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Destinos: Teatro Linea de Sombra premieres ‘Pequeños territorios en reconstrucción’ 

Written by on September 23, 2022

“No hay que hablar de la violencia, sino de gestos de vida en contextos de violencia, como la persistencia de la vida, como la vida que se cuela entre las grietas.”

Rocío Santos of Domingos en Vocalo spoke with Alicia Laguna and Jorge Vargas, co-founders of the distinguished Mexican theater company Teatro Línea de Sombra, premiering the fable-documentary Pequeños territorios en reconstrucción at Goodman Theatre this weekend, as part of Destinos (Chicago International Latino Theater Festival). 

It all started with the 2012 article “La ciudad de las mujeres” by Mexican journalist Marcela Turati published in Heroínas anonimas, a special edition of Proceso magazine, that sparked the interest of Teatro Línea de Sombra to create a production that recognized and celebrated the fruits of labor of the women of Turbaco, Colombia who built a ciudadela with 98 houses after been displaced due to armed conflict. Between 2012 and 2014, the company made three trips to Colombia and engaged with the community of women and children through workshops facilitated by the ensemble. During this time Pequeños territorios en reconstrucción became a research project and a documentary-fable on the stage to connect the community of the women who built “La Ciudad de las Mujeres” (The City of Women) with the rest of the world where it has been performed.

This weekend, Pequeños territorios en reconstrucción directed by Jorge Vargas premieres as part of Destinos, the 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. This fábula-documental connects Chicago with The City of Women. It’s a 60-minute journey to Turbaco, near Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, where Goodman’s Owen Theatre stage is transformed with 98 cinder-blocks, cardboard stand-ups, personal objects that surround each block, and other elements representing people’s hope, their unity and resilience, the struggle of the communities facing forcible displacement, the turmoils caused by el conflicto armado, and its effects on people and in the environment. Ensemble members Abril Pinedo and Alicia Laguna connect the spectator to the lives and historias of the women through testimony, video, music (sung by singer-songwriter Shanttal Saad), narration (English-language narration by actress Sonya Madrigal), and as Vargas mentions, “la pieza se desdobla en muchas temperaturas“ (“it’s a piece that unfolds in many temperatures”).

Pequeños territorios en reconstrucción runs this weekend at the Goodman Theatre. More information can be found on their website.

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Written by Rocío Santos

Audio production by Rocío Santos

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