No proper German city of the 19th century was without its own municipal theatre! The good burgers of Mainz jointly funded this project in the proud 19th century, dedicating the stage in 1831.
Recent reconstruction created new stages behind the 19th century facade, and mean that the theatre will continue to function through the 21st century.
Mainz is the location of one of the most important Roman archeological projects: the excavation of a major Roman theatre located on the grounds of the Sudbahnhof rail station. The site was discovered in the middle of a major renovation/expansion project at the train station, and is still very much on-going. This is one place where you can witness a very important historical process while you are changing trains!
It's a particularly important project, because it demonstrates the willingness and ability of the Roman Empire to provide the comforts of "civilization" for its soldiers and administration, even in the midst of "barbarian" Germany.
A series of interpretitive markers provide helpful explanations of the dig in both German and English.
On the cover of their 120-page season schedule book for 2004/2005 the State Theater in Mainz has an intriguing photo of their stage entrance at night.
When I was there the other night for the opera premiere I decided to see if I could duplicate that photo with my little digital camera.
Well, it came out all right, I guess, but theirs is better because they managed to blur the part inside the door while maintaining readability of the neon sign Bühneneingang, which means "stage entrance".
Maybe they did that on the computer some way, I don't know. Anyway theirs looks more mysterious than mine does, because in theirs you can't make out the prosaic details such as the table, chairs and a wastepaper basket.
You can pick up their season schedule book for free in the entrance lobby on the ground floor.