People & Places

My Favourite Building: artistic director Sophie Roberts

Article by Home Magazine

Silo Theatre turns 20 this year: it doesn’t have its own building, but artistic director Sophie Roberts is quite at home in another

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My Favourite Building: artistic director Sophie Roberts

“Theatres are my favourite spaces – specifically when a show moves from the rehearsal room into the theatre and you have to meet the expectations of a much larger space and work out how it’s going to communicate what you’re trying to express. There’s something about that moment in the process of creating work: a potent mix of exciting possibility and potential for disaster that’s the most motivating force on earth for me.

I’ve directed seven shows at Q Theatre. The first was Pitchfork Disney, not long after it had first opened. We decided to transform the entire theatre, foyer and entrance into a highly detailed, abandoned and decaying old home. We had big ambitions and no money and had seriously bitten off more than we could chew. I remember us frantically painting and grabbing rubbish off Queen Street to chuck in the stairwell as the audience was starting to come in. It has become a building that feels like a second home to me.

I love where Q sits in the city – there’s a real arts precinct in that part of town now that wraps around Aotea Square and the Town Hall. For me, it’s a great reminder of the civic function of theatres as important spaces where people come together and engage in conversations about the world we live in.”

Photography by: David Straight.

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