Eleven refugees, represented by actors who speak in ten different languages, moved the public of the Santiago a Mil theater festival in the first performance in Chile of the play "The New Colossus", conducted by the Oscar-winning American director and actor Tim. Robbins.
With a scant staging, eleven original actors from different parts of the world filled the stage of the Municipal Theater of San Joaquin of the Chilean capital with the real stories of their ancestors.
A screen background, with images of refugees that are happening, is the only set of this function, which this Saturday was presented for the first time in a theater outside Los Angeles (United States).
The gestures, the tears and the looks directed to the public are the basis of this work reduced to a few words, mixed in the languages of the characters, ranging from English to Spanish, German, Arabic, Russian and Chinese, among others.
In some parts, a small screen translates the story of the characters of very different appearance and with stories that are between 1864 and today.
Achieving a better life and leaving behind poverty and misery is the thread that unites the protagonists who tell the stories of their ancestors who fled their country, in its great majority, due to a war.
"This work is a tribute to the strength, the resistance and the dignity of the immigrants and refugees who risked their lives to find a better future," explained Tim Robbins, the director and creator of the theater company "The Actors' Gang. ", which makes up the cast of actors.
Robbins, winner of an Oscar for the film Mystic River (2003), also charged against "the rhetoric of politicians (Americans) in terms of immigration has a basis in cynical reasons that has nothing to do with reality."
"The New Colossus" was presented on Saturday in Chile with a free pass that will be followed by two more at no cost in the San Joaquin Theater, after which there will be a conversation with the director.
This play premiered in February 2018 in Los Angeles and the company has established as a custom to hold a conversation with the public to share personal stories at the end of each show.
The work shares the title with the sonnet written by the poet Emma Lazarus in 1883 to raise funds for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, which opened in 1886.
"Although the Statue of Liberty was not conceived as a symbol of immigration, Lazarus' poem reinvented the statue's purpose, turning it into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope for the marginalized and oppressed of the world," according to The Actors. Gang
"The New Colossus" has been presented in Chile as part of the Santiago a Mil theater festival, which began on January 3 and will run until the 20th of the same month, with a wide variety of free and paid performances by theaters. all the Chilean capital and street works.