Issue - June 2010



June 2010

Editorial

In this edition Lauren Rutter reviews the UPB's theatre production Dr. 0; CBA students highlight ways to solve the garbage problem in the city; Floriane Guyot discovers how micro financing can help to empower women; Jaime Bassett explains about sustainable development week; Rocio Carranza looks at why richer nations should take responsibility for climate change and Walter Sanchez uncovers the history of band music in the Valle Alto. read more...

June 2010

Dr.0 at Proyecto mARTadero. Beware of False Prophets!

Dr.0 and his followers return to the stage, but was Lauren Rutter won over by their cause?.

Lauren Rutter
Projects Abroad
Volunteer
Cardiff- Wales


The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB) theatre workshop’s production Dr. 0 returned at proyecto mARTadero from the 14th to 16th of May. After winning three awards at the BICU theatre competition in Santa Cruz last year, the play, written and directed by Claudia Eid, successfully reappeared on stage.

It tells the story of Dr.0 (Daniel Antezana), a preacher who encourages his followers to leave behind their world of material possessions and join him to achieve a higher spiritual being. His followers stripped of their belongings, and swayed by Zero’s bullying personality engage in meditation and ritualistic chanting.

The work is critical of the reasons behind faith, satirically looking at cults and the problem of materialism. Director Eid suggests that the inspiration behind the work was the idea that “human nature needs to follow and to be told what to do by someone else.” Zero is this false prophet, taking advantage of his follower’s blind faith in him. Will his followers discover him for what he truly is before it is too late?

Dr. 0 is a very entertaining work, littered with dark humour. Jokes about Facebook and cell phones went down particularly well. Lines were delivered comically, in an over the top way, emphasizing the satire. One of the most amusing scenes of the play is when Zero and his truly faithful follower One (Carlos Arnez) try to stop the other followers rebelling. This leads to a brilliantly choreographed chase sequence as Zero and One try to catch the others.

As well as being entertaining the play is also highly thought provoking. It raises important questions over our materialistic nature. In rebellion against Zero, his followers embark on a shopping trip, returning dressed in new expensive clothing and carrying lots of shopping bags. This highlights the extent and infiltration of consumer culture in our everyday lives.


Betina (Carla Soliz) is the one character who truly turns away from this culture. She is also the character that brings the play together and brings it into perspective. At the beginning she is dressed very extravagantly, adorned with jewellery and expensive objects, in contrast to Zeros followers, who are dressed in rags. At the end of each act, she very carefully sheds one of her expensive possessions, placing it at the front of the stage, highlighting her discovery of a life where we are not defined by what we own.

The play worked perfectly in the intimate surroundings of the former abattoir turned arts centre. Dr. 0 is contemporary theatre at its stripped down best. This is always the kind of theatre that the UPB strive to achieve with their plays. Eid comments that they are defined by “an empty stage with full focus on the actors and the texts” so that the viewers are not distracted from understanding the work and it is up to them to imagine the rest.

There was a great coherence between the actors, in particular the relationship between Zero and his wife Sandra (Virginia Ticona). Their strained relationship reflected in their constant bickering and yelling at one another. Elmer (Ramiro Cordero) and Berno (Rodrigo Pacheco) also had great chemistry and their comic timing was a high point. Elmer’s constant fainting is a source of great amusement throughout. However, it is Paolo Mariaca who steals the show as Plo. We follow his desperate struggle as he is lulled in by Zero, and we watch his futile attempts to escape his grasp.

Dr.0 is not a work with resolutions. There is no happy ending. Instead it leaves us hanging with an array of unanswered questions. However, what it will do is make you re–evaluate your own engagement with consumer culture and attachment to material possessions, before you reply to your text messages, check your email, and log on to your Facebook page for the hundredth time that day.

It is clear that the theatre workshop has succeeded in doing what it set out to do, in successfully training young students in the art of theatre. Their next play will be “A man is a man” by Bertolt Brecht, put on in their own distinctive contemporary style. It will premiere in September this year and is guaranteed to be a unique and new experience for those familiar with this work.

MAKING A BETTER WORLD

Garbage in Cochabamba has become an increasing problem. In January 2010, the landfill of Kara Kara, where all the garbage of this city is deposited, was blocked by the neighbours for four days. This blockade caused the accumulation of close to 2000 tons of garbage. Cochabamba produces daily approximately 400 tons of garbage (www. eabolivia.com). Its accumulation, mainly in the markets and on the streets of the city, is becoming a serious threat to public health.

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