Margret Cimarolli is 73 and, in her words, a genuine Paznaun local. She was the head teacher of the Ischgl primary school for over 20 years, and today is chair of the local theatre club. She speaks with Trisanna about why Ischgl works so well, how it works, the fascination of the theatre and why a countryside childhood is so wonderful.

Margret, you were born in Ischgl and grew up here, you worked here for most of your career, established a catering business on the side and brought up two children. So you know the village from all sides – what makes it so special?
To be honest, Ischgl is a business community, a full-on tourism town. But Ischgl has still retrained its sense of community. When it comes down to it, we stick together. I can remember a flood that we only came through so well because we all pitched in together. In addition, there’s something that still works here, which other towns don’t manage. 

What’s that?
In recent years many outsiders have come here, too, they’ve moved to us. But they assimilate very well here. In my opinion, this is because we have so many clubs and associations. And ones which work well, at that. We have the choir, the schützen rifle company, the fire brigade and so on. It is easy to integrate here.

But it also means a lot of commitment from the many people involved.
That’s quite right, and luckily there are lots of people here who also think it’s important, and who do a great deal of work even if it’s unpaid. But I believe that everyone in a village should contribute to the village community. And it’s really easy to do so with the clubs and associations.

You yourself are the chair of the theatre club. How did that come about?
I have been a member for a really long time, since around 1981 to be precise. Our first performance took place in a garage on the mini golf course, we borrowed the seats from the school and we performed “Joseph the Chaste.”  To begin with, we staged more rural plays, nowadays we sometimes dare to do something more demanding as well, “The Fire Raisers,” for example. I have been the chair since 2007 and it still brings me just as much joy as before.

What is so fascinating about being on stage?
I just enjoy acting, I like taking on a role. But other than that, we are a really good community, old people and youngsters – and after rehearsals, we often like to sit together, to have a drink and a good time together.

You have a great deal of experience with the very young from your time as a primary school teacher and head.
When I think about my homeland and the children, I think you can count yourself lucky to grow up here. In contrast to the town, we don’t have any latchkey kids, the parents are around, even if they’re very busy sometimes.