Samuel Buggeln, a New York theatre director and designer, is presently in Buenos Aires, where he is researching the Argentine theatre world.

This is part of a series of Samuel’s special reports from Buenos Aires. See more at his blog 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar

Samuel Buggeln 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar/
Samuel Buggeln 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar/

BUENOS AIRES |  OK, I’ve been waiting a long time to write this one. Santiago Loza is one of the more exciting writer voices I’ve come across here. He’s very popular here — popular like, I delayed writing this because I’d seen three of his plays but there was a fourth up that I wanted to see before writing.  I’d missed a fifth that closed beofre I could see it, and I just noticed a sixth has opened.  Which will not be reflected in this post. There is a limit after all.

Nada del amor me produce envidia: the revival

I may have made this side note already, but I may as well make it again: this multi-play thing isn’t quite as weird as it seems because

1) Plays on the “off” circuit can run a long time, like years, because they usually go one night a week.  The upside of this system is clear, the downside is that set and lights are forced to be simple (or maybe that’s another upside because the focus goes back to, ahem, the writing and acting?)

2)  In the “off” world at least, plays here are verrry short, so, you know, you can write more of them.  (There is one delightfully logarrheic playwright-exception to this rule, I’ll get to him in a later post.)

Under an hour is not uncommon, without there being any feeling that the play is a “one act” that needs to be paired with something else.

In some ways I like this— theatre is easy to go to here, a quick fun thing to do with some friends after cocktails and before dinner.

Occasionally, though, I do feel like there’s more play to be written on a given premise or character/s than we’ve been given, and I want the playwright to have not just stopped before the structure became too troublesome.  And I have wondered, if one were to try to import one or more Argy plays to the US, how much of a deal-breaker the shortness would be.

Nada del amor… the original.  Didn’t see it.
Looks a little cheesy, right?

OK back to Loza.  It’s not that his plays are innovative in form or anything.  From what I’ve seen he’s at his most comfortable writing monologues, and the first three plays I saw (in order: Nada del amor me produce envidia, Todo verde, and La mujer puerca) were in some ways so similar as to be predictable: a 50-minute monologue spoken by a woman to whom life has been somehow unfriendly.  But also happily predictable was the way in which these characters’ different voices were unusual, strange and beautiful and very very funny in the moment-to-moment writing, the pleasure of constant small surprises in the ways they think and process their odd experiences of the world.

Todo verde

Read more about Santiago Loza at Buggeln’s blog at: 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar/2013/11/teatro-13-16-loza

Santiago Loza
Santiago Loza

 

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