With this edition, DramaFest, a theatre festival focused on contemporary playwriting that takes place every two years, begins its second decade of life. The ideas that encouraged its birth twelve years ago are basically two: the bordering will on the obsession of my dear and tireless friend Aurora Cano to contrast experiences and share projects with other countries; and to stimulate dramatic writing in ours, at a time when it seemed to have remained in the saga of other aspects of scenic creativity. But also, a circular but joyous discussion that has been fueling a relationship of personal, professional and even intellectual sparring between the two: the eventual literary, political and psychological superiority of Shakespeare (according to Aurora) or Molière (according to me).
As Aurora is the boss – la patronne, I call her, in my infinite francophilia and as a nod to the Thénardier (not to Madame Défarge: it’s not a big deal) – the first edition of this festival had the United Kingdom as a guest country. Twelve years later, arrive mon tour: DramaFest dialogues with France. Or at least it tries.
I say that it tries because I speak with the most intimate knowledge of the case: the one of someone who, without a single drop of French blood running through his veins, has been accused on more than one occasion of being too French. (The last person to have filed such a charge against me turned out to be, another irony, a Frenchman.) And not only because I have a croissant & coffee for breakfast every day, but because my schooling at the Maternelle à la Terminale in the French educational system changed, so to speak, my chip (better yet, the puce, which is how we francophones call integrated circuits). And us the French – consider myself as an honorary one, s’il vous plaît – we are stubborn, questioning and twisted, to the rallying cry of “Pourquoi faire simple si on peut faire compliqué?” What they say, is the most inconvenient when it comes to cheese or poststructuralist philosophy – I have been told that there are those who don’t like the Mimolette or don’t understand Derrida: that’s up to them – but it is very useful when the time of the great theater comes, the one who must question everything, whose mission is to ask questions and not answers, to investigate, to subvert, to deconstruct. Where Iago and Richard the III are villains, Tartufo is, if I may spin the metaphor, a pretentious young lady, in the same title as that bald soprano who continues to comb her hair in the same way. And, as will become clear in this edition of our festival, only a French director could be interested in a text that puts Novo to spend his saison en enfer in Mictlán and only a playwright from those latitudes makes the protagonist of his play non-existent, created in a fascinating narrative complexity by Alfred Hitchcock, perhaps landed in theater through the Cahiers du Cinéma.
With its fifth edition, DramaFest also welcomes Yucatán as a guest state, an entity that stands out on the national scene for its vigorous theatrical activity. And it farewells me as an associate producer, being called by new responsibilities that only allow me to act as a literary advisor and, above all and as always, as an enthusiastic spectator. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
General Director and Producer: Aurora Cano
Artistic Curator: Ignacio García
Literary assessment: Nicolás Alvarado.
French program coordination and curatorship: Raphaël Meltz and Nathalie Ferreira.
Assessment on France: Sandrine Grataloup.
Program coordination and curatorship for Yucatán: Jorge Esma Bazán.
Assessment on Yucatán: Alejandro Ordorica.
Executive Producer: Mariana Tejeda.
Technical Director: Raúl Munguía
Production Manager: Alberto Robinson
Production Management: Apóstrofo AC.
Assistant General Producer: Isaías Martínez.
Assistant Executive Producers: Daniela Luque, Ítala Aguilera, Tayra Araujo and Marcela Vizcaíno.
Technical Assistance: Adonay Cabrera and Javier Salazar
Media and Promotion: Edmundo Luján.
Graphic Design: Leonor Hernández
Webmaster: Marco Polo Ramos
Community Manager: Érika Arroyo Guerrero
Photography: Paulina Chávez
English version of the website: Alfonsina Paredes
DramaFest gives thanks to Carolina Monroy, Angélica Mondragón, Santiago Taboada, Francisco Raúl Cornejo, Antonio Crestani, Miguel Ángel Pineda, Moisés Rosas, Juan Meliá, Lorena Maza, Irma Caire Obregón, Eduardo Vázquez Martín, Ángel Ancona, Cecilia Galván, Beatriz Rodríguez Guillermo, Lydia Margules, Chloé Lavalette, Guillermo León, Angélica Artistain, Armando Casas, Teatro la Capilla and Lucas Anaya for their collaboration to the making of this edition