• Radio theater


By La Llave Maestra


  • Spanish
  • 42 minutes
  • General Audience

A single voice brings multiple characters to life in a heartwarming story. La Llave Maestra brings all its magic to radio theater.

Now in radio theater format, L@s niñ@s del Winnipeg, teatro para navegar con ojos cerrados recreates a harsh journey of exile through the eyes of four children, who take us through their stories and views on the tragic reality of war, pain and finding new hope. Mario tells us of his sorrows, Angelines tries to understand the world, Montse looks to the sky and asks be reunited with her father and Juan is scared to get on the boat.

Created by the La Llave Maestra, this play invites us to submerge ourselves in historical memory, paying homage to the children who travelled aboard the Winnipeg, the boat of hope and to all those who made it possible for more than 2,500 survivors of the Spanish Civil War to arrive in Chile in 1939.

Cast and crew

Written by: Edurne Rankin García | Directed by: Edurne Rankin and Álvaro Morales | Cast: Edurne Rankin | Music: Gorka Pastor | Guitar in ‘Violeta Parra Mix’: Simón González | Sound and mixing: Cristóbal Carvajal | Photography: Álvaro Morales | Produced by: La Llave Maestra | Coproduced by: the Teatro a Mil Foundation.

©Patxi Cascante

Álvaro Morales y Edurne Rankin


A powerful creative duo

Álvaro - a Chilean - and Edurne - a Spaniard - have been working together since 2006, both in creation and artistic direction as well as in teaching and production. They have created 12 pieces, both in Chile and in Spain, a country where they worked from 2009 to 2013. They founded La Llave Maestra in 2010 and have produced five plays with this group. At the same time, they have directed productions for other theater, circus and dance companies and have held workshops, seminars and master classes in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, the United States, France, Spain and Taiwan.

©Andres Olivares

Teatro La Llave Maestra

La Llave Maestra

Role models for object theater

Created in 2010, this Spanish-Chilean group has become a role model for visual and object theater in Chile, thanks to its special theatrical style combining gestures, masks, illusions, dance, music and light to create highly powerful visual performances. Ingenuity and imagination have been the driving forces behind their five shows: Pareidolia, Nómadas, L@s niñ@s del Winnipeg (now in radio theater format), Delirios de papel and Bestiario, performed in Spain, Turkey, Holland, Bosnia, Belgium, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Bolivia, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Chile.

Press quotes (about the theater version)

“An educational piece that links narrative, theater and poetry”.

El Mostrador

“In this production, the La Llave Maestra Company shows us that theater is a sacred space, an experience that brings together a group of human beings from different generations to find out more about themselves through their emotions and their reflections on life, as well as what we are and how brave we can be”.

—Marcela Latorre, Pressenza

—It goes back and pays homage to a time in our past that defined a whole generation in Chile: the arrival of a group of immigrants escaping from a war, who settled down and contributed to the country’s development and diversity. It’s an interesting way for everyone, especially children, to better understand the more human and painful aspects of war.

—It’s a piece that goes beyond the traditional formats usually aimed at the ‘general public’. “I think this play’s forte is that it’s something that isn’t usually played out for a family audience - sad or tragic stories”, said one of its creators, Álvaro Morales, to the EFE Agency.

—The interesting work carried out by its creators, Edurne Rankin and Álvaro Morales, who transform a story conceived for and intended to be performed using objects into radio theater, with moving results.

The Spanish Civil War: The biggest war in Europe following the First World War, this conflict began in 1936, pitting two sides against each other for almost three years: the nationalists - led by General Francisco Franco - who aimed to overthrow the government and the republicans, who wanted to preserve democracy. On April 1, 1939, Franco was declared victorious and set up a dictatorship that lasted until his death in 1975. This conflict led to the death of more than 700,000 people, with around 400,000 going into exile - mainly to France - and 220,000 leaving Spain for good.

Winnipeg: According to the Memoria Chilena site, given the fact that many Spaniards were forced into exile at the start of Franco’s dictatorship, the president of Chile at the time, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, promised his help in 1939 to bring a group of refugees to Chile. To help organize this, he named Pablo Neruda as consul for Spanish immigration in Paris, France, a country that itself welcomed around 400,000 exiles. On August 4, 1939, the Winnipeg, a cargo ship refurbished to carry more than 2,200 people, set sail from France to Valparaíso, arriving in Chile on September 3. Among those onboard were people such as José Balmes and Roser Bru, who ended up playing a fundamental role in the Chilean arts.

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 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 playing the part of ‘La Desideria’ were emblematic of their times. The most famous ones in the terror genre were El doctor Mortis and Lo que cuenta el viento.

—Take a look at the Chile for Children webpage and its story about the Winnipeg.

—La Llave Maestra: “Our style is transversal and receptive, for audiences of all kinds”. Interview with the company by the Teatro a Mil Foundation.

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