Despite the difficulties, the world of theater continues and although there are still many groups in the province that have their projects frozen waiting for better moments, others have already got to work. Companies are having problems rehearsing because of the pandemic, sometimes due to the closure of the premises where they usually work and at other times due to the prevention of the members themselves, especially when it comes to amateur groups.
In Ciudad Real, the play Ocho mujeres, by Robert Thomas, a montage by the Artisquetas company, made up exclusively of actresses directed by Alvar Vielsa, is in the rehearsal phase. The rehearsals are carried out two days a week in the director’s studio, which is attended by the actresses who take part in the scene in which they work that day, all with the mask on, while those who are exempt from attending in person continue the performance of her colleagues for a group video call.
The theater takes on the challenge of rehearsing on insurance – Photo: Tomás Fernández de MoyaVielsa acknowledges that the planning of the trials “was done on the fly”, since the project had already begun when the pandemic arrived. Initially, they were being developed at the headquarters of the Neighborhood Association on the Fuensanta highway, “there we could meet the ten people that we are, but now that reduction to six people has affected us”, in addition to the closure of civic centers and social. “They are more a desk job than a physical rehearsal,” he summarizes.
One of the group’s actresses, Míriam Ruiz, acknowledges that rehearsing in this way “is more complex, but it is also a challenge, it is reinventing the theater.” The essays thus focus “on attitude and voice,” while thinking about how to resolve “the need to be complicit with some gesture,” which now boils down to “looking straight in the eye.”
One of the first groups to return to activity was the Argamasilla de Alba Primer Acto company, which did so since the confinement was lifted after the first state of alarm, in May. “We rehearsed with masks and protective screens and with great caution”, details the director, María Eugenia Moya. The montage selected for this round was Tres, a comedy by Juan Carlos Rubio, starring three women and one man.
Moya also recalls that her three companions on the scene “had passed the coronavirus” before returning to rehearsals; she was the only one who got rid of the contagion.
The director details that since May they have carried out “the same activities as always, we have even participated in an exchange between communities through the National Scenemateur Confederation.” This performance was carried out in Asturias and “the capacity they had with the current restrictions was completed,” says the director of First Act. Moya is also vindictive: “Culture is safe and must be promoted, because it is also an industry that not only feeds the soul, but also many other companies,” he recalls.
Three cities. More complex is the reality of the Icebreaker company, specialized in great musicals and based in Daimiel. First she was forced to divide her essays between Ciudad Real, Puertollano and Madrid, “always in groups of less than ten people,” explains its director, Sergio Aguirre. But his scheduled function in Daimiel for October 31 was postponed at the last minute. This was followed by several cancellations until this Saturday it was finally re-released in Pozuelo de Calatrava.
Spectacle! Tribute to Moulin Rouge has a staff of 20 artists, which requires that rehearsals be carried out “with the maximum safe distance, with all positions marked on the ground” with intervals of between a meter and a half and two meters between an actor and another, in addition to the fact that all the tests are carried out with masks.
“To access the rehearsal room, actors and musicians have to take their temperature and put on a new mask,” emphasizes Aguirre, who for the moment celebrates that no artist has had so far “contact with someone who has tested positive.”