February 11, 2014 — Alexandra Ripp

Re-localizing Globalized Theater: The Revisionary Performances of Post-Dictatorship Chile in Guillermo Calderón’s Neva, Diciembre, and Villa

Over the last seven years, the productions of Chilean playwright-director Guillermo Calderón have toured the world to great acclaim. Although the globalization of theater—primarily via the international festival circuit—has brought his work to non-Chileans who appreciate it without deep contextual knowledge, Calderón’s work specifically reflects and engages its particular post-dictatorship context. As an artist, Calderón is motivated by national goals: to encourage Chileans to acknowledge their country’s past and criticize today’s democracy for perpetuating problems of that past. How can we, as international audience members, be responsible spectators of this “local” work in global circulation? Examining Calderón’s artistic trajectory through his plays Neva (2006), Diciembre (2008), and Villa (2011), I suggest that his work shows an evolving negotiation between a “local” Latin American model of performance and a “global” one applicable to diverse cultures. I see this shifting negotiation between models as bound up with Calderón’s increasingly direct call for Chileans to reassess their past, present, and future—and as one that demands that we be agile and discerning in our spectatorship.

**Join us Tuesday from 1-2 p.m. in room 202 of 220 York. A light, catered lunch will be provided.**

Alexandra Ripp is a first-year DFA candidate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama. She is a former managing editor of Theater magazine and is the 2012 winner of the John Gassner Memorial Prize for criticism. Her translation of Teatro de Chile’s Rey Planta was produced at the Yale Cabaret in 2011, and she continues to translate for the group. She is the Ideas Program Manager at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.