• Theater

CAMPO DE ESTRELLAS

By Contratiempo

Chile

  • Spanish
  • 60 minutes
  • +7

Is there anything better than shadow theater to describe a solar eclipse? This children’s play combines science and tradition to do exactly that.


Campo de estrellas is a piece of shadow theater and multimedia animation that tells the story of Andrés, a city child who goes to visit his grandfather in the country for a few days to see the solar eclipse. Hovering between reality and imagination, he’ll go on a series of journeys using an app on his tablet, coming across children from other parts of the world and discovering how other cultures connect with the universe. All these encounters lead to him rethinking his ideas about science and his relationship with nature.

Cast and crew


Written and directed by: Pablo Navarrete | Assistant director and producer: Natalia Gamero | Set, costume and lighting design: Consuelo Fernández | Audiovisual recording and editing: Gonzalo Puebla | Cast: Catalina Barros Balbontín, Gonzalo Puebla and Felipe Jorquera | Music and sound: Sebastián Moncada.

©Natalia Gamero

Pablo Navarrete

Director and playwright

Winning over young audiences

A dramatic arts graduate from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, he began his career in 1996 in regional companies like La Gotera, the La Frontera University Theater and Pimpiriflauta. In Argentina, he directed the production El círculo de la infamia for the C.A.C.T.U.S Theater Company and is part of Morgue Teatro and the street theater division of the National University of Cuyo’s Faculty of Arts. As a director, he’s directed different community theater companies, with La Sarunga Sureña, La Lluvia and currently La Ola de Lautaro particularly standing out. Since 2007, he’s been directing Contratiempo and the Contratiempo Drama Clú, a theater academy for children and young people in the city of Temuco. As a producer, he’s worked on the George Chaytor Theater Festival for Young People and, since 2015, on the Vamos Que Venimos al Sur Festival, which represents Chile in the Vamos que Venimos World Network of Theater for Young People.

Contratiempo

Contratiempo

Exploring new styles

This company was founded in 2007 after the George Chaytor Theater Festival to cater to new young audiences. They’ve been working for more than ten years under actor and director Pablo Navarrete, using different casts in different neighborhoods in the region and involving both actors and professionals from other areas. Their first play was the street theater show El país más feliz del mundo. From 2014 to 2017, they did shadow theater and multimedia animation research and production with the robotic group Imake, creating the original productions Laberinto (2015) and Invisible (2017), the latter a multimedia show that was a huge success with both audiences and critics alike. In 2017, they co-created the play El alma de las cosas, a project that teaches about the environment.

—It’s a story that combines science, the traditional concept of nature and native cosmogonies, all different ways of deciphering and understanding nature.

—It uses two forms of projection - multimedia and shadows - with the aim of differentiating between the everyday and fictitious planes of action.

Solar eclipse: This astronomical phenomenon occurs when the moon hides the sun from the earth. This happens when the sun, moon and earth are aligned, coinciding with the new moon and indicating that the moon is very close to the ecliptic plane. Eclipses can be total if the sun is completely hidden by the moon, annular or partial, if only part of the sun is covered. Chile is in the middle of a run of eclipses happening between 2019 and 2021: the first was in the Coquimbo region, the second will be in December 2020 in the Araucaria region and the third will be in December 2021 in Antarctica.

Shadow theater: This is perhaps the oldest performing art in the world. It’s based on projecting moving puppets in front of a lit-up background to convey movement and originated in India and China. In India, the puppeteer was called a Dalang and was an artist/priest who came into contact with the higher world. In China, it dates back to the seventh century and incorporated sophisticated decoration and handling techniques. The technique was brought to Europe by the Jesuits around the eighteenth century and was revived in France at Le Chat Noir Cabaret. The Germans were the ones to blend shadow theater with cinema, giving birth to animation.

—Get an idea of Contratiempo’s shadow theater work by watching the trailer of Invisible (2017).

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