Country Cuba

Discipline Theater

Audience Adults

Recomended for +18

Duration 70 minutes

Language Spanish

Dates January 17 and 19, 20.00h | January 18, 17.00h and 20.00h

Warning Full nudity

(The play) uses the new documentary theater style - somewhere between fiction and non-fiction, metaphors and literal meanings, drama and reality – to take an exceptional look at male prostitution in Havana

Artez, Performing Arts Magazine, Cuba

An anthropological, social, artistic and gender-based investigation on gay male prostitution in Cuba, Baquestribois challenges theatrical representations and exposes actors’ bodies as something at risk. A lawyer, a transvestite, two transsexuals, a client and two prostitutes share their experiences, connections and criteria concerning prostitution with their audience. Their testimonies take on different formats – voiceovers, videos or on stage – which are superimposed onto an audio and visual backdrop that recreates the places in Havana they frequent. In Baquestribois, the set’s visuals combine brusqueness, uncertainty and brute force – of military training, of beatings and abuse – with eroticism, sensuality and fragility. After touring countries including Cuba, Germany and Mexico, this documentary theater production comes to Santiago a Mil to offer a unique look at male prostitution in the Cuban capital through a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and metaphors and literal meanings.

| Multimedia

Direction

José Ramón Hernández Suárez

(Cuba)

José Ramón Hernández Suárez is a director, actor, cultural consultant, teacher and performing arts researcher. He founded the Osikán Platform for Experimental Theater and is general coordinator for the Zona 0 Theatrical Experimentation Workshop. He has a large repertoire that includes putting on both world-renowned and Cuban plays, with pieces by Nara Manzur, Rogelio Orizondo, Michel Azama, Jean Anouil and Jeac Luc Lagarce particularly standing out. He has collaborated with national and international creators and projects, including Juan Domínguez, Vivi Tellas, Jean-Fréderic Chevallier and Aristeo Mora. He runs a theatrical studio for Afro Cuban-inspired performances and theatrical experimentation in dance. His play has been performed in Cuba, the Dominican Republic , New York, Germany and Mexico.

Osikán Plataforma Escénica Experimental

Osikán Plataform for Experimental Theater is a center for research and creation where artists and specialists look into crucial issues from contemporary Cuban society and explore opportunities for actors in contemporary theater to work on and intervene in social processes using the appropriate strategies. A pressing need to initiate a closer dialogue with the audience has led them to create intimate sets that connect professional actors and amateurs (life experts, according to sociological research), musicians, visual artists and the media.

Written and directed by José Ramón Hernández Suárez | Dramatist Yohayna Hernández González | Producer Dianelis Diéguez la O | Performers Alan Cantillo Moreno, David Daniel Izaguirre, Gabriel Estrada Reyes | Life experts Rufino Nápoles Quiñones, Andy Frank Ruano Medina | Graphic designer Roberto Ramos Mori | Original score Oscar Sánchez | Gender consultant Marta María Ramírez

  • This multidisciplinary theater project on gay male prostitution in Cuba is the result of a series of questions whose scope is universal. What does it mean to a man to be a prostitute? What implications does it have physically, psychologically, emotionally, economically and on his family? How does this phenomenon relate to the construction of hegemonic masculinity? How do they see their bodies and how are they regarded by others?

  • The play is the result of a long period of research that involved a varied group made up of prostitutes and transvestites, as well as gender specialists, sexologists, psychologists and lawyers. It’s an in-depth study on the realities of male prostitution in Cuba, where an estimated 10,000 men work as prostitutes.

  • Baquestribois was acclaimed by critics and the Cuban public alike, not only because of its subject matter but also for how this is dealt with - in other words, its esthetics. “The use of images and metaphorical actions operating at the same time as symbolic and multiplying effects is invigorating”, wrote Argentine critic Jorge Dubatti. The team adds that, “a theatrical landscape is constructed before the audience’s eyes, using what the actors themselves do with their bodies, as well as props such as stones, bananas and merengue”.

  • José Ramón Hernández is one of the most outstanding directors and playwrights in Cuba, winner of multiple awards including the Creación Milanés grant in 2012 and the Zona Ibsen and the Documenta Sur residencies with Stefan Kaegi in 2016. He also received awards from the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists and the International Association of Theater Critics for the plays Aleja a tus hijos del alcohol and BaqueStriBois in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
  • The creative process. In Spain’s Zero Magazine, José Ramón Hernández explained how he created Baquestribois. “The play didn’t begin with a pre-written script, but with research that involved three years of in-depth fieldwork to find out everything we could about homosexual male prostitution (…) Afterwards, we spent six months turning the most relevant information into a play and choosing what should appear in the show”. The whole process involved working with specialists in areas such as gender and sexology and collecting testimonies from sex workers.

  • Documentary theater. This concept goes back to the second half of the twentieth century, when there was an interest in bringing political and historical themes to the stage, thus blurring the lines between fiction and reality. This kind of theater not only uses documents but also collects testimonies, presenting not only the facts themselves but also a more intimate, touching and personal side to the story.

The inevitable nudity in this piece takes on unlimited meanings, initially being linked to the issue of prostitution, but also to abandonment, exposure, poverty, fantasy, freedom and eroticism

Artez, Performing Arts Magazine, Cuba

«I salute this piece’s critical awareness; its self-awareness is something that doesn’t evade what is disagreeable or risqué […] I like the fact that this show is not shy and doesn’t ask for permission to present the challenge it’s posing, both to the audience and to itself»

Tablas Magazine, Cuba

(The play) uses the new documentary theater style - somewhere between fiction and non-fiction, metaphors and literal meanings, drama and reality – to take an exceptional look at male prostitution in Havana

Artez, Performing Arts Magazine, Cuba

The inevitable nudity in this piece takes on unlimited meanings, initially being linked to the issue of prostitution, but also to abandonment, exposure, poverty, fantasy, freedom and eroticism

Artez, Performing Arts Magazine, Cuba

«I salute this piece’s critical awareness; its self-awareness is something that doesn’t evade what is disagreeable or risqué […] I like the fact that this show is not shy and doesn’t ask for permission to present the challenge it’s posing, both to the audience and to itself»

Tablas Magazine, Cuba