The show must go on: Chile’s oldest theater festival comes to town

The 26th International Festival of Community Theater arrives in Santiago on January 19, topping off a sensational month of live performances in the Chilean capital.  

As the Santiago a Mil Festival  winds down, a different style of theater is set to continue the capital’s amazing month of live art, with the opening night of the International Festival of Community Theater this Thursday, January 19.
The country’s oldest theater festival is a pioneer of community and street performance in Latin America, and previous installations of the festival have drawn more than 50,000 spectators.
Now in its 26th edition, the festival continues to be one of the most important of its kind on the continent, and this year will bring together more than 30 local and foreign companies from countries like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, the United States, France, Italy and Germany.
The events will be based in the Pudahuel amphitheater – located on San Pablo 8444, within walking distance of the Pudahuel metro station – which will hold up to five free shows every night from 9:00 pm onwards.
The final evening in Santiago will be January 28, after which the show will travel to Salamanca in the Coquimbo region.
A local act to keep on eye on is La Factoría Teatro, a theater company that uses gesture and images to provoke memories and emotions from the audience whatever their “age, social class or intellectual capacity.” La Factoría Teatro will perform on January 23.
For a local show with a foreign flavor take an “imaginary journey” through Latin American dance and music of African origin in Mestizo: de África a América (“Mestizo: From Africa to America”) which will be performed on January 28.
And for a glimpse of the future of Chilean theater see Particular Subvencionado (a name for state-subsidized private schools), the story of a group of teachers in a school badly damaged by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in 2010. The play is the second performance of the young, groundbreaking outfit, The Naidens Compañy.
From abroad, Germany’s DJuggledy will bring his mix of tropical flavored DJing, acrobatics and physical humor, with a show at the amphitheater on January 20 and again in Teatro Carrera on January 23.
Meanwhile David Lichtenstein, aka Leapin’ Louie, will bring his unique comedy show straight from the wild west of the United States on January 28 in a show featuring physical comedy, trick roping, fancy whip cracking, juggling and unicycling.
For a full schedule, see the festival’s official website.