Pablo Silva, the Argentine theater producer who bets on Madrid

Pablo Silva, in the Retiro Park, Madrid Credit: @laurabeduz

MADRID.- The Kaso Dora, in 2003, marked the landing of the theater producer Pablo Silva in Spain. Then, in each European season, he added new proposals with an Argentine accent, 15 in total, while his activity in the “semi-independent scene” of Buenos Aires, as he defines it, did not stop. Based in Spain since 2019, he began to build bridges in Madrid venues, to open spaces for expression and to produce not only Argentine artists. His latest proposals, Black, with and from the great Dennis Smith, and Second princess, with Lucas Ferraro, they sold out the tickets. The pandemic forced him to modify the plans of his schedule full of projects, but his desire to present an attractive menu of shows of various genres and styles remains ironclad.

The same language, a shared tradition, but there are also many differences between the Madrid and Buenos Aires scene. “In Madrid there are 25 rooms and in Buenos Aires, 300 “Silva points out. “In Madrid, independent theater has less volume than Buenos Aires. There is official and commercial theater. In Buenos Aires there are many production lines and some works are not totally commercial, state or independent,” explains the producer, who also joined the Madrid Theater School, by Diego Bergier, where he teaches courses and where he also produced Bacchanal. In addition, it works, among other projects, in Sana sana (one from Argentines), directed by Miguel Angel Solá, where the actor will share the stage with the author of this poetic work, María Luz Solá Oteyza, daughter of the interpreter, and Néstor Ballesteros.

-How did the pandemic impact Spanish theater, and in particular, independent expression?

-Its economic and artistic activity is significantly depreciated. Statistically, there are many months with closed spaces and some rooms cannot sustain this lack of income. There are grants and subsidies, through complex mechanisms, as in all countries, but there are. I think that the one that responded best and fastest was the public theater because it has the capacity and the means. There are 25 works that have not been released yet. Here there is something interesting, typical of the logic of independent theater, which the public theater takes: some works are represented only during a weekend, that is, they are adapted to a micro version so that all actors have the opportunity to act. Okay as an idea. I think independent theater is going to do the same.

-That is, does the independent theater add and multiply its production instead of reducing it?

-There are small rooms that have a large number of productions. Small rooms that work now some days in which they did not work before, even with double functions. Independent theaters have to go multiprogramming. Now it is difficult, because there is a curfew, but if the functions start earlier, it can be a good alternative.

-And, in particular, how did the pandemic affect your production?

-Some artists were going to come from Buenos Aires, others came back because they did not want to be confined in Spain. Changed the world. You have to live with a post-pandemic world from the generation of products designed from this new universal logic.

-What do you think of streaming?

-Argentina exploited from platforms streaming, while in Spain things were more relaxed, I think a bit due to the cultural idiosyncrasy, where production is slower. But, although the Spanish response was slower, it was also more powerful, with Scenikus, for example, a very interesting platform.

-What is the role of the State in Spanish theater productions?

– Public interference in the three areas (commercial, private and independent) is enormous. Here the subsidies contribute not only to public theaters, but to the small off, and to the commercial as well. In addition, the rooms and companies are subsidized. It is unthinkable for Argentina that there are festivals and theaters of structure and public funds managed by private companies.

-You were talking about the companies. In Spain the company concept works very well. Why do you think there are hardly any in Buenos Aires?

-In Madrid they understood the idea of ​​a group a long time ago. There are many universities that have their own companies. Perhaps in our case we have something more individualistic or a Buenos Aires neurosis.

-Why are the theatrical seasons so short in Spain?

-The independent theater here is nourished by the energy of the actors. In Buenos Aires all the time the actors are watching plays, they go to see their companions. Madrid’s independent theater, on the other hand, is very small. There is no marketing, networks. You have to generate a local audience in Madrid.

-What does Madrid offer for an independent theater producer?

-There are certain deficiencies in the management of the rooms, it is difficult to promote the public. The independent plays need to improve the artistic proposals and the rooms, the management of marketing. There is a lot of amateur theater and I think there is a lot of work to be done.

Pablo Silva produced his first work in Madrid in 2003 Credit: @laurabeduz

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