Unfiltered Theatre: the Series
Theatre in other spaces. Theatre in other concepts of time
Teatro a pelo was a theatrical series taking place in natural, everyday spaces. Over a period of three years, audiences were able to accompany the evolution of several characters as they came to life in spaces such as hotel rooms, a kitchen, a shop, an art gallery….
The project used non-stage spaces which the audience would share with the actors and where they became witnesses to stories told in non-linear time. Over the project’s three-year run, audiences were able to follow up-close the lives of four women: four friends who, through their relationships with their male friends, their lovers, their families, made anyone within reach complicit in their daily lives, their moments of both crisis and happiness.
The essence and character of this project is based on its performance in spaces that are not exclusive to the stage, researching narrative structures composed of simultaneous, repeated actions, experimentation with different codes, the development of a dynamic, horizontally structured team, and a re-examination of the relationship with the audience as a determining agent in performance.
Spaces for performance
The pieces performed by Teatro a pelo are located in everyday spaces which, though slightly modified, never cease to show anything other than their true nature. The setting for each piece is exactly what it is (or could be) in reality. In other words, when a piece is performed in the dining area of a restaurant we can use it as a restaurant or as the kitchen table in someone’s home, but we never turn to scenic design to create the illusion of an entirely different place.
The size of the audience depends on the size of the space. Teatro a pelo works in common spaces which the audience shares with the actors, forming an intense relationship with them and with the action taking place. The audience adapts to the space. What the audience sees is subject to new rules that go beyond the division between the stage space and the space from which it is watched. Those observing the action are then like intruders, closely watching everything that takes place and thereby experimenting with various degrees of modesty.
As an experience, Teatro a pelo is composed of several pieces occurring simultaneously in different spaces within the same building. Rather than being concentrated at one source point, the action is spread across separate locations.
These spaces are elements that form part of the creative process, and through the process they assume new content and meanings.
Each episode of Teatro a pelo is made up of three pieces, each of which has its own, fully independent narrative structure telling a complete story. However, these separate pieces are all connected: as members of the audience move from one piece to the next, they find that the story becomes more complex. In essence, the plot thickens. All these pieces taking place simultaneously are also repeated several times, giving members of the audience ample opportunity to witness them all and thus reconsidering the ability of the observer to witness one single action. The repetition of the pieces allows the audience to witness a set of simultaneous actions, resulting in a flexible structure in which the members of the audience have different experiences, all of them equally valid, depending on the order in which each episode is experienced.
The plot development is inconclusive and the interest generated by the characters does not disappear with the end of the pieces. All the pieces have an open structure that permits continuity and makes it clear to the audience that the episode they have seen is merely one in a series.
Three years “a pelo”
The Teatro a pelo series began at the end of 2011, with the debut of the first episode in January 2012 at Hostel Lacajahabitada, a space bustling with creative activity year-round.
Performances of the successive episodes in the series soon followed the project’s debut and were shown to sold-out audiences. Over the course of three years, the project succeeded in gaining new followers in addition to maintaining the interest of the theatregoers who had seen the beginning of the series. The third episode’s debut was preceded by a marathon of the two previous episodes, giving new followers the chance to catch up before continuing with the series.
Over a period of three weeks before the opening of the ninth and final episode, a retrospective special of the previous eight episodes was put on, once again selling out for each of the showings.