Virtuoso theater from Buenos Aires about four filmmakers in which fiction and reality constantly interact.


Mariano Pensotti

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Four filmmakers in Buenos Aires each start a new film. What they don’t realise is that the creative process will change their lives forever. The Argentinian director Mariano Pensotti has gathered international acclaim for his brand of theatre centering on the tension between fiction and reality. For this new work designer Mariana Tirantte has created a stage with a split screen, allowing a constant switching between the lives of the filmmakers and the films they’re shooting. The drive of these four filmmakers to capture shots for perpetuity is mirrored by their search for meaning in their own lives. What follows is a quest in which fiction and reality create some unexpected results.

Programme leaflet


directed and written by
Mariano Pensotti
set design and costumes
Mariana Tirantte
Diego Vainer
lighting design
Alejandro Le Roux
production assistant
Gabriel Zayat
assistant director, stage manager
Leandro Orellano
performed by
Horacio Acosta
Elisa Carricajo
Valeria Lois
Javier Lorenzo
Marcelo Subiotto
Grupo Marea, Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires
Wiener Festwochen
HAU Hebbel am Ufer
Festival d'Automne a Paris
Theaterformen Hannover
Holland Festival

Pensotti reminds us that artists ... are of the world, not abonve it.

Los Angeles Times about El pasado es un animal grotesco

Background information

‘Only the ephemeral lasts‘, is one of the mottos of Argentine director Mario Pensotti‘s latest play Cineastas. Nevertheless, we keep searching for meaning, something enduring within these streams of events which constitute our lives. And so do the four film makers who take to the stage in Cineastas. Their pursuit of meaningful images to use in their films is mirrored by a search for meaning in their own lives. In that search, reality and fiction often turn out to have an impact on each other. In order to depict this dynamic interaction and tension on stage, designer Mariana Tirantte has created a set modelled on a filmic split-screen. The five actors constantly switch - physically – between the films they‘re making and the lives they're living. As well as this, they play many other characters on stage.


The film makers and their projects represent a broad spectrum of the movie business, ranging from the director of quality blockbusters Gabriel to documentary maker Nadia to amateur film maker Lucas who makes underground films with bad equipment and the help of his friends, hoping for a big break. What all four film makers have in common, is that at some point in the filming process, the events and circumstances in their lives are getting tied up with the story in their films, for instance a disease which they‘re suffering from, a father figure in the script leading to a search for a father in real life, a documentary about a country being split up mirrored in a marriage split-up, etc. Pensotti's elaborate and clever stories show how our behaviour and self image is not only influenced by ‘reality‘, but also by the ‘meta reality‘ of fiction. What we read, see and hear has impact on our self image and behaviour, and vice versa our self image impacts on how we read a text or see a movie. The close relationship and constant interaction between fiction and reality is played out on different levels. One moment the actors play their ‘real lives‘, the next they will be directing their film, play in a film or comment on a scene (as a type of voice-over). Many of the props too switch ‘realities‘, from one set to the other or from the real world to the film set. Even in the audio, fiction and reality constantly intertwine. For both the scenes of real life and the scenes in the films two different musical styles have been devised, which clash and fuse on stage. All in all, Pensotti uses all these tools to depict a mix of interrelated events, stories, dreams, fantasies, frustrations and flights of fancy, in which every person must set out his or her own course.


Mariano Pensotti (1973) is an Argentine writer, director and theatre director. He leads the company Grupo Marea, which he co-founded with set designer Marina Tirantte, lighting designer Matías Sendón and composer Diego Vainer. Pensotti studied film, visual arts and theatre in Buenos Aires, Spain and Italy.


Pensotti has developed into one of the most noted experimental stage directors of his generation. He is seen as one of the great talents of Latin American theatre. His stage work is two-fold. He writes his own literary texts for plays which are strongly based on the work he does with his actors; and in parallel he produces various site specific performances with the main intention to stage fiction in public places in order to create a particular contrast between fiction and reality. Pensotti and his company Grupo Marea travel all over the world with their productions. Their play El Pasado es un animal grotesco (The past is a grotesque animal 2010/2012) was staged in New York, San Francisco, Brussels, Berlin, Rotterdam and at the theatre Frascati in Amsterdam. Other recent works which they toured Europe with are Sometimes I think I can see you (2010/2011), Encyclopaedia of Unlived Lives (2010) and La Marea (2005/2011).

This performance was made possible with support by