Theater Goes to the Streets in December
By Jesús Aguado
Teatral is back with a broad program that will cover rural communities, neighborhoods, public esplanades, and theaters. Teatral, a festival that emerged in 2013, will feature international groups this year, filling the streets with light, color, and humor.
This is a pure theater festival, and its new program will be held from Monday, December 1 to Sunday, December 7. The event is organized by Pamela Cordero, a graduate in scenic arts, and Roberto Sánchez Avendaño, who studied dramatic literacy and theater. Cordero notes that Teatral is a project that had been in their minds for a long time, and they finally launched it last year with a lot of effort. The festival, says Cordero, emerged from their dream that scenic art is a magic tool that can help society to recover public spaces, youth, and the interest in this art that is being lost. “We also want to allow people with low incomes to have access to theater, to live, breathe, and feel the actors and actresses,” remarked Cordero.
During the festival, the main character will be the city. That is possible thanks to the minimum technical requirements the groups need. The idea and the concept is to invade the city; therefore, the organizers are including 24 plays with 24 groups in public plazas, such as the Jardín Principal and Plaza Cívica; five neighborhoods, including Las Cuevitas, El Valle, and colonia San Antonio, among others; and rural communities like La Huerta and San Miguel Viejo. Also, there will be plays in Santa Ana Theater, El Sindicato, and the Teatro Ángela Peralta.
The entrance to all these plays will be free, thanks to the support of public institutions such as FONCA (National Fund for Arts and Culture) and INBA (National Institute of Beautiful Arts), as well as support from the private sector, which includes local bars, hotels, and restaurants, and funding from people who love theater and want to allow others to enjoy it. The festival is not profitable, highlighted Cordero. In 2013 another theater festival (Fringe) emerged, but she commented that for now there are no plans to merge the two festivals. Nevertheless, they have had successful co-productions.
Opening and closing
Among the international groups the festival features this year are Pavel Vangeli from Czech Republic with a puppet show, Dúo Defecto from Argentina and Chile, and Guga from Brazil. The national groups include Hilo Negro (Black Thread) from Nuevo León, Cornisa 20, Clan of Clowns, and the Carro de Comedias (Car of Comedies) from the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico).
The festival opens Monday, December 1, at 8pm at Teatro Ángela Peralta with a clown and physical comedy in which humor is the base. The play will be presented by six actors from the group Sonámbulos from Puebla. The closing will be on Sunday, December 7, at the Troje of the Obraje with the play Mendoza staged by Los Colochos Teatro group, supported by the CONACULTA (National Council for Culture and Arts). Mendoza is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In this adaptation, the famous story of the Scottish king is transported to a Mexican context with an alternative dramaturgy inspired by authors like Juan Rulfo and Elena Garro; it is a play in which technical requirements are not that necessary because the actors’ efforts and creative solutions are the base.
CONACULTA notes that the direction of the spectacle takes the risk of simplicity for creating a relationship between actors and audience “with a touching story that the spectators know because they live it day-by-day in the country: murders, shootings, and power.” Mendoza is a play that approaches the audience through a classic work from a contemporary vision.
UNAM’s Car of Comedies and plays at the Jardín Principal
Carro de Comedias from the UNAM is literally a car that turns into a stage. In the past the actors of the group performed only in the Ciudad Universitaria of the UNAM. Carro de Comedias includes a space where graduate actors and actresses from that university perform works of world quality. The Carro de Comedias has traveled the Mexican Republic, and it is one of the most representative programs of UNAM. It aims to catch the attention of diverse audiences on the streets.
The group will present its first play in San Miguel at the esplanade of the Jardín Principal on Thursday, December 4, at 6:30pm. This year they will present The Red Threat
Cornisa 20 will have several presentations. One of them, entitled Románticos, will take place on Friday, December 5, at 6:30pm.
This year the uncommon stages will be the Juárez Park and rural communities.
Check the whole program on Festivals and Events in Qué Pasa; or go to www.teatral.mx