Artista – The Magic of Theatre Lives On!

High-tech computer games, interactive digital TV, virtual reality worlds, web-cams and web sites – the sophistication of entertainment and communication in 2008 would have George Orwell doing somersaults in his grave! But despite all the readily available super tech toys nothing beats a good old fashioned trip to the theatre where the human capacity for live creativity still holds a wonder of its own.
‘The most effective moments in the theatre are those that appeal to basic emotions – love, home, justice, anger, jealousy, revenge, ambition and success.’ Bertold Brecht, playwright.
‘The theatre is a spiritual and social x-ray of its time.’Stella Adler, actress 1901-1992
The lyrical beauty of a well written script, the electric energy of live dance and movement, the illusive quality of good lighting, fantastical costumes, original music and characters that carry us on their exploration of universal themes – the unique magic of theatre! Luckily for us, beside the flamenco infused provence of Andalusia is a surprisingly diverse and prolific world of theatre for every age and style. Let’s hope that ayuntamiento’s start to recognize the importance of cultural activities and offer lots of support!
Blackbox Theatre
Right in the heart of Marbella there is an independent theatre company with a sound ethos and an inspiring array of productions and activities. Blackbox Theatre opened in June 2007 following the vision of professional performer and director, Shia Areubulu from Madrid. Shia told me how once they had decided on Marbella as the place to be, the project soon gathered its own momentum. Blackbox, which is run by a dynamic trio, offers workshops in theatre, dance, circus skills, writing and capeoria for children to adults. They also host educational concerts in classical and jazz music. In addition to the workshops the company put on their own diverse array of productions, anything from Lorca’s ‘Blood Wedding’ to a play called ‘Rebellion’ which was their own version of George Orwell’s, ‘Animal Farm.’ The theatre can seat up to 120 people. They receive no official funding or support at present but hope that in the future the local council will get behind them so they can offer even more on a cultural level, whilst remaining committed to their independence. For Shia the essence of good theatre has to be, “something we can identify with, something that talks about life, our worries and desires, something that provokes reflection on the present and is visually and aesthetically innovative!” Blackbox like to explore performance with a multi-media feel, combining dance with visuals, live music with physical theatre.
In October they will be presenting Kafka’s “Metamorphosis’ and November will take them to Sevilla to be a part of the 15th Contemporary Dance Festival, ‘Mez En Danza.’
Contact: 952 779 172
Nerja Theatre Workshop
This is just one example of a company which nurtures the next generation of creative performers. Nerja Theatre Workshop has been going for around 6 years and caters for children from age 7 upwards. Tara Tye and Robert Fenton, who both have extensive backgrounds in theatre and dance, facilitate the production of up to 3 shows a year, usually a well known play or musical, with anything from 50 to 80 children. Every Saturday they run classes in acting, dance and music where young performers can explore their own self expression and learn the basics about the world of theatre. NTW are supported by the Nerja Cultural centre which is a great venue so keep an eye out for their shows.
For more info: 645305950
For the last 3 years I have also been running a company for young people in the Alpujarra with my creative partner Siobhan Padmore. We are fortunate enough to have a fantastic group of around 30 kids whose enthusiasm and energy for creative expression inspires and energizes us despite a lack of funding or even a decent space to work in. I relish the ability of our performers to overcome self consciousness and thrive within the challenges of our projects. Through our weekly workshops, we devise shows based on themes that matter to the performers themselves such as living your dreams or overcoming peer group pressure. LUV 2 ACT encourages the artists to write their own monologues, choreograph dance routines, learn songs and have an active input into costume and set design. We have also ventured into making short films such as a music video about the delicate water situation in Lanjaron and one which explored what makes us laugh and what makes us cry.
contact: 699 000 494
Check out what’s going on near you and make sure your children spend less time in front of their computer screen and more time working their imagination and body!
5 facts about the much loved playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca – 1898 – 1936
1) He was a poet and playwright whose short lived career revived Spanish theatre beyond measure.
2) Lorca was a part of an artistic circle with some of the most influential creative thinkers of the early 20th century, including Salvador Dali.
3) Lorca was a homosexual at a time of extreme intolerance and suffered from severe depression.
4) His work was banned for 4 decades after his death in 1936.
5) He was executed at the tragically young age of 38 with the on-set of the Spanish civil war.
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