Entertainment never stops evolving. As we make our way into 2023, we’re exploring takeaways from the past 12 months: emerging questions, exciting innovations, insights, predictions, hot takes, and more.
Here are some quick reflections from our team on how their corner of the industry is shifting and how that impacts the “state of space” in 2023.
This past year, cultural spaces have continued to creatively problem-solve to prioritize a holistic approach to the health and safety of our people and our planet. From the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 to an overdue reckoning with systemic racism to the worsening impacts of the climate crisis, our industry faces a number of challenges and a series of interconnected crises. These issues are intersectional and it is my belief that—as an industry and as individuals—we will seize this unique opportunity to redefine our priorities to promote social and environmental well-being.
It has been interesting to watch the reaction of entertainment companies throughout the pandemic. Right now, there is a large move to present outdoor entertainment and a proliferation of new amphitheaters being built. Similarly, with the move from watching movies in a theatre to watching movies at home, streaming companies have had great success, which creates a greater demand for screening rooms where content producers can show their product to industry partners and vice-versa.
Audiovisual, like everyone else, took a turn in 2020. It’s interesting to see how the practices that evolved out of necessity are now turning into standards to make theatre and arts more accessible. The obvious example is live-streaming events. Most venues are now equipping themselves to do that as a regular part of their programming, and it lets them reach audiences for whom their work may typically be inaccessible.
As far as hiring goes, I’m starting to see interest in theatre consulting from other arenas and industries, like technical system installation and integration, architectural project management, BIM coordination, AV and sound system design, architectural lighting design, and museum curation. I’m excited to see who discovers theatre consulting in 2023! Those crossover skills and new perspectives are vital for our industry’s growth.
There are two things I’m particularly interested in seeing in theatre right now. The first is the emerging model of “no 10-out-of-12s” and how this affects performance quality and budget versus crew productivity. The second relates to LED and automation. While these aren’t new to entertainment, I’m always interested in how they’re integrated and used as a “character” in the performances. Seeing more seamless integration of technology, where it all flows together with the other elements of stagecraft and performance is wonderful.
I look forward to more experiences staged in unconventional places. I’m excited to see where this continued convergence of emerging technologies with different types of architecture goes and how that creates new and exciting experiences in nontraditional locales.
I’m excited to see more and more immersive arts coming! I went to an immersive Gustav Klimt exhibition this year. It’s a great way to bring people in—to embrace arts and the building itself. My favorite part with the Klimt exhibit was how they mapped the whole bank lobby and projected historic images that made you feel like you were traveling back into the old times!
I’ve noticed that after a few difficult pandemic years, people are coming back to the arts with an energetic and enthusiastic attitude. Generally, I feel that people appreciate gathering, sharing, and public spaces even more now and appreciate the need for them. It makes me happy to see how many collaborations we have done this year to create these types of spaces and to help provide people with a sense of community and togetherness.