This is usually the time I’m writing to you about the shows for the coming year – however, this time it’s a different kind of update. We’re not announcing an upcoming season of productions, we’re announcing a season of making new work. In 2023 Silo will enter an extended period of artistic development. During this time three new New Zealand works will be developed before we return to putting productions on stage next spring. This is a big reset for us that feels necessary but also a bit scary, as all big and important milestones should.
This decision has really been driven by our aspirations for Silo’s future. We want that future to be big and bright and full of unforgettable storytelling, but we are operating in difficult times and the way we move forward from here can’t be in denial of that reality. The show-must-go-on mentality of our industry is hard to shake, and has created some cognitive dissonance for many of us these last few years as we’ve tried to navigate between a desire to hold on to what feels familiar and the knowledge that things have changed forever and we must change alongside them.
The impacts of the pandemic on our sector are serious and long lasting. This environment has demanded that we look closely at the impact we want to make in the future and how we can continue to be a place for artists to expand their practice and create their most courageous work. Reverting to business as usual not only feels boring in this context, it feels dangerous. The rush to return to the status quo doesn’t sit right with us: funding for the arts is shrinking, audience attendance is down the world over, thinking and planning has become short term, reactive and risk averse, practitioners are burning out and leaving the sector for better pay and greater security. The time for transformation is now, and this is our way of addressing how we can maintain our vision for delivering powerful and expansive ideas on stage and foster a greater depth of practice in the work we create.
During this period, artists and art-making remain at the centre of the company. The three works we are developing all traverse wildly different terrain in their ideas and approaches to storytelling. I’m so excited and inspired by the scale of ambition, ingenuity and adventure all these artists are chasing. Our artistic associates for 2023 – the brilliant artists leading these works in development – are Anapela Polata‘ivao, Stacey Leilua, Leon Radojkovic, Jon Coddington, Rachel Marlow, Daniel Williams and Freya Silas Finch.
While we won’t be on stage for a little while, we’re going to be really busy. This volume of new work is a big undertaking for a company of our size, and it’s the largest artistic development investment in our history. You will still hear from us over the coming months as we share conversations and insights into the worlds these artists are building.
We will miss you, but we promise it will be worth the wait.
Sophie Roberts – Artistic Director
→ Click here to read more about our 2023 Artistic Associates