Contigo América: 25 años de una experiencia teatral independiente

Contigo América: 25 Years of an Independent Theater Experience

Julio César López Cabrera

FONCA / CITRU / Contigo América
México, 2007
187 p.

Direct descendant of the best tradition of South American independent theaters, the group Contigo América was created in 1981 by Blas Braidot and Raquel Seoane, exiles to Mexico with the Uruguayan group El Galpón, in 1976. In this commemorative edition their stage history is documented and re-constructed. It is a tale where the testimonials of the founders, current members, theater critics and friends of the group merge in tune with a collective creation to remind us that Contigo América discovered for Mexico an alternative model of creation to that of commercial, official and propaganda theater during the 80’s. In artistic terms it created a theater of repertoire with memorable stagings such as The One that Doesn’t Wear a Tuxedo (1981), Customs (1982) and The Wolf’s Reasons (1986). Out of the chapter list: “Introduction”, with a view of the trajectory of the group, divided into three moments; “Chronology”, with significant situations in the biography of the group and its members: premieres, repositions, seasons, tours, anniversaries, festivals, collection campaigns, awards and acknowledgments; “Snapshots”, with testimonials by Blas Braidot, Raquel Seoane, Mario Ficachi and Pablo Jaime; “Testimonials on Contigo América”, by Alejandro Luna, Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda, Vicente Leñero, Luis Mario Moncada, Felipe Galván, Rodolfo Sánchez Alvarado, María Victoria Llamas, Fernando de Ita, Bruno Bert, Raúl Díaz, Olga Harmony, José Solé, José Caballero, Héctor Bonilla and Saúl Juárez; “Staging History”, where technical file information is cross referenced with critics of the time and pictures to evoke the stagings worthy of the best reviews the group received; “Current Members”, with professional profiles of the 13 current members; and, finally, “Newspaper Document”, with over 500 references to reviews and critiques. All the chapters of the memoir are illustrated with images of programs, posters, diplomas and photographs of stagings.