By David Foster Wallace Directed by Daniel Veronese


  • Spanish
  • 60 minutes
  • General Audience

Argentine actress María Onetto lets loose a stark and ironic monologue on depression, adapted and directed by Daniel Veronese and based on a story by David Foster Wallace.

La persona deprimida tells, in the third person, the story of a woman with clinical depression and her relationship with her psychiatrist and parents who, she says, are the reason for her current emotional state. It also describes the specific therapy her psychiatrist suggests, called ‘the circle of help’: a group of people she trusts and who she can call at any time to talk about what she’s thinking and feeling. The story continues by going into the details of an excruciating kind of intimacy and showing an extreme side to humanity, going beyond the illness itself and giving a glimpse of a whispered cry for help. Based on the text of the same name by writer David Foster Wallace, which was written in 1998, this production belongs to the Experiencia trilogy by Argentine director Daniel Veronese, together with Encuentros breves con hombres repulsivos, also by Foster Wallace and Los arrepentidos by Swedish playwright Marcus Lindeen. In different ways, these three plays aim to introduce the audience to uncomfortable, intimate yet familiar issues that are difficult for society to deal with, yet close to the bone.

Author: David Foster Wallace | Directed and this version written by: Daniel Veronese | Cast: María Onetto | Assistant director: Gonzalo Martínez | Image design: Estudio Papier | Lighting: Ricardo Sica | Set designer: Daniel Veronese | Photos: German Romani | Producers: Jonathan Zak and Maxime Seugé / t4.

“The register of María Onetto’s acting is so emotional and energetic it’s almost like she’s venting; she becomes completely involved in the facts she relates”.

—La Nación, Buenos Aires

—It talks of issues like endogenous depression, psychiatric treatments, psychological therapy and other related treatments: different aspects of mental health that are still taboo in a society that persists in its search for happiness at any cost. The text also deals with loneliness, abandonment, cruelty and the lack of empathy in society.

It goes into areas of humanity that aren’t very glamorous, using both humor and intelligence. In this case, the woman’s full of angst but feels incapable of sharing this pain.

Star of the show, María Onetto, an outstanding cinema and theater actress, is dressed in black on an austere set and uses just her voice and expressions in order to keep our attention on the complex story to which she contributes depth, empathy and tact.

—Depression: The National Institute of Mental Health defines this as “a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or working. To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks”. According to the latest National Health Survey figures from 2016-2017, 6.2% of Chileans have depression, of whom 10.1% are women and 2.1% men.

—“The verb that always comes to mind is ‘burn’” – Interview with actress María Onetto in Página 12 about La persona deprimida.

La persona deprimida on social networks

On Facebook, Daniel Veronese, director | Jonathan Zak, producer | Maxime Seugé, producer | María Onetto, actress

On Twitter, @jonathanzak | @mseuge

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