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For the past five years, on every first Monday of the month, NEAT has presented a new project at MERLIN. Sixty new shows in as many consecutive months is the equivalent of  a Premiere every four weeks; quite a NEAT feat!

The concept of DARK MONDAY originated in the USA where established venues make their stages available to independent theatre groups, on Monday, their regular “off” and otherwise “dark” night. MERLIN was immediately receptive to the idea and we’ve been putting on themed mixtures of prose and poetry, as well as play readings and radio plays, ever since.

We’ve presented many German and European Premiere Performances of new works by current American and British playwrights, authors and poets; regularly featuring local wordsmiths who live and work in Stuttgart, like Stephen Thomas, Daniel Regelbrugge, Michael Hilton, Archie Macjoyce and the WRITERS IN STUTTGART collective.

Live Music is always a feature of the series and several of the musical formations have taken on a life of their own; THE DARK MONDAY ORCHESTRA, THE TOLLING THUNDER REVUE, THE GERSHWIN SINGERS, THE GREENWICH VILLAGE PLAYERS, etc. We also like to feature groups like the STÄFFELES BANJO RUTSCHER Banjo Band and the STUTTGART HARMONIZERS Barber Shop Quartet in our themed literary performances.

The DARK MONDAY shows have been an eclectic mixture and featured Pop Icons alongside Serious Literature, ranging from Elvis Presley, The Marx Brothers, The Lone Ranger, Marilyn Monroe, Laurel & Hardy, Cole Porter, Shockheaded Peter, George Gershwin, Albert Einstein, Lee Harvey Oswald, T.S.Eliot, Dracula, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, Stephen King, P.G. Wodehouse, Walt Whitman, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Lee Masters, Arthur Miller, Paul Auster, Marlene Dietrich, , Eric Maria Remarque, Marsha Norman, Helene Hanff, Even Ensler, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, David Foster Wallace, Firesign Theatre, Bram Stoker, Orson Welles, Lucille Fletcher, Yasmina Reza, Tom Stoppard, Don Marquis, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Frayn,

To celebrate the FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of our popular monthly DARK MONDAY @ MERLIN series we’ve chosen another Classic of  American Literature / Pop Culture; THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum. The performance of this Original Live Radio Play from 1950 will be yet another Stuttgart Premiere!

Written by L. Frank Baum in 1900, THE WIZARD OF OZ is considered to be the first truly American Fairy Tale. The story of a girl named Dorothy who lives with her aunt and uncle on a farm way out in Kansas. Her dearest friends are her dog Toto and the farmhands Hunk, Hickory and Zeke, who in her dreams become the wonderful characters, The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodsman and The Cowardly Lion – whom she encounters traveling down a Yellow Brick Road to a better land, somewhere over the rainbow. On the way they defeat the Wicked Witch of the West, and finally arrive at the Land of Oz to be rewarded by the Wizard of Oz with their hearts’ desires. The Hollywood studio, MGM, turned the book into a screen classic in 1939 starring Judy Garland as Dorothy and Lux radio Theater produced this radio version in 1950 starring Judy Garland in her original screen role.

Featuring Denise Woodmansse, Elena Gallego, Sylvia Owens, Lily Grabill, Susan Schwartz, David Brumedi, Lawrence Holmes, Max Oisin, Ravi Kanth. Derrick Jenkins, Mohammad Sabouni, Florian Eisentraut


Monday, October 1 at 8pm in MERLIN

Sunday, October 14 at 7pm in CENTRAL THEATER, Esslingen

Tuesday, October 16 at 8pm in THEATER AM OLGAECK

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