Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro

1h 20min
ES > FR / NL

23/05 – 20:30
24/05 – 18:00
25/05 – 20:30
26/05 – 20:30

A leading light in Buenos Aires theatre, the writer and director Mariano Pensotti explores the tension between reality and fiction in shows in which major historical events are revealed through the small day-to-day stories of a handful of individuals. Introduced and regularly invited back by the festival, this year the Argentine director presents the world premiere of Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro . The play is based on a true story but almost immediately diffracts in the dramatist’s imagination. Like an archaeologist, Pensotti attempts to reconstruct an extinguished life from the bits and pieces that have survived. How do truth and family myths intermingle to form the identity of a human being? Moving through the generations, characters and objects appear and disappear. Pensotti uses an inventive stage device to serve his clear narrative style, constructing a Borgesian labyrinth of personal stories to get lost in.

Text & direction
Mariano Pensotti

Agustín Rittano, Mauricio Minetti, Santiago Gobernori, Julieta Vallina, Andrea Nussembaum

Set design
Mariana Tirantte

Diego Vainer

Alejandro Le Roux

Florencia Wasser

Stage assistance
Manuel Guirao, Carlos Etchevers

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre Varia

Grupo Marea (Buenos Aires)

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Theaterhaus Gessnerallee (Zürich), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt), Festival Theaterformen (Hannover), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Festival d’Avignon, Maison des arts de Créteil, Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, El Cultural San Martín (Buenos Aires), FIBA Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires

Subtitling with the support of

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Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro

Over the years, one becomes one’s own double. A double who often reflects a person built on a myth that no longer exists. Cuando vuelva acasa voy a ser otro (When I come home, I will be someone else) begins from a real event, a very recent experience for my own father: at the end of the 1970s he was a revolutionary militant, and when the dictatorship began in Argentina he decided to conceal a collection of compromising items he owned (photos, books, letters from comrades, etc.) in case the soldiers broke into the house where we lived, which in fact they did. My father buried the items in the garden of my grandparents’ house, and throughout the years of dictatorship, he never forgot them. When military rule ended, in the mid-1980s, he tried to recover them, but he could not remember the exact place where they were buried, since the garden had changed a great deal over that period, and he couldn’t find them. At the beginning of 2014, my father received a call from the present owner of my grandparents’ house. While they were excavating the land for a swimming pool, they found the bags containing his possessions. So almost 40 years later, he was reunited with these mythic objects and found himself confronted with a time capsule that held the traces of something that was, and no longer is. For the first time I felt impelled to start from a real event about something so near, to construct a fiction. In the story of this play, a blatant mixture of the real and the fictional, the character who lives this event recognises all the objects except for one mysterious item, inexplicably included among the rest of his buried possessions. The search for the source of this strange object is the thread linking a series of stories divided into chapters in a way reminiscent of a novel or of paintings displayed in a museum.

Every family has its founding myths, sometimes quite mundane events that nonetheless cast their shadow over many subsequent generations. In my recent work, I have been obsessed with the things that construct us as persons, and make us into just what we are, and nothing else. Reflecting on my earlier work, it could be said that in one piece the idea was that we are what we narrate, we construct ourselves insofar as we change our own past every time we recount it; while in another the notion was that we are what the fictions have made us to be, since we all live and react to experiences from the fictions we have consumed since the start of our lives. In Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro the idea is that sometimes we are also formed by the family myths with which we grew up and by the personal, mythic moments of a founding past that defines us and at the same time causes our transformation into the ‘doppelganger’ of this mythic person over time. Identity is in a permanent state of transformation and there is an exciting tension in all of us between the impulse and the longing to be someone else, the tragedy of being only one, contrasted with the anguish and fear of ceasing to be what we are.

The play takes place in a stage set that uses devices from an old archaeological museum formerly in Patagonia. This museum used to have a strange “educational show” for exhibiting some of its collection. They used moving panoramas, conveyor belts, projected texts and other outdated theatrical elements to recount archaeological events. The conveyor belts also caused unexpected items to appear, something to do with the objects that reappear forming the cause of the story that runs through the whole play. It also vaguely recalls a Moebius strip, on which an item placed at a given point will inevitably pass through the same point sometime later, as if in a time loop, an eternal return, making the characters confront things that they had already experienced, but in a different form. Archaeology preserves the material traces that endure through time. Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro is offered as an alternative museum of familiar myths that investigates what one was, what one is and what one aspires to be.

The changes experienced throughout life cause one to become many, like an actor who embodies extreme variations in the resemblance of a character. One builds a fundamental part of one’s identity through the familiar and personal myths. What happens when one is faced with these myths? What is it that occurs when one discovers one is someone else? Cuando vuelva a casa voy a ser otro is centred on the possibility of change and of being someone else, essentially in one’s most intimate and personal aspect, but also in a broader, social and political context; at a time where social transformations are ever more limited, how valid are certain revolutionary ideas that seem buried?

Mariano Pensotti
Buenos Aires, May 2015
Translated to English by Joanna Waller

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Mariano Pensotti (b. 1973, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine author and theatre director. He studied cinema, visual arts, and theatre in Buenos Aires, Spain, and Italy. In the theatre, as both writer and director, he created more than 15 performances over the past 10 years. Among his latest creations are Cineastas (2013), El pasado es un animal grotesco (2010), Sometimes I think I can see you (2010), Encyclopaedia of unlived lives (2010), and La Marea (2005). Pensotti’s work has been presented in theatres and festivals in Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere, including the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Theaterformen (Hannover), Festival de Otoño (Madrid), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zürich), steirischer herbst (Graz), Tempo Festival (Rio de Janeiro), Under The Radar (New York), Push Festival (Vancouver), and On the Boards (Seattle). Mariano Pensotti has become one of the most noted experimental directors in the world, and is heralded as one of Latin America’s brightest theatre talents. Pensotti formed Grupo Marea together with set designer Mariana Tirantte and musician Diego Vainer; he and his company tour extensively throughout the year. Within his work, two different lines have developed, one composed of stage performances strongly based on working with the actors and for which he writes his own literary texts, and in parallel, site specific performances wherein the main intention is to create a particular contrast between fiction and reality, with fiction being performed in public places.

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