The International Theater Institute (International Theater Institute ITI) has released the World Theater Day Message for 2019, whose author is the Cuban stage director, playwright, theater educator and professor Carlos Celdrán.
The Manizales International Theater Festival, and La Patria, as every year on this date, celebrate and greet the makers of gestures and words that make it possible for the miracle of theater to be repeated every day.
* Before I woke up in the theater, my teachers were already there. They had built their houses and their poetry on the remains of their own lives. Many of them are not known or are barely remembered: they worked from silence, from the humility of their rehearsal halls and rooms full of spectators and, slowly, after years of work and extraordinary achievements, they left their place and disappeared. . When I understood that my job and my personal destiny would be to follow in their footsteps, I also understood that I inherited from them that heartbreaking and unique tradition of living in the present with no other expectation than to achieve the transparency of an unrepeatable moment. A moment of meeting with the other in the darkness of a theater, with no other protection than the truth of a gesture, of a revealing word.
My theatrical country are those moments of meeting with the spectators who come night after night to our room, from the most dissimilar corners of my city, to accompany us and share a few hours, a few minutes. With those unique moments I build my life, I stop being me, to suffer for myself and I am reborn and I understand the meaning of the job of doing theater: living moments of pure ephemeral truth, where we know that what we say and do, there, under the light of the scene, it is true and reflects the deepest and most personal of us. My theatrical country, mine and that of my actors, is a country woven by those moments where we leave behind the masks, the rhetoric, the fear of being who we are, and we hold hands in the dark.
The tradition of the theater is horizontal. No one can say that the theater is in some center of the world, in some privileged city or building. Theater, as I have received it, extends through an invisible geography that mixes the lives of those who make it and theatrical craftsmanship in the same unifying gesture. All theater teachers die with their moments of lucidity and unrepeatable beauty, they all disappear in the same way without leaving another transcendence that protects them and makes them illustrious. Theater masters know it, it is worth no recognition before this certainty that is the root of our work: creating moments of truth, of ambiguity, of strength, of freedom in the greatest of precariousness. They will not survive but data or records of their work in videos and photos that will collect only a pale idea of what they did. But those records will always lack the silent response of the public that understands in an instant that what happens there cannot be translated or found outside, that the truth that it shares there is an experience of life, for seconds more diaphanous than life itself.
When I understood that theater was a country in itself, a great territory that encompasses the entire world, a decision was born in me that is also a freedom: you don’t have to move away or move from where you are, you don’t have to run or move. Wherever you exist, the public is. There are the companions you need by your side. There, outside your home, you have all the daily reality, opaque and impenetrable. You then work from that apparent immobility to build the greatest of journeys, to repeat the Odyssey, the journey of the Argonauts: you are an immobile traveler who never stops accelerating the density and rigidity of your real world. Your journey is towards the moment, towards the moment, towards the unrepeatable encounter in front of your peers. Your journey is towards them, towards their heart, towards their subjectivity. You travel inside them, their emotions, their memories that you awaken and mobilize. Your journey is dizzying and no one can measure it or shut it up. Nor will anyone be able to recognize it in its proper measure, it is a journey through the imaginary of your people, a seed that is sown in the most remote of lands: the civic, ethical and human conscience of your spectators. For this reason, I do not move, I continue in my house, among my relatives, in apparent quiet, working day and night, because I have the secret of speed.
Carlos Celdrán (Cuba)