Teatro Malayerba presents a play about Argentina's dirty war


In collaboration with the University of Minnesota and the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, St. Paul-based Latino theater company Teatro del Pueblo is hosting the Ecuadorian group Teatro Malayerba on Thursday and Friday evening at the Rarig Center. Part of the State of Iberoamerican Studies Series at the University, the theatrical presentation draws on Argentina's bloody dictatorship through the lens of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote

The academic symposium that the performances are a part of includes lectures and discussions about human rights in Latin America. To go along with these discussions, Teatro Malayerba will be presenting their play, La Razón Blindada, in Spanish with English translations.

"The company is very famous in Latin America," says Al Justiniano, Teatro del Pueblo's artistic director. The group was recommended to him based on their worldwide reputation. Arístides Vargas, one of the founders of the troupe, was born in Argentina, but was forced into exile during its dictatorship from the 1970s and '80s. La Razón Blindada takes place during that time period, where two prisoners committed to solitary confinement entertain themselves with stories from Don Quixote

"Their style is sort of poetic," Justiniano says. "It's like Kafka or Waiting for Godot. It's got a playful banter." Much of the dialogue, Justiniano says, delves into ideas of existence, reality, and politics. Utilizing video, the characters talk about the reality of their situation, and also about the politics of repression. "It's very unique," he says. 

Justiniano says Teatro del Pueblo wouldn't be able to bring the company to Minnesota if it weren't for the collaboration with the two participating universities. "As a small theater, we couldn't do this by ourselves," he says. 

Besides the performance of La Razón Blindada, the series also includes two performances on Saturday evening as well: a one-man show by Colombian playwright Carlos Sarizábal, Nuevas Masculinidades, presented in Spanish (without supertitles), and a reading of a play by Italian playwright Davide Carnevali called Variations on the Kraepelin Model that will be presented in English. 

In addition,the State of Iberoamerican Studies Series includes numerous workshops and talks at the Unviersity of Minnesota. See here for a complete schedule. 


La Razón Blindada by Teatro Malayerba

8 p.m. Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7

Whiting Proscenium Theater at the Rarig

330 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis.

$16; $14 students/seniors

For tickets, call 651-224-8806.