A guide to theater this September in Chile’s capital

Hollywood star John Malkovich and Nobel Prize winning playwright Elfriede Jelinek form part of the lineup of international and Chilean acts this month in Santiago. 

Chile is in the midst of a cultural boom as musicians and directors add to the country’s existing reputation for literary prestige, and the performing arts is no exception.

Not only is theater one of the best ways to get your finger on the pulse of Chile’s exciting artistic scene, it will get you out to some beautiful parts of the country.

So in order to help you see and experience the best of Chilean theater, we’ve put together a list of some highlights for the capital this September.

Déjate Perder (“Let Yourself Lose”)

An enigmatic love story that about an apparently happy young couple in Santiago that live a lie in order to maintain their relationship, Déjate Perder mixes hyperrealism with baroque, cinegraphic realism, and physical theater, referencing the works of Tennessee Williams’ “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen,” Heiner Müller’s «Quartet,»  and Patrick Marber’s “Closer,” among others. Parts of the play are in English.

Where: Teatro Finis Terrae. Avenida Pedro de Valdivia 1509, Santiago.

When: Thursday, August 30 until September 1, at 9:00 p.m.

Price: General entrance is US$6.25 (CLP3.000), US$4.20 (CLP2.000) for students, as well as for all entries on Thursday.

The Infernal Comedy

John Malkovich stars as Jack Unterweger, an Austrian serial killer and writer, who is returning to the stage to launch his autobiography “Confessions of a Serial Killer.” Sometimes disturbing, sometimes darkly comedic, “The Infernal Comedy” also features two sopranos and a baroque orchestra.

Where: Movistar Arena, Santiago.

When: There is only one function to this show, on September 4.

Price: Tickets range from US$73 (CLP35.000) to US$270 (CLP130.000)

Zapatos Con Sangre (“Shoes With Blood”)

This play deals with the reintegration of a group of criminals who were transferred to a fictional prison created by the Chilean government as a pilot program to shorten sentences.

Where: Perhaps the coolest thing about this play is its location, in the historic steel framed bridge-turned-theater, Teatro del Puente in Santiago’s Parque Forestal,  between the Pio Nono and Purísima bridges.

When: Thursday at 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 10:00 p.m., until September 8.

Price: General entrance is US$10.50 (CLP5,000), US$6.25 ($ 3.000) for students and retirees.

La Guerra del Deporte (“The War of Sport”)

Written by Austrian Nobel Prize winning playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek, La Guerra del Deporte is a philosophical reflection on sport and its connection with war that uses visual, architectural, cinegraphic and storytelling techniques. The original stage designs include a skate ramp, which is used as a space of interaction.

Where: Matucana 100 cultural center, 100 Avenida Matucana, Estación Central.

When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9:00 p.m., Sunday at 8:30 p.m., until September 9

Price: General US$8.25 (CLP4.000) students and retirees US$5.20 (CLP2.500) and Thursday US$4.15 (CLP2.000).

For more great plays in Santiago this September, check out this list (in Spanish).