THE WORK PROCESS
- “El Banquete Infinito”-The Endless Banquet.
Background: El Banquete Infinito-The Endless Banquet-was the subject of my graduation thesis for the Stage Design (Stage, Costume, Light and Makeup design) five-year program of the University of Arts of Cuba. This play, which was written by Alberto Pedro, a well-known Cuban play writer, is to be included in the repertoire of the Teatro de la Luna Company and to be staged using my designs (Stage, Costume, Make-up and Light). I worked with Teatro de la Luna for six and a-half years, until 2013 when I relocated to Canada.
Synopsis: This play is about the ascend and fall of a revolutionary government and its rulers who seat around banquet tables every day to enjoy fancy meals and talk about the famine that they’ve brought upon their people. The play speaks about absolute power, the alienation it brings, and the recycling of dictators whereby the dictator in power will be overthrown by a revolutionary who over time, also giving in to the alluring idea of absolute power, will become a dictator, alienated by his condition, and eventually overthrown by a revolutionary creating an endless cycle.
Role Description: One set, seven characters. I designed the set for the Hall Adolfo Llaurado Theater, a small and alternative location where Teatro de la Luna frequently stages its productions. From the script, I developed a concept and an understanding of the characters and the story upon which to base my costume and stage designs. The costumes have geometrical elements, taking from objects such as lances and baskets, imparting the designs a modern twist on the traditional medieval style. The light design has, as underlying and unifying theme, the transition of light from dawn to dusk.
- “La dama del mar” –The Lady from the Sea.
Background: La dama del mar (The Lady from the Sea), written by the well-known Henrik Ibsen, was my last play with Teatro de la Luna. Soon after working on this production in 2013, I relocated to Canada.
Synopsis: The play is set on a small town off the coast of Norway. It centers on the daughter of the lighthouse-keeper and her tumultuous life.
Role Description: I was in charge of designing and building some props. I also gave the finishing touches to the scenery elements as well as decorated all the curtains with charcoal drawings.
- “El Dragon de Oro”-The Golden Dragon.
Background: El Dragon de Oro (The Golden Dragon) was written by Roland Schimmelpfennig, one of the greatest and most renowned German playwrights who were awarded the Mülheim Dramatist Award. Teatro de la Luna was invited, by the German Embassy in Cuba and its cultural representatives, to stage and perform the Cuban production of the play. The play was composed of one set, five actors- each portraying more than one character- and two musicians that were added. The play was a success in Cuba and we were then invited to present our production at the 36th Mülheimer Theatertage NRW Festival “Stücke 2011”, and in the Das Staatsschauspiel Dresden (The Dresden State Theatre).
Synopsis: The Golden Dragon is the name of a European restaurant. The kitchen houses five Asian cooks who become acquainted with, and chat about, the lives of their customers. One day the younger cook, an undocumented immigrant, begins suffering a severe tooth ache. The others try to help, but he dies and his sick tooth ends up in a customer’s dish and his body in a river. The man’s soul discovers that that was the only way in which it could have ever returned home.
Role Description: I co-designed the set and costumes alongside the company director Mr. Martin. I also made the costumes, and designed and built props such as lamps, the tapestry’s golden dragon, headdresses, and seats that were attached to the costumes.
Background: Heaven was written by Armin Petras under the Fritz Kater pseudonym. He was a German theater director and playwright who was awarded the Mulheim Dramatist Prize.
Synopsis: The fall of the Berlin wall sinks a German industrial town into a depression. Soon they start migrating in in mass in search of a better life.
Role Description: For this play I designed and made the props, specifically I was asked to design and build a “crow-toy” and an illuminated map of Cuba.
- “La primera vez”-The first time.
Background: La primera vez (The first time) was written by Michal Walczak, a Polish play writer. Teatro de la Luna’s production of the play was presented and well-received in Cuba in 2009 and Poland in 2011.
Role Description: I built the props and gave finishing touches to some of the costumes as well as to some elements composing the scenography like chairs, tables and a sofa.
Synopsis: A couple, wishing to make their first time in bed special, decide to warm up to it by going over what they think are the antecedent, necessary steps: an invitation, a dance, a talk, a glass of wine. But he, drunk and tired of days of practice, decides to force her into having sex. Ashamed he leaves her. Years later, they meet and then he learns that his last encounter was with another woman and not with her, that woman fathered a child, whom she had to raise by herself.
- “Delirio Habanero”- Delirium in Havana
Background: Delirio Habanero- Delirium in Havana- is a play written by Alberto Pedro, a Cuban renowned play writer who passed away in 2005. Although the play had been staged by several Cuban Theater companies, it wasn’t until Teatro de la Luna’s premiere performance in 2006 that it became a classic of modern Cuban Theater. Nowadays it remains a part of the company’s repertory, which produces performances worldwide. The Delirium in Havana play marked the beginning of my six and-a-half year long career with Teatro de la Luna.
Role Description: One set, three characters. During the six and a-half years after Teatro de la Luna’s premiere of Delirium in Havana, I was in charge of the preservation of all props for the play. I was also the Production Assistant for all the performances locally and one abroad in Brazil.
Synopsis: Three delirious people living in 1990’s Cuba are convinced that they are famous celebrities of the past (Celia Cruz-a famous Cuban singer, Benny More-a legend of Cuban music, and Varillas- the once bartender at the Bodeguita del Medio bar, one of Hemingway’s favourite drinking spots in Havana). They all fantasize about opening up a bar that will outshine all other bars in Havana. The play speaks about Cubans’ realities of shattered dreams, about their longing for a re-united and free Cuba where they have the liberties to choose how to live their lives.