If you want to find out about a city, asking a taxi driver is not a bad place to start. Relatively simple questions—Where’s the city’s best Saturday market, favored local pub, or loveliest park?—might spark revealing answers that lead far beyond the prospect of a tip, giving you insights into everyday life and local politics. In such a situation, you might find out what people really think, depending on how the conversation goes, or you might find out nothing at all, radio blaring. Setting into motion what they call “taxi choreography,” Theater im Bahnhof taps into the artistic potentials of the personal encounters and exchanges afforded by taxi rides. To that end, six of the city’s professional taxi drivers take steirischer herbst visitors on special trips through Graz. In this scenario, the back seat of the cab—a quasi-private sphere temporarily for hire during a normal taxi ride—becomes a performative space where driver and passenger play out questions and answers and swap stories, half-rehearsed the way many anecdotes are when they are told over and over again to paying customers. But now, the ordinary rules of engagement no longer apply, and the conversation goes much further as the taxi’s stereo system and video screen as well as the city itself are activated to emphasize the overarching narrative of the trip as it emerges. Passengers might find out about the city’s brighter spots and its problems, its shifts in public opinion, and its migrant communities; it is this conversation that determines and fuels the course of the looped route, creating a singular slice through Graz as one would never otherwise see—and hear—it.
Theater im Bahnhof
Hier War Ich Noch Nie – eine Taxichoreografie (I've never been here before—taxi choreography) (2018)
26.9., 3.10., 10.10.:
20:00, 20:45, 21:30, 22:15
20:30, 21:15, 22:00, 22:45
Departing every 45 min.,
duration ca. 30 min.
Starting point: Postgarage
corner of Rösselmühlpark
Free with Festival Pass
Limited capacity, no pre-sales, tickets only at the box office
Single ticket 15/11 Euro
Commissioned by steirischer herbst
Produced by Theater im Bahnhof in coproduction with steirischer herbst
Concept, directors: Gabriela Hiti, Helmut Köpping
Logistics, production design: Johanna Hierzegger
Dramaturgical consultation: Ed. Hauswirth, Monika Klengel
Sound design, technician: Moke Rudolf-Klengel
With taxi drivers Sarah Andersson, Ahmet Atas, Werner Güde, Cäcilia Martinez-Bohar, Tom Reiterer (Coinflipcutie), Ing. René Schwarzl and Juliette Eröd, Eva Hofer, Martina Zinner
Theater im Bahnhof (founded 1989, Graz) understands itself as a contemporary people’s theater. Its focus is on research and writing its own productions for both the stage and public space, questioning Austrian identity between pop culture and tradition.