Santiago de Chile becomes theater capital of South America

This week’s events for Santiago a Mil include productions from Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as a series of round tables and workshops designed to bring international attention to Chile’s blossoming arts community.


January 10-16 is the Week of International Programmers in Chile’s Santiago a Mil theater festival (, in Spanish) which has been running throughout the month of January and is the largest of its kind in Latin America.

Since its founding in 1994, the Santiago a Mil festival has gathered the best contemporary productions from around Chile as well as selected international theater pieces to fill the capital’s streets and performance spaces for the month of January. From the beginning the festival has aimed to bring Chilean performers into the international festival circuit, and more importantly to bring contemporary theater to a wider audience within Chile by offering top quality contemporary theater and dance productions at accessible prices. The 17th annual festival continues this tradition, with 75 entirely free events, and ticket prices for all others ranging from CP$4,000-10,000 (US$8-20).

Productions from around Chile, Latin America and the world will continue to appear in various performance spaces around the city, while at the Hotel Crowne Plaza in downtown Santiago representatives from major theaters and festivals around the world will gather for a series of workshops and round table discussions on the global arts industry.

Directors from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Royal Court Theater in London and the Buenos Aires International Theatre Festival will be amongst more than fifty directors, artistic directors, producers and administrators from 20 countries in Europe and the Americas.

By bringing international artists to Santiago, the National Council for Culture and the Arts hopes to encourage foreign investment in Chilean arts and theater, while introducing global strategies to artists active within in Chile.

Outside the Crowne Plaza, Santiago a Mil will continue to bring a wide variety of theatrical experiences to the Chilean public throughout the week. Productions from Italy, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Bulgaria, China and Chile will appear in spaces large and small, traditional and unusual throughout the capital.

Representing a diversity of traditions and styles, the productions will range in scale from the intimate four-minute installation Cuando el Río Suena (When the River Rings or When the River Sounds) on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art to longer-form traditional productions in Santiago’s many theaters and performance spaces.

Works from Chilean playwrights deal with youth culture, prostitution and national history. Productions out of Italy and Bulgaria adapt children’s stories from Charles Perault and Hans Christian Andersen. A production from Mexico titled Las Cajas Voyeuristas (The Voyeur Boxes) will place an unmarked box in four different locations on four consecutive days from which sounds will emerge, attracting the unwitting attention of passersby.

The massive street-performance that inaugurated the festival on Jan. 3 will travel out of Santiago this week, arriving in the city of Talca in the heart of Chilean wine country on the evening of Jan. 12 with its massive puppets, acrobats and musicians. The production, which has appeared before in France, Brazil, Taiwan and throughout Europe, comes to Talca with the support of Fundación Teatro a Mil.