In this episode, we talk to Frauke Requardt and Luca Silvestrini about making work for the outdoors.
Artists have long been making work to animate places and spaces and there is much for them to consider when they do. The work has to sit within the setting, engage with passersby who perhaps are not expecting, or even asking, to be engaged with. But with the pandemic having closed theatres down for the best part of 2020 and now into 2021, many artists and venues are looking to the outdoors as part of our road to recovery.
Frauke and Luca reflect back on over 15 years of making work for the outdoors and talk about the differences in both developing work for particular spaces as well as touring with pop-up sets and ‘venues’. They speak about the experiences of the audience member – of drawing them into the narrative without having the tools at their disposal such as dimming lights and swishing curtains which are often used to create the atmosphere for the performance within traditional theatre settings. They talk about the audience who buy a ticket for and choose to see work in non-theatrical settings and those that stumble across it – and how both the performers and the choreographer prepare for those eventualities.
Coincidentally at time of recording, both artists were about to go into the studio the very next week to start work on new outdoor productions. Each gave us a sneak preview of what we can expect from their exciting new shows… and shared with us their own processes of making work in a pandemic for a world tentatively emerging from it.