Home Entertainment Four decades ago the open theater cycle raised the curtain

Four decades ago the open theater cycle raised the curtain

Four decades ago the open theater cycle raised the curtain

Miracle happened 40 years ago on 28th July 1981: Open Theater, an artistic movement that had since 1976 established a civil-military dictatorship, with its recipe for the death, repression and disappearance of people fed up with natural creators from Argentina who faced fear and darkness.

Those who lived in those ominous days remember the ban on political activity, the oppression of workers, the closure of unions, the blacklist, censorship in the press, on TV and cinema, although to a lesser extent in the theatre, its audience since then. The numbers were small and the authorities saw it as an irrelevant activity.

In the street, only the mothers and grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo had organized in the event of the disappearance of their loved ones – they were called “crazy” by the actual authorities – and even by their quantitative modesty it was theatre. Who gave the initial kick, who asked for his first breath of fresh air.

A Scene From Tito Cosa

A scene from Tito Cosa’s work “Grey of Absence”. photo clarin archive

Writer Osvaldo “Uncle” Dragon, one of the creators of Open Theatre, commented: “We were in a bar, we had to do something and we decided with it. Tito cursed And with (Carlos) Somigliana, thus spontaneously, in a moment of ideological closing. Soon they offered us the Picadero Room.”

“We agreed: short work, 21 writers with 21 directors – they synthesized -. Nobody said no. We assumed the abandonment because what was proposed was to work without pay. No one directed Monster. But equal democracy has worked very well.”

In 1981 General Roberto Viola usurped Casa Rosada as the second de facto “president”.

By Roberto Cosa

Pepe Soriano and Luis Brandoni in “Grey of Absence” by Roberto Cosa premiered in 1981 in the Open Theater cycle. photo clarin archive

In addition to Dragun, Cosa and Somigliana, Gonzalo Nez, Jorge Rivera López, Luis Brandoni, Oscar Vial, Pepe Soriano, Elio Gallipoli, Carlos Gorostiza, Eduardo “Tato” Pavlovsky;, Maximo Soto, Ricardo Monti, Oscar Vial, Eduardo Rovner, Jorge García Alonso, Aida Bortnik and Griselda Gambaro – who were joined by hundreds of actors, actresses, directors and technicians – supported by Ernesto Sabato and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel. Nobel Peace Prize was awarded.

how was the way

The public did not wait: three smaller works per day were offered in various forms and with tickets at reasonable prices—acts were ad honours—and among the many works that later became classics, others appeared that featured political aesthetics. Quality prevailed.

Open theater became a socio-cultural phenomenon involving performers and audiences inspired by a commitment to their own reality beyond any form of interest.


Parade works in its opening season, without any economic benefits and no poster problems. Say Yes (Griselda Gambaro), the one who touches me is the pig (Alberto Drago), New World (Carlos Somigliana), distant promise land (Ricardo Halac), Coronation (Roberto Perinelli), bead curtain (Ricardo Monti), Creature (Eugenio Grifero), third parties involved (Eduardo Pavlovsky), absence gray (Roberto Cosa) and 16 October (Elio Gallipoli).

they also participated Nervousness (Diana Raznovich), goodbye blonde (Victor Pronzatto), laughs (Carlos Paes), Accompaniment (Carlos Gorostiza), Wolf… are you? (Pacho O’Donnell), Dear Dad (Aida Bortnik), for export (Patricio Estevez), my obelisk and me (Osvaldo Dragon), my little things (Jorge García Alonso) and hard work (Maximo Soto).

No One Took The Pesos, Neither The Writer, Nor The Director, Nor The Actor Nor The Technician.  Photo Clarin Archive

No one took the pesos, neither the writer, nor the director, nor the actor nor the technician. photo clarin archive

Work Before going in, allow the exit, by Oscar Vial, could not be mounted for practical reasons and was later released on the commercial scene.

According to journalist and theater critic Hilda Cabrera, “at first there were only five directors, when the project was revealed, 36 were nominated. Later, composers, set designers and technicians appeared. For the money, in addition various Contributions were. One that it came from the sale of fertilizers. The librettist Abel Santa Cruz, then in the Argentine Commission, gave a check. The announcement to the press was made on May 12, 1981 by Dragon along with other pioneers”.

Everything was on track when on August 6 of the same year an incendiary bomb nearly ended the history of the brand new Teatro del Picadero, located in the Roch 1847 route – now Enrique Santos Decapolo – where the first in the 19th century The railway was operational. He was in Argentina. There was no doubt as to where the attack came from.

News of the fire rushed many acquaintances who knew it at the time: both the organizer and director Omar Grasso and the actor Alberto Segado, always late at night, who shed their tears watching the flames and the work of firefighters. Jorge Luis Borges sent a solidarity telegram.

After the initial desolation, the doubts and much fear that had prevailed in those years disappeared: 17 rooms were generously offered to continue nurturing the event – ​​among the bidders were businessmen Alejandro Romé and Carlos A. Petit, and finally Tabaris. was chosen—where magazine shows used to be—and 25,000 spectators paraded there, before the cycle continued.

The cycle was repeated at the disappeared Odeon Theater in 1982 and again in 1983, at the then Margarita Zirgu Theater—now Zirgu/Untref—and a “theatre” in 1985, which included a street parade, but was already political and social. The situation had changed.

from telam agency