Theater

LAS PALMERAS SALVAJES

By William Faulkner Directed by Séverine Chavrier

France | Chile

  • Spanish
  • 115 minutes
  • +18

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Renowned French director Séverine Chavrier recreates the heartbreaking novel by William Faulkner with a duo of Chilean actors: Claudia Cabezas and Nicolás Zárate.


The eleventh novel by North American writer William Faulkner - Las palmeras salvajes - describes the irresistible passion between two people with the world against them. Charlotte Rittenmeyer leaves her husband, children and quiet middle-class life when she falls in love with Harry Wilboure, who abandons his medical internship and runs away with her. This unbridled love story set in 1930s North America turns into a kind of hell though and ends sadly for both of them. Renowned French director Séverine Chavrier portrays each of the seasons in Faulkner’s novel in a production that evokes both a road movie and a great tragedy, with condemnation, atonement, curses and redemption. Full of smells, sounds, sighs and silence, this lovers’ journey is a wild and sensual escape with no return.

Premiered in Switzerland in 2014, Séverine Chavrier presents this new version, created especially for Santiago a Mil 2020 and coproduced by the Teatro a Mil Foundation and the Orleans/Centre-Val de Loire National Center for Drama, starring Chilean actors Claudia Cabezas and Nicolás Zárate.

Concept and directed by: Séverine Chavrier, based on the adaptation of the novel of the same name by William Faulkner | Cast: Claudia Cabezas and Nicolás Zárate | Translation into Spanish: Andrea Pelegri Kristié and Milena Grass Kleiner | Technicaln and Lighting manager: Daniela Valenzuela | Sound: Macello Martínez | Video: Marco Martínez | Stage Manager: Nicolás Ormazábal | Costume: Andrea Bustos | Videos: Tercermundo Producciones | Coproduced by: the Orléans/Centre- Val de Loire National Center for Drama, France and the Teatro a Mil Foundation | With support from: the French Institute in Paris (Théâtre Export) and the Centre-Val de Loire region (a French Institute regional agreement) (TBC) | With the collaboration of: the GAM Center.

“Well-achieved (…) it makes the audience part of something disconcertingly intimate”.

—Le Figaro

—French director Séverine Chavrier is constantly looking into new ways of doing theater. Having initially trained as a pianist, the sounds and rhythms that affect her characters’ behavior normally have a starring role in her productions.

—The duo of Chilean actors made up of Claudia Cabezas and Nicolás Zárate have each had outstanding individual careers of their own, demonstrating their talent in 2018, when they starred in Jesús Urqueta’s acclaimed production Arpeggione, written by Chilean playwright Luis Alberto Heiremans.

—Although it was written in 1939, William Faulkner’s text challenges the social conventions of the time regarding what women should be and how they should act, something that was particularly appealing to the French director. “Feminine and masculine traits are somehow switched. Faulkner often creates very ‘masculine’ female leads. In the novel, Harry says to Charlotte, ‘You’re a better man than me’”’, says Séverine Chavrier.

Arpeggione: Written by Chilean playwright Luis Alberto Heiremans in 1962, this text is part of the Buenaventura trilogy. It tells the story of Rosina and Lorenzo, two musicians who develop a deep musical and personal connection while rehearsing Schubert’s Sonata in A minor for viola and piano. You can read the whole text here.

—Literature and theater: Books are one of theater’s greatest sources. They emerged as part of the same genre, but the Romans separated them into different art forms. Only in the seventeenth century - when literacy began to improve - was a real distinction made, when novels, written for purely literary purposes, became more popular. Today, almost every important play has been adapted for theater or film. There are several at Santiago a Mil 2020: Plata quemada, based on the novel by Ricardo Piglia; Encuentros breves con hombres repulsivos, adpated from the text by David Foster Wallace and Confieso que he vivido, a theatrical concert based on Pablo Neruda’s memoires.

Road movie: This is a film term that describes movies based on journeys (a journey of initiation or an escape) that determine the characters’ future. Famous road movies include

Rebel Without a Cause, Thelma & Louise, Sideways or the charming The Straight Story by David Lynch, known for using this same formula in Wild At Heart and Lost Highway.

Teaser of the French version of Las palmeras salvajes on Vimeo

Las palmeras salvajes on social media:

On Instagram, @cdn_orleans

On Twitter, @CDNOrleans

On Facebook, cdn.orleanscentrevaldeloire

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