The Suicide

Produced by Boca del Lupo in partnership with San Banquito Teatro

Winner of the Alcan Performing Arts Award: Theatre 2004

“Boca del Lupo is one of the most important creative forces in this city”

 – Georgia Straight

PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY

THE INVITATION:

In October 2002, Boca del Lupo was invited to the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato as part of a delegation of Canadian theatre artists sent down to represent Canada for the thirtieth anniversary of Mexico’s premiere international arts festival.

THE CERVANTINO FESTIVAL:

Upon our arrival to this world class festival we found a country and people very similar to our own; a country bordering the other side of the world’s singular superpower, rich in resources and culture yet struggling to find a voice in the shadow of The United States.   These similarities transformed from simple curiosities into profound excitement and further to extraordinary possibilities during a meeting with a group of local theatre artists:  San Banquito Teatro.

San Banquito Teatro:

A physical theatre company that has developed a creation process remarkably similar to our own.  Even with language barriers we discovered that we were not only kin in our artistry but that our esthetic, ideals and ethics were also aligned.

THE COMMITMENT:

Over a period of two weeks at the Festival, we had a brilliant exchange of ideas both practical and fantastical.  The result was a firm resolve to enter into a co-production.  A project that would explore the common ground between our two nations and celebrate our differences, similarities and diversity.

THE SEED:

It was a challenge to find something that was popular enough to have been translated into both Spanish and English yet obscure enough for us to adapt into a new piece of physical theatre.  After a long search Boca del Lupo director, Sherry J Yoon dug up a piece she has had her sights on for some time:  Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide. A piece filled with surprising characters, bizarre reversals and a full gypsy band framed within a story of an unemployed ‘little guy’ trying to find his place and his voice within the overbearing bureaucracies of class and power.

THE REALIZATION:

In March 2003, Boca del Lupo won the Alcan Award for the Performing Arts: Theatre 2004. The award is the largest of its kind in Canada providing us the resource we needed to create this international co-production and present it at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre along with the Cervantino festival itself in 2004.

Boca del Lupo teamed up with Mexico’s San Banquito Teatro to present an international, multi-dimensional, almost original adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s The Suicide. Winner of the Alcan Performing Arts Award: Theatre 2004, The Suicide is a highly physical, viscerally engaging production based on a controversial and comical play by Soviet playwright Nikolai Erdman.

The Suicide satirizes the plight of an unemployed man who is thought to be contemplating suicide. When a sausage in his pocket is mistaken for a gun, word gets out and the man is immediately besieged by spokespeople from various discontented groups who attempt to persuade him to kill himself on their behalf.

The Suicide is directed by Sherry J Yoon and features­ Jay Dodge, Camille Gingras, Marco Soriano*, Diana Karenina, Moises Ledesma, Lucas Myers* and Carmen Aguirre*. The technical and design team includes Candelario Andrade (video), Liz Baca (technical director), Mima Preston (costumes), John MacFarlane (lighting), Jay Dodge (set), and Carey Dodge (sound) and Andrea Hughes (stage management).

*Appearing courtesy of Canadian Actors’ Equity

The English version of The Suicide is translated and adapted by Eileen Thalenberg and Alan Richardson and published by Mosaic Press. Photo artist: Bill Thomas.

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