MONTEVIDEO – A new adaptation of 19th-century Spanish playwright Jose Zorrilla’s “Don Juan Tenorio,” a production to be performed beginning Friday in the Uruguayan capital’s Central Cemetery, will provide a Latin American twist on the work’s treatment of the theme of death.
Analia Torres, who co-directed the play along with Yamandu Fumero, told EFE that their version of the play approaches death with the festive, carnival-like attitude found in some of the region’s countries.
“Zorrilla sets the first part of the work on a carnival night, and from the aesthetic point of view we play with some Latin American aesthetic references as a nod to the spectator,” Torres said.
The work is being staged on the 200th anniversary of Zorrilla’s birth as a joint project of the Spanish Cultural Center in Montevideo and the Iberian nation’s embassy in Uruguay.
The two institutions entrusted the staging of the theater production to the “Efimero Teatral” collective, which specializes in putting on plays in non-conventional spaces.
Torres said the play was faithful to the most essential aspects of Zorrilla’s 1844 work, which is an interpretation of the legend of the womanizing Don Juan, although some sections are fused and a new character – the narrator – is introduced.
The narrator serves as a connecting thread for the scenes, in which the spectators are invited to be participants in the story as they move about in different parts of the cemetery.
Eleven performances of the play will be offered in November, all of them starting at 9:30 pm.