Country Chile

Discipline Theater

Audience Youth | Adults

Recomended for +14

Duration 54 minutes

Language Spanish

Dates January 18, 19 and 20, 21.30h

Diatriba 'El desaparecido' unleashes the furious scream contained in the text”

El Mercurio

El desaparecido or Diatriba de la empecinada is a dramatic text written in 2004 by Juan Radrigán, one of Chile’s most important playwrights. In it, Victoria Torres, the wife of a man who was ‘disappeared’ during the dictatorship, complains about a Chilean society that is indifferent and apathetic to the injustice that prevails in it. In this version, renowned director Rodrigo Pérez wanted to recover the poetic value of Radrigán’s work in a purely theatrical production that does not bring to the stage the story the text describes. A new illusion is created: we listen to El desaparecido being narrated — without seeing it acted out — not by an actress but by four performers who recite or sing the text instead. In this experiment, Radrigán’s painful grievance reemerges, this time backed up by the plot of his poetry, which tells us again and again that we can’t claim to have completely defeated evil and that we shouldn’t fall back into deep and savage defeat.

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Rodrigo Pérez

(Chile, 1961)

Rodrigo Pérez is an actor, theater director, teacher and psychologist. He has been part of the Teatro La Memoria company since 1988, talking part in plays such as La manzana de Adán, Historia de la sangre and Casa de muñecas. In 1998, he worked for the municipal theaters in Cologne, Stuttgart and Esslingen in Germany. With Teatro La Provincia, he has directed, among others, the triology Patria: Cuerpo (2005), Madre (2006) and Padre (2006); Las brutas (2008); Violeta: al centro de la injusticia (2008); Diatriba de la Victoria (2010) and La viuda de Apablaza (2016). As an actor, he has taken part over the last few years in productions such as Realismo (2016-2017), Pompeya (2017-2018) and Los arrepentidos (2018), the latter two featuring on the 2019 Santiago a Mil program.


Juan Radrigán

(Chile, 1937-2016)

Juan Radrigán is one of the most renowned playwrights in the history of Chilean theater. During his career, he wrote more than 40 plays with a strong social undertone, including Hechos consumados (1981), Balada de los condenados a soñar (1989) and Amores de cantina (2009). In 2011, he won the National Award for Performing Arts, an honor that joined other awards such as ones from the Circle of Art Critics in 1981 and 1982, the Municipal Award for Literature in 1983, the Altazor award in 2005, the Bicentenary Playwrighting Award in 2010 and the Sello de Excelencia award in 2011 from the National Council for Culture and the Arts.

Director Rodrigo Pérez | Written by Juan Radrigán | Cast Catalina Saavedra, Marcela Millie, Guillermo Ugalde, Marco Rebolledo | Sets and costumes Catalina Devia | Lighting Andrés Poirot | Technician Alfredo Basaure | Producer Maritza Estrada

  • Juan Radrigán is one of the most renowned Chilean playwrights of the last few decades, a creator who has heavily influenced several generations and whose name is associated with a theater that is independent and thoughtful and that puts the deprived and outcasts at its heart, particularly in the political and sociocultural context of the military dictatorship. He has written legendary plays, such as Hechos consumados (1981), El toro por las astas (1982), Made in Chile (1984) and Oratorio de la lluvia negra (2012).

  • Rodrigo Pérez is not only one of the heavyweights of the contemporary Chilean theater scene (“the most important Chilean director of theatrical productions in the nineties”, according to the academic Adolfo Albornoz), but he is also an expert on Radrigán, with whom he worked on several of his last pieces. In fact, he is the director who has directed the greatest number of Radrigán’s works.

  • In this version, Rodrigo Pérez emphasizes Radrigán’s writing and the poetic nature of his texts and dialogue: the format of the original play, intended for an actress, is deconstructed and instead he works on the poetry the playwright’s words. According to El Mercurio theater critic Pedro Labra, he hit the nail on the head, “because this has produced a clearly reflective script with theatrical possibilities”.

  • Diatriba “El desaparecido” is a play that talks of post-dictatorship memory, an idea that Pérez hammers home by repeating phrases or whole paragraphs as a way of insisting on a discourse that shouldn’t be forgotten and should be heard over and over again. For this reason, he poses questions and forces us to rethink how memory should be approached and how it should be kept alive in a country with a traumatic and painful past. Pérez has said that putting on this play again is a way of “complaining to society on behalf of every soul that still hasn’t found peace”.
  • Diatribe. This refers to a violent speech aimed at someone or something, with a controversial, vicious, critical and fervent tone. It comes from an ancient Greek word and refers to a ‘philosophical conversation’. It later became a literary genre, cultivated by great intellectuals such as Emile Zola and Víctor Hugo.

  • Rodrigo Pérez and Juan Radrigán. Pérez is the Chilean director who has directed the greatest number of Radrigán’s plays, including several of the ones the playwright wrote in the years before his death, such as Fantasmas borrachos (1997), El príncipe desolado (1998), Perra celestial (1999), Medea mapuche (2000) and Digo siempre adiós, y me quedo (2002). He has also directed some of his older ones, such as Pueblo del mal amor and Las brutas. “His despairing approach - which on the stage becomes optimistic - amazes me”, the director has said. He had already worked on Diatriba before, in the production Diatriba de la Victoria in 2009.

  • Rodrigo Pérez and Diatriba. The director had already worked with Diatriba de la empecinada before, in the production Diatriba de la Victoria in 2009, in which he also included a speech by Allende and a poem by Roberto Aceituno. "That other piece (was) more dramatic and formal (...). Here, we just took the monologue as the starting point and tried to highlight its highly poetic nature, including the observations that Juan himself made for others to take note of”, Pérez said.

  • Music in the play. One of Pérez’ innovations in this production is to include live music, a theatrical form that highlights Victoria’s state of mind. Journalist Mauricio Rojas from explains that "(the music) is relevant because it intensifies the different layers of emotion of the wife of the man who was ‘disappeared’ and because it is an informal part of Victoria’s life".

Diatriba 'El desaparecido' unleashes the furious scream contained in the text”

El Mercurio