Thursday, June 4, 2015

Meet Inmigrantes Teatro Artistic Director Raymundo Garduño

Miguel Ángel Rodriguez, Andrés Franco and Ariadnalí de La Peña in Kikiricaja. Photo by Alejandro Montalvo.
A year ago—at a theatre conference in San Diego—something incredible happened: attendees had the chance to cross the border into Tijuana, where they witnessed Inmigrantes Teatro’s work. SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Dialogue/Diálogos Community Project Director Sara Guerrero were there and came away captivated by the company’s remarkable physical comedy, which transcended language and culture; next came the decision to invite them to SCR. Now one year later, Inmigrante Teatro's Kikiricaja: Una Historia de Payasos comes Studio SCR.

Kikiricaja Director Raymundo Garduño founded Inmigrantes Teatro in 2005 and serves as artistic director. The company made its debut with the play Naufragios (Shipwreck). Its other productions include the improv show, Los Improductivos (The Improductives), and Inmolación (Immolation). Inmolación was selected by Centro Cultural Tijuana as part of its Education Series Program and represented Baja California in the 2012 International Borders Theatre Festival and at the 2013 FESARES Baja California State Theatre Festival. Earlier this year, Inmigrantes Teatro presented Kikiricaja at La Jolla Playhouse.

We talked with Garduño to find out more about Inmigrantes Teatro and the show that comes to SCR's Nicholas Studio June 18-21:

Raymundo Garduño 
Why is your company called Inmigrantes Teatro?
Because, curiously, most of our founding members are immigrants. That is, none of us were born in Tijuana. The name also inspires a feeling of a traveler. We always wanted to tour our work as well. Hence, the name.

Why do shows for young audiences?
We always thought that a child’s first experience should be the best one. We aspire to create audiences by giving to children and youth good theatrical experiences that will always make them come back.

Was Inmigrantes Teatro the first to perform Kikiricaja
Kikiricaja is the result of a collaboration with Teatro Paraíso, one of the most important theatre companies for young audiences in Spain (and Europe). They already had produced the play in the ‘80s. I invited them to perform at a theatre festival for children that I produce every year. I became good friends with the company and, when we were looking for a script to produce, Teatro Paraíso’s director suggested Kikiricaja. Now we are the only company in the world with exclusive rights to produce it.

What lessons can be learned from Kikiricaja?
I always thought that Kikiricaja was a play about friendship, about the courage of having a friend. I don’t think that the  function of children's theatre isn't to teach or lecture, much less theatre for young audiences. To me, theatre should be a moving experience, a way to tell a story. What each person gains from that experience, or the way they reflect on it, may be the result of how well we tell a moving story. But I do think that Kikiricaja is a moving tale of friendship.

What makes you most proud about your theatre company? 
I think that our success in disseminating our work has made me proud—first in performing our work outside of our state and, then outside of our country. We also have a commitment to the audiences for whom our work is targeted: young people. It is not an easy job to work for children and youth, and I think we do it with lots of ethic and, most importantly respect, for them.

About Kikiricaja: Una Historia de Payasos

Loosely translated as “Cock-a-doodle-doo Box: A History of Clowns,” Kikiricaja: Una Historia de Payasos is a three-person play, performed entirely in Spanish, that tells the story of friends Bartolomeus and Comino, who live in beautiful wooden boxes where they dream, eat, play and invent worlds. Full of moments of happiness and sadness, fights and reconciliations, travel and adventure, this delightful piece shows how friendships can help us face the fears that make us feel small, as well as celebrate the hopes that make us feel like giants. A family-friendly show, Kikiricaja is recommended for ages 7 and above. This piece is performed entirely in Spanish. Fluency in Spanish is not required. Presented in association with La Jolla Playhouse.

Watch our video to learn more about the show.

Learn more and buy tickets.

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