TCG Young Leaders of Color alums Alejandra Cisneros and Sandra Delgado, recently traveled to Bogotá to attend the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá. This biennial festival is in its 14th incarnation and the focus this year was to highlight “por que la fiesta teatral es de todos nosotros, sin distinción alguna, y todos somos anfitriones e invitados, actores y espectadores, y cada uno es parte esencial de una obra en la que estamos representados todos” [why a theatrical event is of all of us, without distinction, that we all are hosts and guests, actors and spectators, and that everyone is an essential part of a piece of theatre which represents all of us]. TCG organized a delegation of U.S. arts professionals to attend the festival in order to facilitate cross border relationships among theatre practitioners.
JESSICA LEWIS: Why did you decide to attend the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá?
SANDRA DELGADO: When I received the email from TCG that invited me to be a part of the festival as a delegate through the VIA program, I jumped at the chance. The festival has been on my radar for a few years and it’s been on my list of things that I must do. The fact that it coincided with my daughter’s spring break, enabled my husband, Collaboraction Artistic Director, Anthony Moseley, to make it an inspirational theatrical trip we could share with our daughter as well as an incredible memory filled trip to visit my family in Medellín, Colombia whom I haven’t seen in over 30 years.
ALEJANDRA CISNEROS: I decided to attend because one of my professional development goals as a stage director was to experience international work, internationally. I wanted to see and hear theatre from the world. I had questions like, what are other countries tackling artistically? How are they choosing to manifest that output? What are the performance spaces like? I had visited Colombia in 2008 and fell in love with the country so this opportunity to return and experience the country through another lens was perfect.
LEWIS: What is one moment of theatrical performance you witnessed that you’ll remember going forward?
CISNEROS: I don’t have one moment, ha, I have multiple moments. The Micro-Teatro at Casa E, in which the audience is sitting in the middle of a big reveal between Santa Claus and Carmen Miranda. Or watching the ever expanding set of the Los incontados at Mapa Teatro or having the actress from Cinco Mujeres (an autobiographical piece about 5 woman who had been forced into sex trafficking) at Casa E ask us after the show what we felt. Bogotá definitely left an imprint on my heart.
DELGADO: Mapa Teatro’s Los incontados. Wow. Fillled with so many moments. A small living room that fills with smoke and a man, a magician, appears from thin air. That same grey living room exploding into a Technicolor, glittery party. And still later, the mylar world giving way to the lush green jungle. All of them sequentially revealed from downstage to upstage. In a space about 20 feet wide and less than 75 feet long. It was a true sensory spiritual and brain expanding experience.
LEWIS: Are there any connections you made at the festival that you plan to maintain? If so, who and where are they from?
CISNEROS: Definitely. I am a big fan of the work at Casa E and their space is incredible. They have some great models for programming, space use and the work they do around social justice is impressive and powerful.
DELGADO: Yes! Looks like I’m putting together a Colombian tour of my solo show para Graciela, inspired by interviews with mother and aunts about their childhood that I developed as part of my TCG Fox Fellowship. I will be taking my show to the University of Cali and I plan to also take it to Bogotá and Medellín as well to El Carmen de Viboral, my mother’s birthplace and setting of para Graciela. Details forthcoming, but in large part due to the connections I made by attending the festival.
Alejandra Cisneros is a graduate from the University of California, Irvine. She directs/produces Los Angeles based theater including the cult-classic superhero series El Verde!which has toured throughout Southern California. Recent credits include El Verde, Night of the Kukaracha King for South Coast Rep, The Way of Water by Caridad Svich for East LA Rep, and For One Mariachi for the third annual Meet Me at Metro. She is an alumnus of Director’s Lab West, a Directing FAIR Fellow at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a Nathan Cummings Young Leaders of Color Recipient. http://alecisneros.tumblr.com
Sandra Delgado was a 2011 TCG Fox Resident Actor Fellow in residence at the Goodman Theater where she developed her solo show para Graciela. Recent credits include Veronica in The Motherf*cker With the Hat at Steppenwolf Theater, the titular character in Luis Alfaro’s reimagining of Medea, Mojada, at Victory Gardens Theatre, and Eva in Teatro Buendia of Cuba and the Goodman Theatre’s co-production of Pedro Paramo, a first time collaboration between US and Cuban theatre artists. Her next project is La Habana, a play with live salsa music, based on her interviews with Carribean Latinos who immigrated to Chicago in the 1960′s. www.sandradelgado.net