“brush teeth” and “The parlor”:
Jorge Diaz: hope anarchic love
Friday, may 19, 2017
“Brush teeth” and “The parlor” showing two couples must reinvent their reality time and time again to not die.
In my research on the files of the playwright Isidora Aguirre I found a letter that she receives from Jorge Diaz; both had met in Cuba, and from then on maintained an exchange of letters. “Oh dear Nene, don’t answer immediately because I was in Marbella a few days. Yes, your letter surprised me a little. In the end, I believed that inside of your baggage in a motley of experiences, conversations, faces, and voices, I disappeared, crushed. The enter to kick in the people, I guess that means, simply, that you cared about the people. I was doing a good time making faces in the mirror to see, front and profile, “tragicidad”. The funny thing is that for a long time I believed that my loneliness was a stigma, a tombstone. And soon I discover that is what makes me live, that is only where I can understand people (what contradiction?), and where I find just the climate of serenity”. Two playwrights with unique personalities and scriptures almost antagonistic, that were the pioneers in giving a voice to the theatre, chilean, van chiseling, his correspondence, his poetry, which in the case of Diaz, it appears to be, taking a few of their titles, of a man who is an island, and that from there, imagine.
Jorge Diaz was one of the authors of younger generation of the fifty’s theatre in chile. He devoted himself with such works as “The sailboat in the bottle”, “Topography of a naked”, “don quixote does not exist”, between more than a hundred of his authorship, and for his work next to the group STROKE. Trained architect, he began to act, and then to write to break into the theater through a poetics of the grotesque, the surreal, the language-games. This year marks ten years of his death and to commemorate that date reestrenan two works, “brush teeth” and “The parlor”, and published the book “Jorge Diaz: the anarchist insomniac. Biography of a man of the theatre (Ediciones Finis Terrae)”, author and researcher Eduardo Guerrero del Río, a keen study of his biography and theatrical production that collates conversations, manuscripts, recording their work in Spain, stock photos and testimonies of fifty voices, who shared the scene with him.
The mounts that are now in vogue, one in the UC Theatre and the other in the GAM, coincide in exploring the ambivalent territory of the couple. The interesting thing is that it is made out of the registration of the realism of the psychological to which we are accustomed to this problem, to make it by pressing other keys: the absurd, the unconscious, the humor, the cruelty, the tenderness, the impulses. This author, National Prize of the Arts of Representation and Audiovisual in 1993, who lived between Spain and Chile, rejected the label of “playwright of the absurd” and preferred to be referred to as an author of the ridiculous, of compassion, of the critical. Diaz argued in the interviews that “the irony and sarcasm reveal more things that posture serious” and that was the tool with which he entered political issues and emotional.
The couple of “The toothbrush” (UC Theatre), composed by Him (Luis Cerda) and She (Geraldine Neary), initiates a discussion around a toothbrush, an item of everyday life that makes exploit a series of conflicts and games in various dimensions, which are inserted in a proposal scene amazing, by Daniela Vargas and Andrés Poirot. In a manufacturing first level, the couple wanders through places that we would understand as archetypal: an amusement park, the bath curtain, the breakfast table and the fantasies of women in uniform sexy or strangled the other with the cable of the phone, and several endings.
Riding a classic is always a challenge and Álvaro Viguera (“Sunset Limited”) knows this, that’s why in your direction respects the text and the aesthetic sesentera (advertising), and guide to two actors very young to emphasize how ridiculous the marriage bourgeois. It is a work of seemingly trivial, but in between the lines is the emptiness of life, the convention of the roles, that precarious balance between the boredom and the link. The function that I attend, one person from the audience yells from the bottom of the seats: “This is an offense to classical theatre chileno”, that the rest of the audience silent with opinions dissimilar. Perhaps here is the memorable interpretation of Carla Cristi and Jaime Celedón, who left the rod very high. Maybe that is the ghost that obscures the correct interpretation of Geraldine Neary and Luis Cerda, who also must fight against a big production scene in one point is opaque.
“The parlor” (in GAM) is a work less known, but no less interesting; reminiscent of the work of “A secret garden”, the same Diaz, and “Two old panics”, by Virgilio Piñera. Here the couple, also composed by Him (Alejandro Sieveking), and She (Millaray Lobos), is found through a glass in a space is suggested to be a mental institution. In one of the panes is read-written with lipstick: “get me out of here”, that works like a desperate cry that is modulated each time that the man and the woman are conversing.
It is a success design by Sebastián Irarrázaval, which stands a glass box that functions as a hologram for this game of speculations on this couple that is in the vulnerability and in the confusion. She says: “Nothing more, simple as that. We are very old, and you’re in this… sanatorium, where they look after you better than me”, to which He responds “Yes, we are old and you keep your old fantasies: do you think that I am the one that is enclosed. It’s better that way. I’m glad you think so. (Almost to himself) it Would be more cruel than you might realize from your seclusion.” A buzzer sounds, interrupting the suffocating dialogue and they are supposed to be we pulled to reality; it is the call to the snack, but all motivated to further extend the confusion. “What we will not have the same conversations every Saturday and then forget about, truth?”. In this and other lines is the tedium, the repetition, the loneliness, the abandonment, the sexual desire, the taboo. In this ambiguity matched their living situation: “I sometimes think that you’re not sick, but punished.” Him: “What have we done, Elisa. It is so easy to feel guilty. Confesaríamos anything.”
Alejandro Sieveking and Millaray Lobos, with and without the wig of an elderly woman, are proud, are a pair of asymmetric, in age and physical, power with aplomb and makes it look this distressing text (which is also known as “Counterpoint for two voices tired”). At times it is not known who is right, if they are alive or dead, if there are more than one, if they are the projection of their minds or are of flesh and bone.
It’s funny: the more solitary of the playwrights bet for a hopeful vision of love. Both pieces show two couples who must re-invent their reality time and time again to not die. In those games, switch roles, try different forms of love and hate; that is, they build a metaphor of the theatre and of life. Perhaps we should incorporate the absurd, compassion and humor to get ahead of something undeniable: the love, and even more so the marriage, they always have something ridiculous. Something of a person by making grimaces of tragicidad in the mirror.