Festival Teatro Container: Thinking inside the box

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit inside of a shipping container whilst sharing the space with a drama festival?

Photo by Aune Ainson
Photo by Aune Ainson

Festival Teatro Container is an act of urban interventionism that originated in the hills and plazas of Valparaiso in 2008. The shipping containers act as theatrical spaces, presenting theatre, art and installation from a different perspective, this time taking place at Matucana 100 in Quinta Normal.

Photo by Aune Ainson
Photo by Aune Ainson

'Why shipping containers?', you might ask. These traditionally cold, bleak and rigid objects lacking in identity serve as the perfect blank canvasses to hold innovative theatre.

Spectators take their seats, snuggling in cosily and intimately at the back of the container, as the show begins and we are transported to a pioneering theatrical world.

Arturo, one of four plays currently being presented, is fabulously acted out by Héctor Morales and Cristián Carvajal as the two protagonists bounce off each other very much like a ball would inside a container. The plot swings in different directions, diverting attention from one character to the next whilst exploring the different facets of Chilean Navy officer and national hero Arturo Prat.

The spectators are transformed into voyeurs as the actors spend the duration of the play facing an invisible audience on the other side of the container. Sound effects such as coughs, laughs, boos and applause add to the dynamics when mixed with the reactions from the ‘real’ audience in the back. The acoustics inside the container are incredible and the simplicity of the play, peppered with witty jokes throughout, easily won over the crowd during a recent performance.

Festival Teatro Container leaves no separation between the audience and the action as viewers are caught between the roles of spectators and participants. Judging by Teatro de Chile's Arturo, each container holds an act just as quirky as the next.

Festival Teatro Container
June 24 to July 18
Prices: CP$ 3,000, from CP$ 2,000 to CP$2,500 reduced
Centro Cultural Matucana 100
Avenida Matucana 100
Telephone: 9/4992990
Metro: Quinta Normal or Estación Central

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