25 years of English Theatre in Mainz!
The Day Before:
Although there may be some grandmas and granddaddies who vaguely remember the initial steps taken sometime in the last century, we see fit to enlighten you about the history of the D.O.T.
The Day-Old Theatre was founded at the Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz in November 1991. The D.O.T., an independent student theater group that stages plays in English, owes its existence to the local American Studies division. Through the university's direct exchange program, Daniel Recktenwald—then co-director at the Actors Theatre Louisville, one of the United States' trend-setting "independent theatres"—ended up in Mainz during his study year abroad.
As founding father and first director, Daniel helped the D.O.T. take its baby steps in 1992. Edward Albee's American Dream was its first production and its name-giver. A play by Tennessee Williams, Talk to Me like the Rain and Let Me Listen, followed shortly afterwards.
Since then, the group has come of age with a variety of plays of British, Irish and American origins, with most years witnessing the staging of at least one production.
Against the Eternal Return of the Identical - theatre stage - we stubbornly insist on creative variability. Neither are we afraid of taking on a classic piece nor do we wince at handling daring contemporary plays. Topics like the make-believe harmony of the American South, social parochialisms in small-town Ireland, the insanity of the psychiatric profession in metropolitan London, a young American's difficulties in coming to terms with himself, and female iconoclasm in the Old Testament, have come to life on our stage. Experienced professional and up-and-coming amateur directors alike work with mammoth- and mouse-size casts (18 actors filled the stage during a theater festival, just two in another), and, in all audacity, we experiment with slide-projectors, motion-picture cameras, Dry Ice guns, musical instruments, steampunk elements, shadow walls and last but definitely not least, the English language.
Constant factors in the D.O.T. are a loosely-knit but reliable and luckily ever rejuvenating network of members eager to participate on, above, behind, and below the stage, plus our goal of presenting our faithful audience with more than mediocre student theater - in spite of our amateur background. To this end, we invest our money and time in advanced theatre training rather than expensive stage sets. As a group, we have organized three workshops in the past. And for some of us, this work has become more than a "mere pastime". One of our members has graduated to being a professional director, another had the chance to partake in the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We are always happy to answer questions and welcome prospective actors, make up-artists,stage designers.... or just interested anglophiles and theatre afficionados, so don't hesitate to contact us via e-mail or facebook!