Posts Tagged ‘theater’

To contemplate is to look at shadows.  — Victor Hugo


From last night’s “Fuego Nuevo” performance by the Ballet Folklórico Tradicional del Estado de Oaxaca at the Plaza de la Danza.  Using music and dance, this “espectáculo” tells the story of the beginning of a new cycle in the Mixteca culture.

(FYI:  For those in Oaxaca, it’s free and repeats tonight at 7 PM.)

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While Oaxaca is filled with music, art, and dance, it hasn’t been known for its contribution to live theater.  However, there are signs that this may change.  In August, the cultural monthly journal, El Jolgorio featured theater in Oaxaca.  One of the articles explained, that thanks to the work of Teatro Juárez and the Fundación Cultural Crisol, a drama workshop was established in Oaxaca and in three years, fifteen plays have been written, with eleven being presented in Oaxaca and Mexico City.  As ex-pat playwright Kurt Hackbarth asked at the press discussing his newest play, El Ostrakón, “Oaxaca is a destination for art.  Oaxaca is a destination for music.  Why not now make Oaxaca as a national destination for original theater…?”

By the way, you may remember Kurt Hackbarth from my post on his comedy, La [medio] diezmada.  This time around he penned a well received drama, El Ostrakón, that premiered on August 29, 2012 and ran through September 2 — a long run here!  It “is a contemporary tragedy which, by using elements of farce and social criticism, tells the story of Gabriel, a homeless youth, and his attempts to avoid the traps laid by the chameleonic narrator, the incarnation of a hostile society.” (translated from El Ostrakón Facebook page)

El Ostrakón home web page screenshot.

If you missed it the first time around (or would like to see it again) and will be in Oaxaca on Monday, October 15 at 6 pm, you are in luck.  El Ostrakón will be performed at the beautiful Teatro Macedonio Alcalá as part of the inauguration of the Oaxaca State Theater Festival.  And, the performance is free, though a 5 peso (that’s only about 40¢ US!!!) donation is requested to help support the festival.  El Ostrakón is in Spanish, but English-only language speakers can download an English language synopsis from the website.

Full disclosure:  I designed the El Ostrakón website.

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On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, I attended a press conference for the official unveiling of the website for a new play.  The play, La [medio] diezmada (the half-decimated), will have its world premiere on December 22 at the Teatro Juárez in Oaxaca.

4 cast members and writer/director/producer standing in front of a projection of the home page of the website.

Cast members:  Hugo Alberto Díaz Reyes, Mariela Blanco López, Esmeralda Aragón Zárate, and Fortunato Chávez, with Kurt Hackbarth (middle)

One of the inspirations for writer/director/producer, Kurt Hackbarth, was a photo he had seen of a half-alive/half-dead face in a sand painting.  In one of those amazing coincidences, I’d actually photographed the very same tapete de arena laid out on the Alameda in Oaxaca during Los días de muertos in 2009.

Sand painting with skulls on left and arm and leg of skeleton in middle.

Here is my close-up of the half living/half-dead face from the tapete above; the same face that triggered Kurt’s imagination…

Sand painting close-up of half and half face.

… and I cropped and used for the website banner.

Three half alive/half skull faces

If you find yourself in Oaxaca on December 22, I encourage you to attend this world premiere!  By the way, it’s a comedy!

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