The fabulous artists of San Miguel to the rescue
By Alan Jordan
When I decided to present I Am My Own Wife, I tended to pay attention to the dialogue and not to the prop requirements, a typical actor response.Theater I Am My Own Wife With Alan Jordan Fri, Feb 21-Sat, Feb 22, 7pm Sun, Feb 23, 3pm 175 pesos Matinees 150 pesos La Buhardilla Fábrica La Aurora Tickets at Solutions (Mesones 57)
Once the words were more or less implanted in my head, I started to see all that was needed to make this dynamic and complicated play come to life. How am I going to pull this off? Certainly it could be done stylized with suggested props. That was one possibility. But wouldn’t it be great if we could at least replicate the feeling of a European Museum?
My notion of the ideal venue for the performances changed several times for a variety of reasons. Changes are always initially unnerving to me.
However, surprisingly enough, things always have a way of working out.
I went to Fábrica La Aurora with Lothar Muller from Kunsthaus in search of period furniture to be used as set pieces on stage. Luck took us to the great people at La Buhardilla. It’s a wonderful antique gallery filled with all kinds of great period pieces. They were kind enough to offer some of their beautiful furniture for use in the show.
I’ve always been attracted to Environmental Theater. I proposed that we create a theater in the antique gallery itself. Carlos and his charming wife Letty were enthusiastic, and I Am My Own Wife found a home. Both Lothar and Carlos are very knowledgeable about period furniture, which proved helpful when Lothar designed the set.
OK. Now we have a place and a producer who insists on remaining anonymous. Onward.
I’ll spare you the details of solving the problems of creating a stage and lighting it.
The props that the play called for were very specific. I spoke with people. I went on line cruising eBay, Mercado Libre and other sites. I traveled to Mexico City twice to see what I could find in their great La Lagunilla Antique Market. They had very cool 20th century items, none of which were appropriate for this unique play.
I went into the artisan market here in San Miguel, asking a few questions. Each person led me to the next. I ended up with the cream of the crop. A friend took me to a well-known ceramicist, Blanca Garcia. She agreed to create the head of Wilhelm II. The Civil List led me to Sylvia Ramírez Vázquez who helped design and create the outfit for the character Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf.
The contributions of Blanca García, José Rodríguez Yáñez, José Baltazar Cervantes, Sylvia Ramírez Vázquez and, of course, Lothar Muller and his staff from the amazing Kunsthaus were indispensable in creating the feeling and appearance of the set. The overall look of the antique gallery La Buhardilla was the icing on the cake.