—It’s a valuable exercise in theater based on conflict, emotions, dreams and the reality of what it meant to be a woman in Chile in the thirties, as well as being a complete psychological profile of a mother faced with the challenge of having to raise a child alone. Gustavo Meza’s adaptation is an intimate yet common and touching text.
—It’s an opportunity to see Elsa Poblete, one of the key actresses in Chilean theater history, on stage again. She’s renowned for her roles in plays like La viuda de Apablaza.
—It’s a novel theater format with the performers - two women and one man - not only playing their roles but also, as actors on the stage, showing what they themselves believe their characters think and feel.
Women in theater: As writer Mercedes Halfon recalls in a review of Petróleo published in the Página 12 newspaper, women can neither write nor act in Greek and Shakespearean theater. “Feminine roles were played by young boys with high-pitched voices or just by men. Women couldn’t act in Greek theater either, because they were considered almost on a par with slaves socially. (…) Slowly, this practice was discontinued and women have been key figures on the stage for a long time now”.
The role of Teatro Imagen during the dictatorship: After the closure of the University of Chile’s Theater School during the military dictatorship, an important number of its actors went into exile. However, leaving the country wasn’t an option for Gustavo Meza, so he decided to set up Teatro Imagen with actors Tennyson Ferrada and Jael Unger in 1974, under the premise that ‘Chilean theater can’t exist if Chilean writers don’t exist’. Producing theater wasn’t easy though. Given the censorship imposed by the military government, artists had to play with the subtleties of language to get their messages across in their work and not be censored. In this scenario, Teatro Imagen was key to the development of Chilean playwrights at the time.