The Loisaida Center is proud to announce
2016 Theater Company Residency Recipient:
CASA CRUZ DE LA LUNA
Casa Cruz de la Luna, “Soltando La Lengua || Lo(o)sing Your Tongue”
February 1st, 2016–April 28th, 2016
The objective was to host two free workshop series, one for adults in February with a focus on “The Poetics of Live Writing” and one in April for teens between the ages of 15 and 18 with a focus on “Words and Images.” Through these different workshops, talks and presentations, group members Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya, Alejandra Maldonado and Christopher Cancel Pomales will explore with participants how passages (pases) between written and spoken words, virtual and embodied presences, familiar and fluctuating codes can generate the stage as a space of multiple lines of communication.
Originally based in an old house in the historical district of the town of San Germán in the Southwest of Puerto Rico, Casa Cruz de la Luna has as its mission the continuous study of the limits of the theatrical experience. Founded in 1998 by Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya, the group has engaged in experimental stagings of classical works by Jorge Luis Borges, Cervantes, García Lorca, Oscar Wilde, and Maeterlinck as well as the development of new plays by Puerto Rican authors such as José “Pepe” Liboy, Mayra Santos Febres, Carlos Canales, Jaime Carrero, Fátima Santana, Lina Nieves Avilés, and Manuel Ramos Otero. Since 2012, the company has begun to establish a second home-base in New York City, collaborating in joint projects with New York theater Workshop, theater for the New City, the Organization of Puerto Rican Artists (OP Art), LA TEA at the Clemente Soto Vélez Center, Pregones/PRTT, and now the Loisaida Center. || Casa Cruz de la Luna se fundó en 1997 con la visión de proveer un ámbito de movimiento para las artes y las humanidades en el área suroeste de la Isla. En el 1998 empieza a funcionar desde su base en la Calle Luna, Esquina de la Cruz en el distrito histórico del pueblo de San Germán. Su actividad se ha extendido desde actividades educativas y de presentación hasta la creación de una compañía profesional de teatro experimental. Desde el 1999, la Casa ha crecido como foro donde discursos sobre arte, sociedad y teoría se materializan a través de conferencias, exposiciones, talleres, proyectos de investigación y puestas escénicas. La inauguración de la Casa como galería (1999), la organización de la Biblioteca Marcos A. Ramírez (2001-3) y la participación de la compañía de teatro en giras y proyectos internacionales (desde el 2000) han servido de puntales para nuestra labores presentes y aspiraciones futuras.
On February 2nd, 4th, 9th, 11th, 16th, and 18th, Casa Cruz de la Luna organized and hosted their first workshop titled The Poetics of Live Writing for adults that explored the escritura acto, or the act of live computerized writing projected onstage. This was especially useful for theatre makers, people interested in visual and sound arts, writers, students focused on literature or the performing arts, and people interested in transmedia narratives.. This workshop developed a consciousness of the performer as another medium (medio) of interacting physically and energetically with other mediums, like actors, spectators, objects, apparatuses, locations, or programs, in performance. Exercises explored the different mechanisms for generating tension through escritura acto, such as disjunction, or writing one content while speaking another, precognition, or playing with expectations on how words and sentences are going to be completed, body kinetic responses to the writing as it is being produced, and the movement of texts through chains of translation, dictation, reading, and copying. The lab process culminated in a presentation open to the public on the last day of class. Participants were asked to attend all six sessions since the work was cumulative and led to a final performance, and participants were asked to memorize short texts as assignments.
Additionally, on April 16th and 17th, Casa Cruz de la Luna hosted their second workshop for teens between the ages of 15 and 18, that focused on how bodies in space create theatrical pictures that can be linked in many ways to spoken and projected words. This workshop combined Brazilian director Augusto Boal’s notions of image theater with escritura acto, and, using the texts generated by the participants some of the exercises, finished work took the form of individual poetry presentations or collective performative sketches. Instruction was conducted in English but allowed for participants to work in whatever language they chose, and participants were asked to wear clothes comfortable for movement and to bring a pen or pencil with a notebook so that they could come ready to work.
Profiles of the instructors for both workshops are located below.
- Alejandra Maldonado Morales is a stage manager, designer and performer born in Puerto Rico and a new resident of Brooklyn. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez with a B.A. in art history. Alejandra has been a member of Casa Cruz de la Luna since 2009, participating in the company productions of The Marquis de Sade is Afraid of the Sea at the Yagüez theater as a performer, La Mano: Tales of the End of the World at theater for the New City as a performer, Garuda’s Glove at Puerto Rico´s Museum of Contemporary Art as both a performer and stage manager, La Clase Viva at the Perry Grade School in Lajas, Puerto Rico as a production manager, Maeterlinck´s Interieur at Casa Cruz de la Luna’s Planta Noble as a lighting designer and performer, Wilde’s Salomé at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras as a technical director, and Hagiographies at Pregones theater as both a performer and stage manager. Work with other companies includes Awilda Rodríguez Lora’s El Velorio de la Comay (BAAD-NY), Teach, Teacher, Teachest (One-Eight, INTAR), and All That Dies and Rises (M-34, Cloud of Fools, IATI).
- Christopher Cancel Pomales works in set and lightning design. He has also been an actor with Casa Cruz de la Luna since the site-specific production of Jorge Luis Borges’s The Library of Babel at the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in Old San Juan in 2009. Other projects with the company include Quisimos tanto a Lydia as a performer, The Marquis de Sade is Afraid of the Sea as a technical director, La Mano: Tales of the End of the World as a technical director, Garuda’s Glove as a performer, The Story of the Woman of the Sea as a lighting designer, Salomé as a lighting designer, and Hagiographies as both a performer and lighting designer. In New York, Chris has also collaborated with M-16 and Cloud of Fools in All That Dies and Rises at IATI, with One-Eight and INTAR in Teach, Teacher, Teachest, and with Columbia University in the Columbia Playwriting Festival at the Signature theater. More recently, he played the lead role in a staged reading of Aravind Adyanthaya’s Fausto Angleró at Repertorio Español. Christopher is a graduate in social sciences from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and an MFA candidate in theater design at Brooklyn College, CUNY.
- Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya is a Puerto Rican writer and theater artist and is the founder and director of Casa Cruz de la Luna. His works have been presented by the company at Casa de las Américas in La Habana, the Ibero-American theater Festival in Lima, the Latin American theater Festival in Morelia, the LIBER 2010 event in Barcelona, Ulrike Quade’s performance cabaret in Amsterdam, Essex University in the U.K., and the Feria del Libro in Santo Domingo. In the U.S., he has has been a Jerome and McKnight fellow at the Playwrights’ Center, a Joyce grantee at Teatro del Pueblo and Pangea World theater in Minneapolis, a directing fellow at New York theater Workshop and currently, a resident artist at the Center of Book Arts in New York. Aravind holds a Ph.D. in theater historiography from the University of Minnesota and an M.D. from the Mayo Clinic.