Wednesday, August 22, 2007

“OSCURIDAD”: a Recall


With: Marisol Solorio y Francisco Camacho

Text and direction by Gustavo Thomas

Produced by Esférica Ludens, Compañía de Arte Representacional.

Premiere: Sunday, August 18th 2002, at the "Caravana de Ecatepec” Festival,Estado de Mexico, Mexico.

About the play

“Oscuridad” was Esférica Ludens’s fourth and best developed work, a result of the exploration of acting techniques that the company had been doing since 1998.

Esférica Ludens had staged four works: Letanía (1998), Tríptico Telefónico (1999), Inhalaciones (2000) and “Entremeses Cervantinos” (2001). Each play had been a direct evolution of one way of approaching drama and acting techniques, and every performance by Esférica Ludens was one step towards the growth of the company.

Work by work we progressed in our exploration and in the use of different acting techniques chosen by the director: González Caballero’s Acting Method, Stanislavski’s Physical Actions Method and Eugenio Barba’s Theatre Anthropology’s Physical Principles.

Our scripts were written initially based on known drama works and then altered during the creative process of every work. That is how “Oscuridad” evolved, along a line of learning; it was a work based on the performer’s work.

The theme arose from our readings of “Le Misanthrope” by Molière and “Les liasons dangereuses” by Laclos. Then the actors created series of physical actions (about 500), the playwright found, during that process, the words that would match his script (at the end a 5000 word text), and the director combined those actions and words into an 80 minute performance.

The play happens in one space and one time, following Aristotle’s principles. There is no scenography other than one table, one chair, two candles working as “stage light”, and nothing else. The year is 1612, we’re awaiting Louis XIV’s death, at a basement of the Palais de Versailles. Our characters are borrowed from Molière’s and Laclos`s works but they are our contemporaries, they think like many of us.

It is an eclectic piece: it combines styles and ways of creating (both avant-garde and classical), without a defined space and time even though space and time exist within the story.

“Oscuridad” was Esférica Ludens’ fourth work in a six-stage plan. It should have been followed by “Invocación” (staging process remained unfinished) and “Misterio” (which remains just a script).


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