«Girls & Boys»: the burning wounds behind the laughter

in his book political theater, Erwin Piscator declares that the peace that dominated Germany in 1927 was only apparent and that the triumph over the bourgeoisie was also apparent. Later history will prove that he was -unfortunately- right. In a certain sense, his statement – if contextualized – is, among other things, a denunciation against a certain naivety of art and also of social movements, consequently, he thought, it is necessary to maintain the struggle for political consciousness, in a permanent way.

Somehow, «Girls & Boys», a production directed by Alfredo Castro and whose interpretation belongs to Antonia Zegers, with a season at the UC Theater, can be read in that key, because, although a new awareness of the place of women in society has settled down in recent years in Chile, this does not mean at all that we are not dealing with a progress that is still questionable, in progress, with something gained, but with the need to restart the comparison, even with new perspectives.

The work apparently represents the individual and dramatic story of a woman who offers us a monologue, but, in reality, it emerges as a political theater, as it leads into the arena of social relations, a discussion that has not yet concluded, precisely, that of the place of general male violence and, in particular, that which has the family at its centre.

Dennis Kelly’s dramaturgy is organized as a monologue that opens as if from a stand-up comedy in question, but which progressively opens other doors, other discursive spheres that modulate history. Every moment of the text works neatly, the standingindeed it’s funny, the reflections remain reverberating in our minds and emotions, as well as the entire text, writhes and burns when we leave the theater.

It is an ironic and brutal dramaturgy, at the same time deeply sensitive and human. A reflection which, albeit very English – in the sense of participation in a crude project of self-observation of society which has been taking place on that island for years (by the way, not only does the title of the work recall the name of the song by Blur, but the character mentions an event that happens at 4:48, which for me can only be a reference to Sarah Kane) -, but which is radically universalized through translation and because, above all, the theme is horizontal for all Western culture .

The direction of Alfredo Castro (with the assistance of Víctor Valenzuela), realizes that same vision. With characteristic precision and sensitivity, Castro organizes the staging giving space to the text and the acting, eliminating unnecessary overloads, the way he adopts is to let his character and his process have their way. Although it uses scenic assets, they lack accessories, on the contrary, they are delimited, precise and soberly articulated.

After all, Alfredo Castro is an artist who has had the good fortune to see evolve (and grow with him), in this way it can be said that the productions directed by him are a way of offering theatre, of producing it with paternity and a sense of community , since his works are always, in one way or another, vibrant with a dimension of society.

Antonia Zegers has had a difficult task and is carrying it out with absolute success. Her voice and kinetics, the processes through which she guides her character, her emotional athleticism (ranging from laughter and overflowing sympathy to heartbroken grief) represent an actress with weight and power, a solid body of acting to all their sides.

Rodrigo Ruiz’s design connects perfectly with the staging, it is precise, without excesses, subtly conversing with the text and the performance, the same phenomenon that occurs with music, while Miguel Miranda -responsible for this- establishes the space of the sound in a synthetic relationship with the various moments of the montage, using the sounds as another voice of it.

«Girls & Boys» is a work that creatively supports contingent issues; ranges from humor to tragedy, never falls into clichés and, above all, poses questions and demands on our society, which is quite healthy if you think that, lately, oblivion and lack of audacity when it comes to thinking about themselves has been the tonic in our country.


From November 10th to December 3rd, from Wednesday to Saturday, at 8.30pm
Ana González Room / 1st floor: has access for people with reduced mobility and wheelchairs
** Post-Show Audience Meetup Friday 2nd December **
art sheet
By Dennis Kelly | Director: Alfredo Castro | Translation: Andrés Kalawski and Milena Grass | Assistant Director: Víctor Valenzuela | Cast: Antonia Zegers | Executive Production: Marcos Alvo Kalderon | Design: Rodrigo Ruiz| Music: Miguel Miranda| Co-production UC Theater and The Cow Company

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