• Radio theater

EL HÁMSTER DEL PRESIDENTE - RADIOTEATRO

By Teatro y su Doble | Directed by Aline Kuppenheim

Chile

  • Spanish
  • 32 minutes
  • General Audience

Known for its extraordinary work with puppets, Teatro y su Doble expands its creative scope with this production based on the story by Juan Villoro.


This new play by Teatro y su Doble uses a story by Mexican writer Juan Villoro to talk about issues like solidarity and the team work needed to build democracy. The president has a coat with 24 pockets that he never takes off, even when it’s hot. Not even his closest advisors know about the secret he keeps in one of these pockets: a little hamster called Genaro III, who can be either cute or fickle and grumpy. The head of state has appointed this hamster as his private secretary because he helps him make decisions and keeps him awake during long, boring meetings.

When the president decides to ban candy in the country, a smart little boy called Ruy decides to take part in the protests that occur. He finds out all about the hamster and the news hits the headlines. What happens afterwards will change both his life and that of his family, as well as the destiny of the country.

Cast and crew


Written by: Juan Villoro | Company: Teatro y su Doble | Cast: Aline Kuppenheim, Loreto Moya, Catalina Bize, Ricardo Parraguez, Camila Cuesta | Director, general designer and audiovisual producer: Aline Kuppenheim | Coproduced by: the Teatro a Mil Foundation.

©Elio Frugone

Aline Kuppenheim

Director

For the love of puppet theater

With a long career in film, television and theater, this actress, theater director, illustrator and visual artist (Barcelona, 1969) has dedicated her life to theater for more than a decade. In 2005, she founded Teatro y su Doble (formerly Teatro Milagros), with whom she has created touching puppet plays aimed at both infant and adult audiences, using intricate puppets she and her team have made. She has also had starring roles in movies (Machuca, Una mujer fantástica) and important TV series, such as Ecos del desierto, Prófugos and Bala loca.

Juan Villoro

Juan Villoro

Non-fiction, novels and theater

Born in Mexico in 1956, this outstanding writer and essayist is the author of multiple novels, stories, columns, theater plays, movie scripts, translations and essays. Among his books are El testigo (winner of the Herralde award in 2004) and Llamadas de Ámsterdam (2007). He is one of Mexico’s most important writers, winning the Manuel Rojas award in 2018, one of the most prestigious prizes in the Spanish-speaking world. He started writing for theater aged 14, but his work only saw the light of day after he turned 50.

© Elio Frugone Piña – Fototeatro.cl

Teatro y su Doble

Teatro y su Doble

Telling stories for all kinds of audiences

Teatro y su Doble was formed in 2005 as the Milagros Theater to experiment with and create new theatrical styles and different theatrical tools, with puppets eventually becoming their tool of choice. The actors-puppeteers are at the beck and call of these inanimate objects, conveying emotions and bringing scripts to life thanks to the audience’s willingness to believe. The company has already performed other outstanding pieces, such as Capote, Pedro y el lobo, Sobre la cuerda floja and Feos. The last three have been co-produced by the Teatro a Mil Foundation.

“Chilean theater troupe Teatro y Su Doble, utilizing multimedia storytelling, borrowing techniques from Bunraku-style puppetry and animation, create lives lived”.
–David Walters, The Front Row Center

“Actress and talented illustrator Aline Kuppenheim brings an extraordinary example of animation to the theater”.

–Pedro Labra, El Mercurio

-It’s the latest piece by Teatro y su Doble, a company that has spent 15 years developing a stunning kind of theater using puppets that are life-like, nimble and capable of showing emotion.

-It’s a story that is particularly relevant these days, since it talks about the importance of politics and why great transformations need active citizens, not just bystanders who complain but don’t do anything to change the way things are.

-To find out more about children’s author Juan Villoro, a renowned Mexican writer who has delved into the world of novels, newspaper columns, theater plays and texts like this and El taxi de los peluches.

Radio theater: This is an art form created through words, sound effects and music that together tell a story that the listener can recreate in detail in their mind. Its golden age globally was in the twenties, thirties and forties, at the height of radio, with its popularity continuing until the seventies in Chile. Worldwide, the most well-known radio theater piece is perhaps The War of the Worlds, written in 1938 by North American actor and director Orson Welles, which tells of an alien invasion’s impact on the world. It was so realistic that it caused widespread panic among its thousands of listeners, who thought the news was real, even though the story was based on the novel of the same name by H.G. Wells.

Radio theater in Chile: According to the Memoria Chilena site, the first radio theater piece in Chile was transmitted in 1932 on the now-defunct Universo station. It was called La enemiga and starred Maruja Cifuentes and Carlos Justiniano. Normally broadcast at midday, these stories were usually melodramatic and aimed at a female audience although, in the following decades and until 1970, radio theater was also fertile terrain for comedies and even suspense. Hogar dulce hogar, Residencial La Pichanga, La bandita de Firulete and the memorable Radiotanda with actress Ana González were emblematic of their times. The most famous ones in the terror genre were El doctor Mortis and Lo que cuenta el viento.

-Find out more about the other plays by Teatro y su Doble on their YouTube channel

-El hámster del Presidente read by its author, Juan Villoro, at the 2019 Guadalajara Book Festival.

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