Teatro en el Blanco
Nov 1–2, 2014
Copresented with Chicago Humanities Festival
A passionate performance fueled by irony and humor. . . with an intoxicating text you want to drink line by line.
When Spanish royalty imprisoned Christopher Columbus for abusing his power in the Indies, the explorer begged an audience with Queen Isabella to explain himself and plead for absolution.
La Reunión, an intense single-act play, revisits this historic event to imagine a conversation between Columbus and Isabella, in the hour before the queen’s death in 1504. This steely vivisection of history and personal responsibilities takes place in the privacy of the queen’s chambers. In a probing dialogue, they duel about the power of the church and the oligarchy, class struggle, and the vindication of indigenous people, all the while accusing each other of greed and false morality. Stripped of props and design, the bare stage focuses the audience’s attention on two people whose actions changed the world—with only a massive round table, and their heated words, between them.
Playwright, director, and actor Trinidad Gonzalez wrote La Reunión during the peak of the 2012 mass student protests in Chile. She cites these events as inspirational armor for writing a contemporary work about seemingly archaic history, to take stock of what has happened in the Americas since that time.
The presentation at MCA Stage serves as the North American premiere of La Reunión.
About the Artists
Trinidad González founded Teatro en el Blanco in 2004 with playwright/director Guillermo Calderón. She plays the lead role in La Reunión and is internationally acclaimed for her roles in Calderón’s Neva (2006) and Diciembre (2009), which have toured to more than 25 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe. In 2007, she won the Altazor award for best actress for her work in Neva. Her work for the screen include Pecados (Martín Rodríguez, 2011) and Bonsái (Cristián Jiménez, 2011), an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival.
Teatro en el Blanco is Chile’s premiere independent theater company hailed for generating its own resources and creating theater with a distinctive idiom. Their process of experimentation strives for theatrical poetry driven by the company’s manifesto: to address politically and socially relevant issues that return the artist to an active role in society; work jointly in rehearsals and on the artistic decisions for every production; treat the work of the actor as a fundamental pillar in the phenomenon of theater; improvise on an idea which the writer forges into a definitive version during rehearsals; and use minimal resources as a conscious decision in search of renewed simplicity and fresh creative potential.