Teatro Abierto
Director's Notes
Declaration of
For Press Release click on picture.
Ariane Erbar (Lighting Designer) has
painted with lights for Nathalie Broziat's
Amour, Where Are You? at Highways;
Creature / Creations
Will be presented at Highways Performance Space
in Santa Monica, California
Event Information:   Friday July 17 & Saturday 18 @ 8:30 PM
Box Office: 310 - 315 - 1459
At the Box Office:
(at the 18th Street Arts Center)
1651 18th Street Santa Monica,
CA 90404
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Theatre is Life without the boring moments.
HIGHWAYS Performance Space
(at the 18th Street Arts Center)
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
310 - 453 - 6829
Featuring: MINERVA GARCÍA as The Creature

She has worked at several theatre venues across the country. Among her
regional theatre credits are:  at
Teatro Visión in San Jose, California, in
the roles of Esperanza in LA CASA EN MANGO STREET by Sandra
Cisneros and as Julia Cortes in the critically acclaimed West Coast
Premiere of SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS by Jose Rivera; at
and Kansas City Repertory Theatres
, a co-production of LIVING OUT;
at the
Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, CHAVEZ RAVINE by
Culture Clash and ELECTRICIDAD by Luis Alfaro; at the
Theatre Festival in Williamstown
, Massachusetts in ROAD and
FAITH, HOPE & CHARITY. In San Francisco, she worked at the
in NIGHT TRAIN TO BOLINA by Nilo Cruz; at TheatreWorks in
WATSONVILLE by Cherrie Moraga; and at
Word 4 Word in THE
HALFWAY DINER. She also did the world premiere of ELECTRICIDAD in
the title role at
Borderlands Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. Other Los
Angeles theatre credits: she played Frida Kahlo for six consecutive years
in the show FRIDA KAHLO at
Grupo de Teatro Sinergia; Watts
Village Theatre Company
, Outpost Theatre Ensemble and worked
again with her "cuates" Culture Clash in CHAVEZ RAVINE, REDUX at the
Ford Amphitheater. She has also worked as a theatre director and
producer. Television and film credits: THE CLOSER, DEXTER, ALL
Minerva holds an M.F.A from the
American Conservatory Theatre in
San Francisco.

"I thought that my king
found me exciting...such a  
"I saw how they slaughter my
people, one after the other..."
Written by   Eugenio Griffero
Translated, Adapted & Directed by     Abraham Celaya
Eugenio Griffero wrote this
expressionistic metaphor about
a woman whose family and
friends have all been
slaughtered by “owners of the
chicken coop.” To cope with
this great loss, the woman turns
herself into a hen. She reviews
her / its life and how she
arrived at the present situation,
realizing that she may have
been a “collaborator” because
she never opposed any of the
killings. It was easier for her to
look in a different direction
diluting herself with fantasies
and distractions in order to
enjoy her privileged status.
Only at the end she realizes
that she was just a puppet! She
was only the meat provider, the
soldier, the consumer, and the
cheap-labor provider. Just one
of those “Creations” that the
“owners” needed for their own
In the end, the great lesson we
can learn form this play which
reflects the horrible times that
happened under a fascist
administration / regime, is that
we have to speak out for that in
what we believe.
We, the people—never losing
our optimism or sense of
humor— have to state our true
convictions. It is our duty to
speak out.
Álvaro Ochoa (Costume, Set & Graphic Designer) is a
graduate from Columbia University and has designed for theatre
and production designed for film, commercial and industrials in
New York and in Los Angeles. Recently Mr. Ochoa has graphic
designed for Lorenzo Buford’s incoming multimedia work A
Whore of the Heavens and A Story form the Other side and In-
                           Email Contact...  
"This dirty chicken coop
has grown old with me... I
am a queen of this
But, what  is the role of the passive observer, the middle of the road person who
middle of the road person, a collaborator by default?

The  character, this Hen-Woman, has been part of the game of power, and only
at the end of her journey realizes that she was guilty of no action. She may  not
have been able to change the outcome, but it would have been a question of
principles, of moral principles. This was her "error of judgment," what in the
Greek tragedy is called  “hamartia,” and this “imperfection” later came to be a
moral flaw.

Creature / Creations is an expressionistic metaphor that requires form the
audience to understand the suffering of the character; its far-reaching
reverberations are far out of proportion to her flaw. Aristotle states that the
purpose of tragedy is to arouse "terror and pity" and thereby effect the catharsis
of these emotions. The German dramatist and literary critic Gotthold Lessing
held that catharsis converts excess emotions into virtuous dispositions, so like a
moral lesson, the fear and pity excited by this tragic heroine’s fate will serve to
warn the spectator not to similarly tempt providence.

It happened in Argentina, but it is still happening. Fascism has many faces in
disguise, and the manipulation with the conniving of the media was and still is
the essence of this sort of Pandora’s box.

On March, 30, 1970 the day after military
coup-d'état general Jorge Rafael
, leader of the coup, declares:

"During many years there have been so many unfulfilled promises, so many
plans and project failures, so deep a national frustration, that most of our
compatriots do not believe any more in the word of their leaders, even thinking
that one does not arrive to public function to serve but to be served by it,
convinced that justice has disappeared from the Argentinean panorama."

It is then that begins the so called "Proceso de Reorganización Nacional"
National Reorganization Process), with 4 basic objectives:

  1. Restoration of security and order.
  2. Modernization of the country and economy.
  3. Restitution of public life morality. And
  4. Reform of the educational system.

Immediately after the coup,  the "Ley de Seguridad Nacional" (Decree of Social
) was proclaimed, supposedly for a short time, but it was maintained
until 1981. This Decree brought a repression unprecedented in Argentina's
history, as well as in so many other countries.

In an interview with the Spanish magazineTiempo, in November 1983, right after
the fall of the dictatorship,
General Camps, one of the members of the military
council said:

"About 5000 people disappeared while I was the Police Chief of the province of
Buenos Aires. I had some buried in mass graves. Most of the subversive people
died. A few preferred not to play heroes and collaborated with us. We gave the
children of the subversive to social services, because subversive parents
educate their children in subversion."

Regarding the economy, devaluation was artificially kept down. Short term
speculating money appeared, the loan interests where very low. Currency, the
peso, was put par to the dollar which created meteoric fortunes that flew out of
the country as soon as the bubble started to burst. When in 1980 it was not
possible anymore to contain the crisis, it was officially denied. And when two
years later "the owners of the chicken coop moved to another house",
Argentina,  the richest South American country in natural resources was on the
verge of economic collapse.

Education was no different. Basically, the Reform of the Educational System
"purged" all non-catholic educational personnel which were considered
"compromised" or "dubious".

This political reality was asking of the theatre to be part of the fight for freedom,
and to bring back a national identity to the people, once and for all. Teatro
Abierto was born in 1981 with this purpose: to make possible a common destiny
facing the future, in order to be faithful to the identity of people's own roots.

Creature / Creations portrays how many aspects of our everyday life
necessarily drive us to frustration and despair.  What is really better: to live on
one's knees or to die on one's feet? Which one is more alienating? We have to
make ourselves heard. We have to speak out for what we believe in. When we,
the people, boldly state our true convictions - never losing our optimism or
sense of humor - the times will change.
When it comes to speaking out for
justice, there isn't any need for restraint. On the contrary, to be
reserved or hesitant under such circumstances is wrong.

As individuals and as a community we have infinite possibilities, but we have to
listen to our heart when it is telling us what is and what is not wrong. As this
Creature—her own Creation—says: "The whole universe is my bed, and I am
still in this... this...”  
That implacable law of karma: "What goes around comes

In the words of Daisaku Ikeda:
“Happiness and honor does not lie in outward
appearances or vanity. Rather it is a matter of what you yourself feel inside; it is
a deep, answering response in your life.”
  • Because we want to demonstrate
    the existence and vitality of the
    Argentinean theatre some
    individuals denied many times."

  • Because theatre being a cultural
    phenomena eminently social and
    communal, we try to recuperate a
    massive audience through high
    quality of the production, and low
    prices of the seats."

  • Because we feel that all together
    we are more than the sum of each
    one of us."

  • Because we want to exercise in
    an adult and responsible way our
    right of freedom of speech."

  • Because we have to find new
    ways of expression that free us
    from merely commercial tactics."

  • Because we desire that our
    fraternal solidarity is more
    important than our competitive    

  • Because we painfully love our
    country, and this is the sole
    homage than we know how to do."

  • Because above all other reasons
    we are happy to be together."
Creature / Creations is part of
a group of 21 short plays, that
were specially written for the
first cycle of
Teatro Abierto
Open Theatre), known also as
Theatre Under Vigilance, in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, in
1981 under military dictatorship.
Teatro Abierto opened in July at
Teatro del Picadero, and
on August 6 only after 8
performances the theatre was
destroyed in a provoked fire.
I was born under the sign of Scorpio in 1936 in my parents’ bed in
Buenos Aires of smooth labor. My plays:
La Fuerza del Destino no
trae mala suerte
(The Force of Destiny Doesn’t Bring Bad Luck) 7
monologues with the first Argentinean frontal masculine nude; the
critics said:
“…extremely beautiful staging with a great and well
hung actor …”
Familia se vende (Family for Sale) nominated for the
Molière Award.
La Gripe (The Flue) with a very dark humor won the
Molière Award.
Des-Tiempo (Wrong-Moment): I wanted 10
spectators on the stage of the Teatro Cervantes of Buenos Aires,
they put 100 seats; the stalls and the 4 floors of boxes sometimes
empty, sometimes lit, and there was the music from a viola that a
young men plaid in one of the boxes.
produced in many languages and countries. Cuatro Caballetes (Four  Easels) at the Teatro
San Martin.
El visitante extraordinario (The Extraordinary Visitor), Pausa (Pause), La abeja en
People), La enana  (The Midget).

Currently Mr. Griffero lives between Spain and Argentina.
ARIANE ERBAR  (Lighting Designer)
Thiestes' Feast for Mesopotamian Opera Company; The Misadventures of Uncle McBuck for
Murderer for State Univ. New York at Brockport and The Wizard of Oz for Theatre Young Kids
Enjoy. She has also stage managed The Pugilist Specialist for VS Theatre in Los Angeles. She
is the current Technical Director at Highways Performance Space. Ms. Erbar received her MFA
Teatro Abierto, also known as
Theatre Under Vigilance, was a
theatre to exercise in fraternal
solidarity  the right to freedom of
It had also the intention to
recuperate  a diminishing theatre
that was farther and farther away
from the public domain due to
commercial production practices of
those times.
It is in this scenario of social
instability with "artists black lists",
that playwrights, actors, designers,
musicians, and anybody who was
politically, socially and artistically
involved, created the first TEATRO
ABIERTO in 1981 with no limitation
in its ideology
My-Mi / Your-Tu BLOG
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