Tour Theater & Film Preview: HISTORIA DE AMOR (Teatrocinema at REDCAT L.A. and MCA Chicago)

Post image for Tour Theater & Film Preview: HISTORIA DE AMOR (Teatrocinema at REDCAT L.A. and MCA Chicago)

by Frank Arthur on March 29, 2016

in Theater-Chicago,Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


Based on the graphic novel of the same name by French writer Régis Jauffret, Historia de Amor, which opens this Thursday, March 31 at REDCAT in L.A., addresses the hardly distinguishable boundary between reason and madness, love and domination. An English teacher abducts the young Sofia and turns her into his victim, concubine, and mother. He takes over her life in multiple ways, leaving her with no choice but to accept her situation and turn inward for solace. His sick, twisted love becomes Sofia’s only possibility for humaneness in a world where criminals act with impunity and witnesses remain silent. It is a repulsive story, and seeing it portrayed is extremely difficult.

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The achievement of Teatrocinema is in choosing the graphic novel to explore the limits of story and the possibilities of emerging media. Comic-book-style artwork and acting, intertwined with 2D and 3D video footage and traditional staging, immerses audiences in the world that is being created. The poetics of images and the merged narrative techniques of drama and cinema in Historia de Amor tell a terrifying, true modern story. Fragmented lives are reflected in all of Teatrocinema’s work, and its creators speak openly about the fragmentation imposed on many Chileans’ lives by 17 years of dictatorship. Art director Laura Pizarro offers Historia as: “an allegory of abuse, mostly about abuse of women, so in that sense we could say the play has a feminist perspective. But it is broader than that. It is about a lack of rights, about fragmentation, about the devaluing of the human being.”

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In Historia two projection screens are displayed in a unique stage setup, employing set design to distance the viewer emotionally and physically. The first screen, a translucent scrim, divides the stage and in order to facilitate the projection of animated images onto and around the actors, with which they can interact.

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Behind the stage, another screen projects background images and scenography. Through a deft combination of digital imaging, mirrors, and intricate staging and choreography, Teatrocinema achieves a seamless fusion of live art and cinema. This fusion, combined with the comic-book aesthetic and black-and-white palette of much of the animation, highlights the fragmented, solitary psyches of Sofia and her captor with more nuance than theater or film alone could.

A Saturday matinee performance has been added to the REDCAT run through Sunday April 3 to accommodate ticket demands. After REDCAT, Historia moves to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, April 7-10, 2016.

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photos by Montserrat Quezada

Teatrocinema: Historia de Amor
performed in Spanish with English supertitles
recommended for mature audiences

631 West 2nd St, Los Angeles
March 31-April 3, 2016
for tickets, call 213.237.2800 or visit REDCAT
then plays Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
April 7-10, 2016
for tickets, visit MCA
for more info, visit Teatrocinema

{ 1 comment }

Tony Frankel April 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

Just saw it last night (Thursday) at the opening in L.A. Prepare yourself for an unnecessarily relentless 90 minutes. folks. And it’s not a dogged experience because of the rapid-fire supertitles or the subject matter (a dominating male and his hapless victim). It’s so myopic and unyielding that the gorgeous, stunningly designed storyboard-like, graphic-novel of a show becomes positively mind-numbing. Supernatural performances from the two actors, but after the first fascinating 15 minutes or so, it quickly enters slog territory.

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