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Torn Space Theater transforms another part of Silo City for STATIONS

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Silo City's massive structures make it an iconic piece of Buffalo, and now, Torn Space Theater has once again transformed a section of it into a one-of-a-kind performance space for its newest production, STATIONS.

"This is a newly acquired section of Silo City, purchased by Rick Smith, and we’re looking to behind me, the Lake and Rail building. This grain elevator was operational last year. Over here is a washing station where they would bring trains in," said Torn Space Theater's artistic director Dan Shanahan, giving News 4 a tour of the performance areas.

When the sun goes down at Silo City, the lights go up for STATIONS, which brings in around 200 people each night.

"We’ve really enhanced the architecture with video mapping, light design projection, and sound," Shanahan explained. "And to pull that off we’ve worked with various local and international artists who have designed specific spaces throughout this site."

Pulling it off in the Silo City space was a challenge.

There's no electricity in this part of the complex, so the Torn Space Theater crews had to bring in generators and two miles of cables to make the performances possible. It all came together in a matter of weeks.

Still, Shanahan calls working in the silo city space a privilege. “These spaces are really epic. I call them the Pyramids of the Industrial age,” he said. “They’re massive, they’re gorgeous, they’re really in line with Bauhaus architecture, so it’s completely utilitarian. There is no extra décor here. So you’re really looking at a beautiful form and function merger here with the architecture and it really makes you feel small when you look at the scale of these buildings.” 

Shanahan says he hopes that's one of the things people take away from seeing the STATIONS performances.

"We hope that they have an appreciation for this architecture and the way in which we’ve been able to design a performance for it," he said. "On a deeper level, each year we create a society that enacts as public ritual, and that’s what the audience is experiencing, a late summer harvest ritual enacted by a fictitious society, so we hope people are able to experience a kind of collective mythology that we're creating."

Shanahan says the audience itself is part of the experience and the aesthetic, so audience members are encouraged to wear gray or black clothing when they attend. For safety reasons, no high-heeled shoes are allowed.

For the full experience of the night, audience members can also enjoy a VIP boat ride, too.

"We take guests on a boat ride along the Buffalo River," Shanahan said. "We have a curated sound track that we pump through the sound system, so it’s a kind of tranquil, meditative boat ride prior to the performance."

STATIONS runs August 10-12 and August 17-19 at Silo City.

Tickets are available online by clicking here.

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