«Stories heal:
The good and the bad. They explain the world for a moment»

MARALAM has been a hub and platform for cooperation and understanding between people from different cultural backgrounds for decades.

MARALAM understands itself as a platform for unusual, cross-border and cross-disciplinary projects in both the literal and the artistic sense. Artists from different cultures lay traces to their own and to foreign worlds.

Transcultural - Continuity in Diversity

Transcultural Theatre

MARALAM is the first transcultural theatre in Switzerland. MARALAM emerged from encounters with refugees and people with a migration background of the unforeseen and so unexpected nature. This, along with the multilingual projects and programs and the collaboration of artists with different cultural backgrounds, remains an important feature of the diverse work of those involved in MARALAM. Continuity in diversity.

The development of specific working techniques and dramaturgical approaches and the will to aesthetically present experiences and stories from very different perspectives and experiences in the most widely differing forms of presentation and themes is still a characteristic feature of MARALAM’s work today.

MARALAM works with the sensual means of the “performing arts” in the broadest sense and opens up an unusual, imaginative view of societal phenomena in connection with the foreign and the unknown in times of globalisation.


The other sight - in an interwoven world

In a multipolar world, it is about interwoven experiences from different perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Depending on who raises their voice, historical and cultural experiences are perceived, interpreted and staged in different ways.



With their specific life experiences and often different perspectives, the MARALAM members involved from a wide variety of cultural background always allow their own themes and forms to flow into the projects. This results in productions with thematically unexpected and surprising approaches and a unique mixture of the most diverse theatre and performance forms.

aesthetic & content positions

Supported by key persons

The list of key personalities of the past decades is long, who have repeatedly shaped productions in responsible aesthetic and content-related positions.

Anton Ponrajah, the Tamil actor, theatre-maker and co-founder of MARALAM, the Iranians Roya Ashrafabadi and Anoosh Ashrafadi; the Tamil theatre master Ilakhootan; the Swiss theatre people Ueli Ueli Blum; Peter Braschler; Otto Huber; Urs Graf; composers like John Wolf Brennan; Matthias Hillebrand-Gonzalez; the cooperation partners Cecile Alvarez-Guidote, Manila; Edward Muallem, Ashtar Jerusalem/Ramallah; Dr. Ali al-Shalah, Swiss-Arab Cultural Centre Zürich/Bagdad; Maysoon Mahfoudh, formerly of Pro Helvetia Cairo; authors such as Raja Aleem; Nora Amin; Dr. Ali Al-Shalah; Nilofar Beyzaie; Mars Cavestany; Förig Young; Judith Keller; Johanna Lier; Avishai Milstein; Dr. Alphonse Tarcissius; and players such as Yousra Ammouri, Tunis; Meret Bodamer; Utz Bodamer; Stephan Q. Eberhard, Urs Häusermann; Adem Kicaj; Annemarie Kuster; Shiva Mabood; Mehran Mahdavi; Edward Muallem, Sonja Quarella, Dashmir Ristemi, Kristina von Holt; Inaam Wali; designers, such as Hadi al-Abudi; Luisa Beeli; Ueli Duttweiler; Sabina Hexspoor; Emil Kapeljus; Barbara Mens, Nicole Müller; Michael Omlin; Diane Rietsch; Stephan Schwendimann; Karin Süess; Christian Tobler; Petra Waldinsperger; Roni Ulmann; Michel Weber; Producers like Rudolf Albonico; Gaby Bernetta; Hildegard Löhrer; Maysoon Mahfoudh and many other players, designers, composers, musicians and producers.

They have all shaped the development of MARALAM and have kept MARALAM alive in a widely widespread network into most different communities.

Making content possible

A densely woven network

MARALAM productions are not the work of a handful of individuals.

What sustains MARALAM is a finely woven but resilient network of a multitude of cosmopolitan, curious people with a wide range of core competencies who bring to MARALAM what makes them distinctive and often indispensable. Many of these creators are active again and again for MARALAM productions. Others join us loosely for individual productions, where they make a production feasible with their professional and inspirational competence or make extraordinary content possible with their very own cultural background and identity.

Focus on Middle East / Arab World

MARALAM hat schon früh in langjährigen Kooperationsprogrammen – Schwerpunkt Arabische Welt / Naher Osten – Themen aufgenommen, als diese im Westen noch im Verborgenen schlummerten. Fragen um Religion, gesellschaftliche Werte, Gewalt, kulturelle Verortung, Umwälzungen in arabischen Gesellschaften, welche seit einer Weile für heftigste Debatten sorgen. MARALAM hat sich über Jahre ein für die Schweiz einzigartiges Know how von inhaltlichen und produktionstechnischen Arbeitsweisen zu diesem Schwerpunkt angeeignet.