time to time help in the theatre, Marburg EVS offers that. If is someone initiative in society activities like human rights or politic, Marburg offers you that too. But If you looking for a place, which gives you the oragnizated, technical platform for your artistic expression, Marburg and Theater GegenStand is the right place, because it very well spent time which creates the potential of your future qualities.

Hana Magdoňová

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