Historia de Amor at Redcat

Photo by Montserrat Quezada A.

Chilean theater ensemble TeatroCinema, founded by theater artists Juan Carlos Zagal and Laura Pizarro, along with filmmaker Duano Totoro, uses multimedia technologies, scenography and original choreography to create a theatrical version of a graphic novel in their production of Historia de Amor. Adapted from the novel by French author Regis Jauffret, it is the story of the downward spiral of rape and stalking, told from the perspective of the rapist/stalker.

The protagonist -- if you can call him that -- is an English teacher who is smitten by a woman on the subway, follows her home, rapes her, and, despite serving prison time for the rape, continues to stalk her. At the same time, the woman becomes a submissive victim to his abuse. As performed by Julian Marras and Bernardita Montero, the characters seem to be hurtling in slow motion toward tragic collision. And while the story is often lumbering, it does offer stark and even poignant insights into this grim and abusive relationship.

The most striking element of the production, however, is the inventive use of 2D and 3D projections to create a cinematic dimension to the show. The projections create a world of their own, which while it has a decidedly comic-book feel, does enliven the story and provides a creative slant on what is essentially an internalized dialogue by the perpetrator - more novelistic than theatrical.

For theatrical creators, the techniques that TeatroCinema is developing suggest the many possibilities for integrating multimedia into theatre. While TeatroCinema is still taking the first preliminary steps into the multimedia future, it is a tantalizing glimpse into creative innovation.