‘Passionate proclamation of feminine freedom’ – El Mercurio

Paisajes para no colorear

Marco Layera

Nine teenage girls claim their place on the stage. They force the spectators to listen to their view of the world, in particular their experiences of gender-related violence and feminism in Chile and South America. Chilean director Marco Layera – this time without his group La Re-sentida – worked for a year with these young actresses on Paisajes para no colorear (‘Non coloring landscapes’). The girls are provocative and resolute, but also vulnerable as they storm the stage with hormonal bravado to refute persistent romantic myths about youth and female innocence. They show that a new generation has found its voice and that the time has come to open our eyes to the reality in which today’s teenagers live. Or, in the girls’ own words: ‘We will become the stars of an unrivalled cultural revolution.’

background information

‘Theatre enables the viewer to reflect on reality. It always surprises me when people are shocked by a performance. How can you be shocked by what we do, when reality is many times worse?’ 

Director and theatre maker Marco Layera grew up in Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship. With his own company, La Re-sentida, Spanish for ‘resentful’, in recent years he made a series of socially critical, darkly humorous pieces which place ideological question marks around contemporary Chilean society. 

In Paisajes para no colorear nine teenagers between 13 and 17, take to the stage to portray reality: to report, comment and play out in real-life situations the things they are confronted with on a daily basis as teenage women in contemporary Chile. What moves them and what issues do they encounter in the limbo between childhood and adulthood? The message about their daily reality is clear. It is a sample card of repression: abuse inside and outside the family, sex, pregnancies and abortions, structures of patriarchal oppression, murder and manslaughter. 

In this piece they draw on their own stories and on those from around 140 other girls and young women documented by a team of the Theater Company La Re-Sentida during a process of interviews and workshops that lasted almost one year: a type of empirical field research which the collective and the selected performers have dramatised and shaped into the play’s text. Here too the multidisciplinary form, incorporating dance, film and projection, music and performance, leads to dynamism, rhythm and power.

Paisajes para no colorear points an accusatory finger at the stifling traditions of the (South American) Catholic Church and the old-fashioned role models imposed on girls at school and at home. But it is also the scream of a new generation of girls and women who have gained a voice for the first time and demand to be heard and respected. That makes it primarily a hopeful show, now that these girls are in open rebellion, refusing to conform any longer to ingrained ideas and putting forward their own vision of the future. If it’s down to these girls, customs between men and women, between the different generations and institutions are to be examined and there is space for an open, empathic society based on solidarity. It is, Layera says, ‘a generation I fervently believe in’. Theatre in its most confrontational and disconcerting form, one which continues to reverberate.

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biography

Marco Layera (1978, Santiago, Chile) studied law, specialised in criminology and worked as an assistant lecturer in philosophy at the University of Chile. He then followed theatre courses at the 

Teatro Escuela La Matriz and the Escuela Teatro Imagen. In 2008 he founded the theatre collective La Re-sentida, where he remains the artistic director. Working with this company in 2008, he created Simulacro, an ironic, brutal, darkly humorous reflection on life in a country with a dictatorial history. The group’s breakthrough in Europe came with Tratando de hacer una obra que cambie el mundo, which was shown at Holland Festival in 2013 as well as other venues; he also directed a new, adapted version of Tratando in Estonia with an entirely Estonian cast. In 2015 Layera and his group made another appearance at Holland Festival to perform La imaginación del futuro (2013),and his show La Dictadura de lo cool travelled to a number of Dutch theatres in 2017. Marco Layera was closely involved with theatrical research into people of different ages and social classes, as shown in Elencos ciudadanosand Laboratorios de montaje. He also taught at various theatre schools. He has received the Eugenio Guzmán prize of the Festival para Directores Teatrales of the University of Chile, the prize for best director at the Festival de Teatro Joven in the Teatro Municipal de las Condes and has twice been nominated for the Chilean art prize the Premio Altazor a Las Artes Nacionales.

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Credits

direction
Marco Layera
director's assistant
Carolina de la Maza
cast
Ignacia Atenas, Sara Becker, Paula Castro, Daniela López, Angelina Miglietta, Matilde Morgado, Constanza Poloni, Rafaela Ramírez en Arwen Vásquez.
text
Carolina de la Maza, Marco Layera gebaseerd op getuigenissen van de performers en meer dan 100 Chileense adolescenten
scene assistant
Francisca Hagedorn, Soledad Escobar
psychologist
Soledad Gutiérrez
set, light
Pablo de la Fuente
costumes
Daniel Bagnara
music composition
Tomás González
technical chief
Karl Heinz Sateler
sound
Alonso Orrego
production
GAM (Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral)
co-production
Theater Company La Re-Sentida