Is there theater without language? Theater that can be understood across cultures by anyone, regardless of their native tongue? You don’t need to travel to New York City or London to find out.
On Oct. 29, a unique visual theater production – “Nomadas” (“The Nomads”), by the Chilean theater company La Llave Maestra – comes to UNCG’s campus.
The afternoon performance is part of Greensboro’s seventh annual 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival. Although “Nomadas” is on the stage for one day only, the company will remain in residency for three weeks to conduct workshops with UNCG students as well as students at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School.
The show, which will be the company’s first performance in the United States, combines dance, music, theater and visual art, using handmade materials that create a dramatic theatrical texture. The storytelling occurs visually, and the performance, which makes use of puppets, clowning techniques and the animation of objects, is intended to be widely accessible across cultures.
“‘Nomadas’ addresses themes of immigration, travel and exile,” says Associate Professor of Theatre Rachel Briley. “It is a story of loss and gain. What we lose when we leave people and places, and what we gain when we enter new communities. It is a story of traveling into the unknown.”
Briley began working on bringing “Nomadas” to UNCG earlier this year, after she traveled to Chile as a Theatre Communications Group U.S. delegate at the Santiago a Mil festival, the largest international performing arts festival in the world. With the artistic directors of “Nomadas,” Edurne Rankin and Alvaro Morales, Briley planned the La Llave Maestra performance and residencies.
To engage the local community in the performance, Briley has collaborated with FaithAction International House and Casa Azul, a Greensboro organization that works to promote Latin-American arts and culture.
The performance and residencies are supported by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, the UNCG Office of the Provost, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Theatre, the College of Arts and Sciences and the local community.
Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications