The best of community theater in the Entepola 2010 Festival

The encounter began its 24th version with some 30 plays from all over Latin America. This year it will offer free workshops and conferences in some of the capital’s poorest sectors.

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The beginning says it all: in the middle of the “Teniente Cruz” market in the municipality of Pudahuel, seven actors with suitcases and wearing very warm clothes greeted the stunned shoppers. It was the Catalonian street theater company Kamchàtka, which launched the 24th version of the International Community Theater Festival Entepola 2010.

The initiative, which the Teatro La Carreta has organized for 20 years, has become a popular event within the communities which has managed to be replicated in five Latin American and European countries, in addition to other municipalities around the country.

This year, 33 companies from 11 countries, including Chile, are participating in this free festival, which will last through 30 January in the Pudahuel amphitheater, with branches in the municipalities of Conchalí, Machalí, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, Hualañé and Salamanca. The latter two are located in the IV Region.

Likewise, it offers artistic workshops for the community and an exhibit of community artistic experiences through the International Community Theater School (Elatep), an experience that has been very well received by the leaders of the amateur companies, as “every day a director goes to share his or her experiences with the community,” explains David Musa, general director of the event.

The plays to be included, among others, are:

Pies pa`Volar 
Compañía de papel (Chile)
Tuesday 26 January
Directed by Andés Cárdenas, this play proposes restaging dance-theater in Chile with a cast of 11 dancers-actors to recreate the portrait of Frida Kahlo, including the woman, the artist, and the myth that make up this Mexican painter.

Reche, los caciques retornan
Colectivo Catedral (Chile)
Saturday 30 January
Journey to the center of the Mapuche people’s world view, based on texts by the well-known poets Elicura Chihuailaf, Leonel Lienlaf and David Aniñir.

Tres Marías y una rosa
Teatro Nacional de la Universidad de Chile (Chile)
Friday 29 January
A play that revolves around a group of women who make needlepoint for sale so they can survive while out of work. In addition to learning a trade, they have paid work and bolster their self-esteem. The location is a center for the generation of solidarity that receives a number of women who, in difficult times, try to deal with day-to-day needs and lend meaning to their lives.

This play was also chosen for presentation at the Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival.

Están construyéndome
Compañía Manifiesto (Chile)
Thursday 28 January
Formerly called “La Oficina,” this play reveals the control mechanisms – described by Michel Foucault – and the way in which bio-politics influences decisions, reactions, and thoughts in our society, in addition to “disciplinary punishment.” The story uses Brecht-like humor and describes in a playful way the power that people are subjected to in all contexts, especially in their own workplaces, and the way in which we human beings have instincts that lead us to act immorally. An office is a good place for us to enter the reality of a group of people who are mobilized by a routine and by giants that manipulate them without anybody noticing.

El Jardín
Pisacalle Teatro (Venezuela)
Wednesday 27 February
The story of a young woman who wakes up with the intention of cutting a flower in her garden, but this will not be as simple as it seems. A series of characters who are representative of Venezuelan culture appear in her way and open doors to different realities that eventually lead her to her garden, where she faces reality: her flowers have already been cut! That is when she decides to go back in time to capture the person responsible for the disaster.

This theater piece combines live music, juggling and other circus disciplines in a proposal that is aimed at raising human beings’ awareness regarding their natural environment.

Corazón de Tierra
Teatro de un inmigrante (Dominican Republic)
Saturday 30 January
This play tells about the appearance of Mamá Tingó and how she shows up trying to make us see our true worth. She is a peasant martyr who shows us her truth, her Dominican tradition and her rituals.

All of the plays are held at 21:00 hrs. in the Pudahuel Amphitheater on 8444 San Pablo Street, with Teniente Cruz; Pudahuel Metro Station, Line 5. And the best thing: they are all free. “The reason for our existence is for people to have real access to sharing the beauty of theatrical arts,” Musa affirms.

More information on the programming in Santiago, Hualañé and Salamanca can be found on the event’s website: www.entepola.cl.

This post is also available in Spanish