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Stadsschowburg Sittard Auditorium  /

This project is a commission for Museum Het Domein in Sittard Geleen. Once again I was working alongside curator Andy Brydon from Curated Place,  see more of our Secret Cities projects here.

By its nature a Theatre is a world of secrets. The whole premise of the building is a place out of reality, where actors, musicians, dancers and performers can conjure another reality for an audience taken away from their everyday lives.

 

Here and there the audience is allowed a glimpse at the inner workings of the machine – a pulley here, a lamp there, the occasional cable - almost as if to remind people that what they are seeing is a fantasy, a mere production.

 

But these views of backstage life are kept to a minimum as behind the scenes technicians toil just out of view to create the magic that allows an audience to collectively experience a moment of suspended disbelief in another time, another place. In many ways it’s the underground made official, a place where we can escape the rules and regulations for a moment without reprimand or recourse.  Perhaps that’s why it is viewed as a waste or an excessive luxury by those that seek to grasp power through fear, it being a rare place where as an adult thoughts of alternative worlds, different realities and possible futures are not just sanctioned but encouraged.

 

Even when things go wrong in the theatre a strange clash of the real world and the fantasy mingle to create new stories; the Stadsschowburg having many tales from a pig being found drinking from the green-room bar, to performers being encouraged to take their cue to an empty house or a magician disappearing during his act only to reappear covered in very real blood. But it is when the theatre reaches out to the real world to influence a production that it becomes its most powerful - it allows a city to take control of its own image, engage with the creation of its own memories in the present and create new stories rooted in a specific place for future generations.

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Stadsschowburg Sittard Auditorium