Arab Today, arab today venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis
Last Updated : GMT 01:44:06
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis

Virginia Urdaneta (L) performs during the play Pa Lante
Caracas - AFP

Stage left is Josefina, a rough-talking working girl; stage right, Sofia, a swankily dressed bourgeois who has fallen on hard times.
The two characters in Venezuelan playwright Virginia Urdaneta's new play come together doing something that real people in her homeland spend long hours doing, across the country, every day: waiting in line to buy scarce products from barren supermarket shelves.
As the South American oil giant has gone from boom to bust in recent years, shortages, violent crime and the temptation to move abroad have become inescapable markers of Venezuelans' daily reality.
That is driving a new wave of drama in the nation's tiny privately owned theaters, where the tribulations of life in the economic crisis are giving rise to acerbic, often darkly funny plays.
The trend is an antidote to Venezuela's mainstream theater scene. Light comedies are the standard fare in the country's main theaters, which are all owned by the socialist government.
The new plays revolve around themes like spending the day in line to buy basic goods, only to find that prices have shot up overnight.
"Venezuela is living a moment of pure absurdity. We barter coffee for shampoo," said Urdaneta, who wrote and stars as Sofia in "Pa'lante" (Onward), a sort of Venezuelan answer to "Waiting for Godot" where the interminable wait is for groceries and toiletries.
The play is part of a "micro-theater" program in a small performance space at a Caracas shopping mall that features some 20 plays of 15 minutes each.
"Pa'lante" takes its name from a typically Venezuelan expression uttered in the face of adversity.
It brings together Sofia, with her chic scarves and leisure-class airs, with Josefina, a street-smart operator with tight clothes and nappy hair.
The women come from different worlds, but are both condemned to spend hours waiting in the lines that form every day in front of the nation's supermarkets.
Sofia buys products for her family or to barter with her friends. Josefina is shopping to sell whatever she can at a mark-up on the street.
Their anecdotes draw peals of laughter from the audience, who know their ordeal all too well.
"Going to the supermarket has become a trauma. It marks our lives. Offices grind to a halt because the receptionist went to buy some sugar that arrived. It's so depressing, anguishing and absurd that it has an intrinsic humor," said Urdaneta.
- Violence, exile -
In the play, Sofia and Josefina are constantly worried about their children, fearing they will fall victim to the violence that has given Venezuela the world's second-highest homicide rate.
Crime and recession have sent many young professionals into self-imposed exile, another recurring theme onstage.
In "On Line," four young Venezuelans, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, share their lives over the Internet.
A boyfriend eats breakfast in Madrid in front of his computer, the screen divided between his girlfriend and his brother back in Venezuela -- the former about to go to bed, the latter flirting online with a young Venezuelan woman who is also living in Spain.
"This is a reflection of what families are going through because of the exodus. We all have a family member, a best friend overseas, and now our traditions and get-togethers have migrated online," said Jorge Roig Graterol, one of the actors in the play.
Several full-length plays explore similar themes: "Tequila or Rum," about a Venezuelan couple torn between staying in Mexico or returning home; "Desperate Venezuelans," which premiers soon and also deals with exile; and "Jasmines in Lidice" (a Caracas neighborhood), about women who have lost loved ones to violent crime.
Increasingly, Venezuela's theater community is "seeking to touch the audience, rattle their conscience, make them think," theater critic Juan Antonio Gonzalez told AFP.
Karin Valecillos, the author of "Jasmines in Lidice" and "On Line," said she does not seek to be political in her work, but rather explore issues "in the most human, deep and genuine way possible."
"In the case of 'Jasmines,' perhaps it's about seeing how despite the painful, powerful loss of a child, these mothers go on living. It's a great example of how a wounded country can heal. Theater is not to tell you what to think, it's to ask you the questions," she said.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis Arab Today, arab today venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis Arab Today, arab today venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Silent Republicans have their reasons

GMT 16:55 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Silent Republicans have their reasons
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday