The days when Vienna's theatres had to beg for subsidies may be over.
On Oct. 24, Vienna's city councilor for culture, Peter Marboe, introduced a new subsidizing programme for Vienna's stages.
The yearly haggling for subventions, which often dragged on for months, will be replaced by three-year plans. After two years, the programme submitted by the respective theatre will be evaluated and, if deemed successful, the contract will be renewed for another three years.
Marboe could not produce the exact requirements for a draft agreement, but he mentioned "innovative theatremaking" and "cultural achievements" as yardsticks. Attendances will be a factor, too, but Marboe conceded that "there will be a margin for flops".
According to Marboe, these three-year plans should especially turn owners of smaller stages from petioners into partners. One of the reasons for this historic change in Vienna's cultural scene: Within a year, attendance dropped by more than 100,000. To stop this trend, additional measures like "twofer-days" (two tickets for the price of one) will be introduced.
-- By Bernd Freimueller