Samuel Buggeln, a New York theatre director and designer, is presently inÂ Buenos Aires, where he is researching theÂ ArgentineÂ theatre world.
This is part of a series of Samuelâ€™s special reports from Buenos Aires. See more at his blogÂ 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar.Â
BUENOS AIRES | Â OK, Iâ€™ve been waiting a long time to write this one. Santiago Loza is one of the more exciting writer voices Iâ€™ve come across here. Heâ€™s very popular here — popular like, I delayed writing this because Iâ€™d seen three of his plays but there was a fourth up that I wanted to see before writing.Â Iâ€™d missed a fifth that closed beofre I could see it, and I just noticed a sixth has opened.Â 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 isnâ€™t quite as weird as it seems because
1) Plays on the â€śoffâ€ť circuit can run a long time, like years, because they usually go one night a week.Â The upside of this system is clear, the downside is that set and lights are forced to be simple (or maybe thatâ€™s another upside because the focus goes back to, ahem, the writing and acting?)
2)Â In the â€śoffâ€ť world at least, plays here are verrry short, so, you know, you can write more of them.Â (There is one delightfully logarrheic playwright-exception to this rule, Iâ€™ll get to him in a later post.)
Under an hour is not uncommon, without there being any feeling that the play is a â€śone actâ€ť that needs to be paired with something else.
In some ways I like thisâ€” 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 thereâ€™s more play to be written on a given premise or character/s than weâ€™ve been given, and I want the playwright to have not just stopped before the structure became too troublesome.Â 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…Â the original. Â Didnâ€™t see it.
Looks a little cheesy, right?
OK back to Loza.Â Itâ€™s not that his plays are innovative in form or anything.Â From what Iâ€™ve seen heâ€™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.Â But also happily predictable was the way in which these charactersâ€™ 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.
Read more about Santiago Loza at Buggelnâ€™s blog at:Â 25weeksbsas.blogspot.com.ar/2013/11/teatro-13-16-loza
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