Press clippings (1992)

The antecedents of the Teatre del Mar are in the path and the will of Iguana Teatre -the current company that owns the theater- to carry out a theatrical programming project in Palma. The company, created in 1985 with the work cooperative structure associated as a professional production center, had a long experience, but the programming of a theatrical space, although not unknown, posed new challenges to them. From the beginning, the difficulty and the impossibility that Iguana Teatre carried out this project alone.

Since 1989, the headquarters of the company were a possession in Secar de la Real that they called Cortó, where they rehearsing street shows, Nit de Foc and Myotragus, they had workshops, stores and even some of them lived members but, at the end of 1990, from a theater course that gave members of Iguana to young people from Molinar, they met the Sala Rex and they considered the possibility of moving to this seafaring neighborhood.

It was at that moment when, on the one hand, they came into contact with different neighborhood entities, such as the neighbors' association, the old-age association (which had its offices in the same theater), the young people from Molinar, the parish - as a representative of the property -, etc. In 1991 it was time to write the first contract, with the bishopric and, more specifically, with the bishop.

On the other hand, the members of Iguana rented some warehause about two hundred meters, baptized with the name of Naus del Mar, and they transferred the offices, the stores and the workshops. The warehause had to be conditioned, because when arriving they were in very bad state, and this meant considerable economic and energy effort. They themselves were responsible for emptying them from rubbish, painting them and making the necessary facilities - water and electricity - in a process in which they invest a year and a half.

In 1991 the company settled in Molinar, loaded with debts and work, and had already signed a rental contract for fifteen years. The theater (Sala Rex) was first used as a rehearsal room, but everyone agreed on an aspiration: one day it should be opened as a theater with stable programming. Thus, once the first time they had settled in a new location, they began to work on the project to open a new theater in Palma.


Visit of the Minister of Culture,
Mr. Jordi Solé Tura (1992)
Photo: Carme Planells

The shows of Iguana Teatre were known everywhere, they were highly valued by public opinion, by other professionals and by all kinds of institutions and entities, but the company faced a very important challenge, rehabilitated and put into a theater is going on, and two goals: on the one hand, to condition a theater, which is undoubtedly the most expensive cultural infrastructure, and, on the other hand, to open it with a stable and public-interest programming.

The cost of such a project was very high. It was enough to verify the investment that was necessary in other spaces of the same characteristics in the rest of the State. Likewise, the idea that the space was multi-purpose, a characteristic that increased costs was imposed, but that was essential to face a project that was expected to transcend immediacy: a 21st century theater.

A project was created that during the year 1992 was distributed between public institutions, entities and personalities of the cultural world. The result was 100 adhesions to the project of entities and personalities; if we read these adhesions, we will verify that the Teatre del Mar gathered in a space the aspirations that, in theater, they had many of the outstanding people of the culture.

Iguana set out to offer this space to the public through an entity that brings together all these supports: a foundation. Thus, at the end of 1992, the idea of creating the Teatre del Mar Foundation was born.

From its origins, Iguana has wanted to offer an art theater, a public service theater, in its own language, a universal and own repertoire, aimed at satisfying the artistic and social needs of the citizens. The Founding Manifesto of Iguana Teatre, written around 1987, give an idea of the objectives of the company's beginnings, principles that have never been abandoned, and that during the preparation of the project, the implementation and the Teatre del Mar start up, have presided over the actions that the Foundation, doing theirs, has carried out.

Iguana Teatre Founding Manifesto 
  1. The theater as a place of concurrence of all the arts that are given in a community, with an integral and at the same time artisanal vision of the work, making the most of its own resources: decorations, costumes, tools, texts, etc.
  2. Priority acceptance of a type of initiatives that have an aspiration to project towards the future, which arise with the clear vocation of lasting. Good results, theatrical changes (improvements) and disposition towards culture only occur over time and after serious and specific work. This is clearly seen in the theater world.
  3. Reach the full awareness of the theatrical fact in its political and cultural aspect, in the society in which we represent our work. Collectively and dialectically grouped men and women can have a direct impact. Collaborating in the development of the theater helps the entire community to meet again thanks to him.
  4. Achieve, within the possibilities that allow the moment, a place where the community meets to listen and enjoy freely what is proposed by members of the community itself and that is born of the needs and instincts of improvement of all.
  5. Create as many spectators, as possible, all social groups, ensuring that the shows have the highest artistic level and offer a program of wide interest at the lowest possible price.
  6. To maintain transparent management in a system of collaboration with public entities. Doing this activity of a cultural nature with social concerns and seeking fair financing and regardless of profit or profit, typical of the commercial theater.
  7. Ritualize the fact of going to the theater as a place to celebrate shared sensibilities. Cultivating this singular union that is established between certain actors and their audience.

Also, the unquestionable technical and artistic competence of the members of Iguana Teatre was complemented by the participation of collaborators, without which the Teatre del Mar project would not have been possible. Among the support of various entities, it should be noted the first organizations that were employers, in addition to Iguana Teatre: the UIB, the OCB, and the Neighborhood Association des Molinar, who from the first moment saw the need to have a cultural facility for the neighborhood

On 28 January 1993, the whole process culminated - uncovering the building, deciding to condition it, recovering it as a theater and seeking institutional support - and the Fundació Teatre del Mar was presented at the Sa Nostra Culture Center of Palma.