“The Barber of Seville” or “The Abduction from the Seraglio”: These operas are not only available at the Munich National Theater, but – somewhat smaller – from time to time in Unterschleißheim. Florian Bille runs the Bille Marionette Theater in the tenth generation and has now been keeping it alive in temporary arrangements in Unterschleißheim for the tenth year. Now it should be at home there. The ÖDP has submitted an application to the town hall to create a “municipal puppet theater”. It should become a cultural fixture in Unterschleißheim.
The history of the Bille Marionette Theater goes back to 1794. The family has seen many dramatic turns in recent years that would even provide material for the stage. Shortly before the Wall was built, it left the GDR and had a permanent venue in the Au in Munich since the 1980s. Because of a luxury renovation, the theater had to get out of there and was about to end in 2012. Today’s head chef Florian Bille, 36, used connections to Unterschleißheim, where part of the family lives. The puppet theater was housed in the visually impaired and blind center on Raiffeisenstraße and uses rooms in the Isar-Amper-Zentrum on Rathausplatz. The city helps too. But so far, nothing more than empty survival is possible. “We are still homeless today,” says Bille.
Room for readings and concerts
The puppet theater quickly offers daily and sometimes several day performances in the center for the visually impaired. The evenings on which more elaborate productions such as Mozart operas could be shown are rarer. The premises do not provide that. Florian Bille, who is also a concert pianist, has a family of four with children aged four and seven. “You have to think about what will happen in the next ten years.” This is one of the reasons why Bille would like to put down roots in Unterschleißheim, where many are now committed to the theater.
A support association collects donations. Its chairman Brigitte Knatz is the wife of ÖDP city councilor Bernd Knatz. And the latter has now submitted an application for the city to increase its grant from the current EUR 22,000 to EUR 50,000 per year. In addition, the city is to provide a gaming facility along with a workshop and warehouse free of charge. The rooms could also be used for workshops, readings, chamber concerts and other cultural events. A “small cultural center” could emerge, suggests Bernd Knatz. The schedule would be an integral part of the Forum’s cultural activities.
Then, according to Florian Bille’s great wish, the theater could also show with an evening program that it is not only a great thing for children, but an enrichment for the entire city. As it is in many other cities. One example that Bille likes to refer to is Bad Tölz, where his uncle has had his dolls dance in a public institution since 2000.