Family Ties: ‘Siameses’

They are a family both like and unlike any other. The mother has no arms and the daughters are Siamese twins. As for the father, his body may be intact, but his obsession with Rocky Balboa makes it clear that his mind is anything but.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy Francisco Álvarez

All it takes is four actors (Natalia Rojas, Macarena Losada, Izaskun Montoya and Américo Huerta) and one set to bring the strange world of the play “Siameses” (Siamese Twins) to life. “It’s a tale about the worst thing that can happen,” claimed director Felipe Rubio. The characters belong to the particular social class of the former-rich, current-middle class and are too busy blaming each other for their own failings to achieve any of the lofty dreams they plan to accomplish tomorrow.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy Francisco Álvarez

Plenty of jokes keep the audience laughing through all the gloom and doom, such as bickering between the twins, Debbie and Gibson. A humorous highlight occurs during a dinner scene where the mother sits in the father’s lap and he gestures expansively as if his arms belong to her, all the while making faces behind her back.

The ending is open and although Felipe Rubio has his own interpretation, he’s keeping it for himself, explaining that “the idea is that the public completes the ending in their head. It’s super interesting what’s produced.” Indeed there were plenty of people standing around after the play ending, each discussing a different take on the way the play ended.

This is the first play Felipe Rubio directed by himself and the first one he wrote with Macarena Losada (although he claims the writing was 70% Losada’s work), although Losada wrote a number of plays prior to this and this isn’t the first time they have worked together. The play’s clever writing and skilled direction augur good things for Rubio and Losada’s futures.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy Francisco Álvarez

“Siameses” won Best Director and Best Dramaturgy in August during a festival organized by the Magíster in Theater Direction of the University of Chile and showed at Lastarria 90 from August 26 to September 5.

“When we started working on the play we didn’t think it was going to win awards or be shown in an important theatre like Lastarria,” Felipe Rubio explained. “It’s super gratifying.”

Felipe Rubio’s future plans include participating in the project Gabinete AB Uno, which creates a different theatrical experiment every week. This month’s experiment is a five minute play, free to the public, directed by Juan Francisco González and named “Yo la Quería” (a double entendre meaning “I wanted her” and/or “I loved her”). It was shown at Teatro del Puente on September 10, 11, 24 and 25 and has two final showings this week on October 1 and 2. He also wants to do another play with the same people who created “Siameses,” although it is still in the planning stage.

Siameses
August/September 2010
Cía. The Naidens Compañy

Yo la Quería
September 10, 11, 24 and 25; October 1 and 2
Teatro del Puente
http://www.teatrodelpuente.cl/2010/09/desde-este-viernes-10-de-septiembre/

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