The value of theatre; why Huaraz needs to support local drama

S unday night marked the last performance of Yocasta, a play adapted by Santiago Serrano based on the tale of Oedipus, told through the eyes of his incestuous mother (after whom the play is named). After the curtain descended, director Luis H. Gonzales solemnly thanked the audience for coming to watch the performance, lamenting that there are many in Peru who see the theatre as a “waste of time”, an opinion which sadly results in a lack of funding for the art.

Is he right? Should more money be given to support regional theatre groups, such as Kunturwasi here in Huaraz, or is it a “frivolous” use of funds?

From the outside, it can be difficult to understand the community surrounding theatre because the benefits are more clearly felt from within. The actors, directors, technicians, costume and set designers, not to mention friends and family of all the above, all have been working hard and volunteered their own time over many months to produce something to take pride in.

In addition to perfecting and working as a team to create something, theatre demands that you delve into literature, analysis, discuss and develop your emotional intelligence and empathy by telling the story of another. Most importantly, theatre is a masterful method of storytelling, and Peru has more untold stories than most.

Perhaps the Ministry of Culture is more interested in funding more ”high brow” investments such as museums- ones that may turnover a profit or contribute to Peru’s carefully constructed image. But amateur theatre has never been about the money. No one gets involved in amateur dramatics to line their pockets; the benefits are deeper and harder to quantify, and not necessarily for tourists.

Performance art is not foreign to Peru. Every week there is some form of performance, parades in the streets, marinera dancing, cumbia even. But theatre is not always in your face, happening in the streets or outside your window. Neither can it be marketed as part of a tourist drive. Peruvian theatre is, for the most part, by Peruvians and for Peruvians. It can create and tell myriad stories, drive and inspire Peruvian children and adults alike. Furthermore, it could be an opportunity to reclaim some of Peru’s great folklore, currently enjoyed by Western tourists. For those who can’t read or write but who can engage verbally with a play, funding can help make the theatre more accessible by lowering ticket prices.

So if you want to support drama here in Huaraz, pay attention to what’s on. Have a look inside Centro Cultural Municipal just off the Plaza de Armas. Look at the webpages for the theatre groups here in Huaraz, Kunturwasi and Asociación Cultural Raíces Huaraz. As a tourist, I went in to Yocasta feeling sceptical, and was surprised to see a dedicated and excited team of actors, performing a novel take on a well-trodden story.

Author: Nicola Anne Phillips

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

*

Language Centre of the Casa de Guías to organise talent show

Because of the celebration of the anniversary of the Association of Mountain Guides of Peru (AGMP), and being part of […]

INAIGEM announces cooperation agreement and construction of Museum of Andean Mountains

The Ohio State University in the US and the INAIGEM (National Institute of Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems) signed […]

Update: Two rescue teams have headed out to search for Canadian tourist

The editor of The Huaraz Telegraph has spoken to the head of the Tourist Police in Huaraz, Major Godofredo Vargas […]

Update: Still no traces of Jesse Galganov, local authorities all informed

Sadly, there are still no traces of Jesse Galganov, the Canadian citizen who went missing at the end of September. […]

Urgent: Canadian tourist missing and last seen in Huaraz

Jesse Galganov

The Huaraz Telegraph was contacted this morning by Magda Fernández who informed us that Canadian citizen Jesse Galganov has been […]

Lima among the five most dangerous cities in the world for women

According to the ranking of the foundation of the international news agency Thomson Reuters, the insecurity that women live in […]

‘London to Lima Gin´, made of water from the Cordillera Blanca exported to London

On October 6th, I sat down to lunch with Alex James, and his wife and business partner Karena De Lecaros-Aquise […]

The conquistador´s daughter and the Incan princess of Huaylas

This is the story of two very powerful women who lived in the ancient towns of the Callejon de Huaylas […]

Huaraz-born trail runner named Huascarán National Park ambassador

Hernán Henostroza Gamarra from Huaraz informed The Huaraz Telegraph that he was officially named ambassador of the National Park Huascarán. […]

Park rangers National Park Huascarán trained to monitor wild birds

Peru’s National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP), and Cornell University’s Ornothology Laboratory (CLO), have collaborated in […]

Flagging down a taxi in Huaraz; what to expect

Catching a taxi in Huaraz is quite an easy process and it shouldn’t take much longer than a couple of […]

Flor Cuenca Blas conquers second eight-thousander; Mt. Manaslu

At 08:40 local time, on September the 28th 2017, Peruvian native Flor Cuenca Blas summited Nepal’s Mt. Manaslu, which rises […]

Huaracino’s son to become chess grandmaster

On September the 26th 2017, Peruvian chess player José Martinez Alcántara won the World Youth Chess Championship for the U18 […]

Match review: Sport Rosario (0 – 1) Alianza Lima

The Estadio Rosas Pampa almost reached its 18,000 capacity for the high profile visit of Club Alianza Lima, Peru’s oldest […]

Charles Lewis Cornelius: Seven months on the outside

After 12 years in prison, of which five in Huaraz´s Víctor Pérez Liendo Prison for attempting to smuggle 17kg of […]

¨Huaraz could suffer an earthquake magnitude 8 on the Richter scale¨

The head of the Civil Defence of Huaraz, David Paredes, issued a grave warning last week that it was possible […]

Chacas, a “painted” town in danger of losing its beauty

Chacas a small town in the Peruvian Andes in the Ancash Region, behind the highest mountain peak called Huasacarán. It […]

Alternative tourism: Football crazy in Huaraz

I’m a big sports fan and my obsession with coordinating my trips around football fixtures has allowed me to share […]