Hemispheric Institute Encuentro:Globalization, migration and the public sphere 3rd : : Lima, Peru. Hemispheric Institute Encuentro:Performing heritage : contemporary indigenous and community-based practices 5th : : Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Artist Profiles. Collection Title: Malayerba collection.
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Legend has it that Cervantes was locked in a jail cell when he began to write the adventures of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. The play opens with a video backdrop: the desert. Two men walk out of the screen. Sometimes in silhouette, sometimes seen clearly, they take their places on hard straight-backed chairs mounted on casters that allow them to roll around the stage in synchronized, carefully choreographed motion.
Their heads turn, slowly. Props will be minimal as befits the extreme deprivation of prison life—a toothbrush, a length of toilet paper, a pot with a lid, a bit of cloth. Vargas has explained that in real life prisoners were not allowed to stand during their brief time in the outside air.
This inspired the staging of his play in which the two characters remain seated throughout the action—a limitation that spurs the theatrical imagination to create a startling recreation of the famous scene in which Don Quijote battles windmills. We witness the grotesque contortions of men in confinement, contrasted with the wild liberation of their brief imaginative escapades. Both actors offer powerful performances in Spanish that are affecting regardless of language while supertitles provide English-speakers with the dialogue.
But rest assured, the dialogue as it appears in the English supertitles is clear and accurate and does not require any learned elucidation. Throughout the performance the theatrical space oscillates between the abstract in ways reminiscent of Beckett and with a nod to Kafka and more concrete references to the Argentinean pampas and Rawson Prison where Chicho Vargas was held or—specific to this production—the US-Mexico border as questions arise about who is kept in and who is kept out and video plays of the fence between Tijuana and California.
If you can afford to pay full price, please support this neighborhood treasure. If not, discounted seats are often available at LAStageAlliance. In the interest of being a good neighbor, the theatre asks patrons to please refrain from parking on 24th Street itself. Diane Lefer. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
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La razÃ³n blindada (2005, 2006)
The dramatic emergence of new authoritarian movements around the world, and just as surely the radical possibilities opened up by the global Resistance, offer rich fodder for artistic response. And in between, a Day of the Dead event, a weekend of community-based theatre, and a holiday production. Prison is not an unfamiliar setting for drama, even musicals. I treasure the unforgettable gift of seeing this play in Johannesburg in In all of these, prisoners are given space to fantasize, invent, tell stories, to lift themselves and their fellow inmates out of the bleak hopelessness of incarceration.
“La Razón Blindada”: Political theatre en español speaks to everyone
Because the play is in Spanish with English supertitles it is nearly impossible to read all of the dialogue, as the projected text moves forward with great rapidity sit further back for less eye-bopping. Fear not. Words, as with food, may be the feast that nourishes taste and smell, but it is the actors who heighten the subtext, thereby satiating our senses of hearing and sight. Allow your eyes to stray from the English that is shown on an upstage center screen. The way in which these actors dexterously shift from reality to fantasy, from rigidity to laxity, creates a palpable sense that these men have been exposed to physical and emotional abuse. This course feeds the imagination.