• Theater


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.

Cast and crew

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.

©Ale López

Daniel Veronese


A role model of the Latin American theater scene

Born in Argentina in 1955, this author, adaptor, actor and theater director is one of the founding members of the experimental theater group El Periférico de Objetos, created in 1989. Among his latest works, La última sesión de Freud, Sonata otoñal, ¿Quién le teme a Virginia Wolf? (performed in Madrid and Mexico City), Bona Gent (performed in Barcelona), Bajo terapia (in its versions in Argentina, Madrid, Catalonia and Lima); Los corderos, Vigilia de noche and Invencible (performed in Madrid) particularly stand out. He has received numerous awards, such as the Platinum KONEX, the First National Award for Playwriting and the Iberian-American MAX.


David Foster Wallace


The great observer of today’s society

Considered one of the most brilliant and influential figures of his generation, David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) was a North American writer, famous worldwide for Infinite Jest, a novel chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best books published between 1923 and 2006. He committed suicide in 2008, suffering from depression. Ten years before, he wrote The Depressed Person (included in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men), a piece that talks about a woman with depression who tries to work out her problems by talking to her therapist and help group.

©Germán Romani

María Onetto

The star

A life dedicated to theater

An actress and psychology graduate, she works at the San Martín Cultural Center and in El Rojas. She has taken part in numerous theater plays (including Raspando la cruz, Orestes, Faros de color, La escala humana, La casa de Bernarda Alba, Donde más duele and Nunca estuviste tan adorable). She has also taken part in international festivals and has won several awards, including the Clarín Award (for La escala humana), the Martín Fierro Breakthrough Artist Award (for Montecristo), the Clarín Award (for Montecristo), the Silver Condor Award (for La mujer sin cabeza) and the Konex Award for Best 2001-2010 Theater Actress.

“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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