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Abstract In this article we will explain what theater is like in southern Spain, and specifically in the city of Almería, today. We will analyze what are its influences, its origins and its creators. We will see how they have gone from literary gatherings to writing theater scripts and their staging. We will also know what the theatrical trajectory of the city has been, the independent theater spaces and the university theater. We will talk with the creators and their difficulties in finding institutional support to stage their creations. We will observe how they adapt to the new times and how they solve difficulties. We will know your proposals and future projects. We will focus on two independent theater companies in Almería, such as Luna Roja Teatro and the company of Fernando Labordeta Blanco. They are artistic references in the city today. Both companies had to risk their proposals to be different and fit into the independent art market.
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Innovation and theatrical creation. Case study in southern Spain.
María Dolores Castellón Pérez
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. España. Escuela Internacional de Doctorado.
Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid. Spain. International Doctoral School.
ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4208-2118
Abstract
In this article we will explain what theater is like in southern Spain, and specifically in the city of
Almería, today. We will analyze what are its influences, its origins and its creators. We will see
how they have gone from literary gatherings to writing theater scripts and their staging. We will
also know what the theatrical trajectory of the city has been, the independent theater spaces
and the university theater. We will talk with the creators and their difficulties in finding
institutional support to stage their creations. We will observe how they adapt to the new times
and how they solve difficulties. We will know your proposals and future projects. We will focus
on two independent theater companies in Almería, such as Luna Roja Teatro and the company
of Fernando Labordeta Blanco. They are artistic references in the city today. Both companies
had to risk their proposals to be different and fit into the independent art market.
Keywords: Innovation, theatrical creation, southern Spain, staging, theatre companies.
Introduction
Nowadays, when we hear something about Almería, it almost always refers to its beaches, its
tapas, its old town, the greenhouses, the solar power station, or its natural settings for filming
movies or series. But what is not echoed outside Almería is its film school and its theater. Almería
is a culturally active city, although it is not its main tourist attraction.
Our objective is to analyze the Almería theater and its risky proposals to succeed in this world.
For this, we will focus on five theater companies that coexist in the city, such as Axioma Theater,
the Aula Theater of the University of Almería, Luna Roja Teatro, the theater company of
Fernando Labordeta, and finally, the theater company of Adam Torres. All of them bet on a
different format of doing theater, which we will explain in detail later.
Theater companies
The Axioma
1
Theater company is one of the oldest in the city, they have been operating for
nearly 45 years. From their origins until today they have been experimenting and adapting to
the theatrical demand of the city at all times. Among his productions we highlight some of them
that are collected in Table 1.
Table 1. Axiom Theater. Theater productions. Own creation table.
Axioma Teatro has produced plays for theaters and large auditoriums, such as "The
extraordinary flight of angels". On the other hand, it has created a large format puppet and
puppet theater, where the participation of the public is active at the end of the show, turning
the work into a Show - Workshop, as in “Una noche en los Sueños de Andina
2
”.
Figure 1. Axioma Teatro, 2016. “A night in Andina's dreams”
3
1
Axioma Teatro, 2008. “Historial”. [Online] http://www.axiomateatro.es/historial [Consultation on
04/15/2019]
2
Axioma Teatro. Vídeo “Una noche en los sueños de Andina” “A night in Andina's dreams”. [Online]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=YseZUj6-H_o [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
3
Axioma Teatro, 2016. “Una noche en los sueños de Andina” “A night in Andina's dreams”. [Online]
http://www.axiomateatro.es/espectaculo/646 [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
But his riskiest bet is based on the use of unconventional materials in the props of his parades,
such as balloons to form giants and big heads, as is the case with "The Ladies' Promenade"
4
:
“Five ladies of the court decide to take a walk through the most beautiful areas of the city.
Naturally they are decked out in their best dresses and headdresses, they call their coachmen
and in open buggy, they walk the squares, walks and parks.
Accompanied by their chamber musicians, they glide, dance, turn, stop, greet acquaintances ...
An unforgettable walk, which they are wanting to repeat on other streets, in other squares.
(Axioma Teatro, 2013)
Figure 2. Axiom Theater. "The ladies' walk".
The use of these materials, in their parade characters, make the parade a unique, magical and
captivating moment that captures the attention of adults and children, returning them to a
fantasy world for a few moments.
The theater company of Adán Torres focuses on the "research theater". Produces large-format
productions to perform in theaters throughout the province of Almería. But the risky bet that
he uses is the previous documentation on the facts and customs of the area. He carries out a
previous documentary research work that he then captures and narrates in his plays. Examples
of this “research, social and gender theater” are “Mujeres del viento”
5
and “Mujeres de la
Chanca”
6
.
4
Axioma Teatro, 2013. “El paseo de las damas” "The ladies' walk". [Online]
http://www.axiomateatro.es/espectaculo/493 [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
5
La Gaceta de Almería. 2019. “Mujeres al viento”. [Online] http://lagacetadealmeria.es/llega-a-
carboneras-mujeres-del-viento-obra-teatral-inspirada-en-la-desbanda/ [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
6
La Voz de Almería. 2017. “Mujeres de la Chanca”. [Online]
https://www.lavozdealmeria.com/noticia/5/vivir/128416/mujeres-de-la-chanca-con-sensi-falan
[Consultation on 04/15/2019]
Figura 3. Cartel. “Mujeres de la Chanca”
7
. Figura 4. Cartel. “Mujeres del viento”.
8
In addition to the “research, social and gender theater”, Adán Torres performs other theatrical
productions, such as café theater, and theatrical workshops by the cultural houses of the
province. His theatrical production is varied and he combines his life between Almería, Spain
and Montevideo, Uruguay
9
. Next, we show a table 2 with some productions of this theater
company.
Table 2. Theater company of Adán Torres. Theater productions. Own creation table.
During the years 1991 and 1992, literary gatherings formed mainly by university students from
Almería were created. The meeting place was held in a pub that is located in the park, next to
the seaport of the city of Almería and which is called "The Port of Spain" (Port of Spain). In this
7
“Las mujeres de la Chanca”. 2017. [Online] https://mujeresdelachanca.wixsite.com/teatro#!
[Consultation on 04/15/2019]
8
EMMA. 2019. “Mujeres al viento”. [Online] http://www.emmaalmeria.es/una-desbanda-de-mujeres/
[Consultation on 04/15/2019]
9
ACJR. Biografía Adán Torres. 2019. [Online] http://acjuliorobles.blogspot.com/p/mutis-x.html
[Consultation on 04/15/2019]
place everyone who wanted to participate in the literary gatherings of that time met once a
week. From these literary gatherings some of the theatrical companies that we have today in
the city arise, specifically, Luna Roja Teatro and the company of Fernando Labordeta.
Figure 5. Facade of the “Port of Spain” pub, in Almería.
From those literary meetings the germ of the city's university theater also emerges. In 1991 the
University of Almería depended on the University of Granada. But little by little the University
of Almería grew and finally became independent from that of Granada, as we know it today.
Currently, there is a Theater Classroom
10
at the University of Almería, directed and managed by
the faculty and students of that university. This University Theater Classroom continues to be a
source of inspiration and experimentation for future actors and actresses who later create their
own productions. In the theatrical university circuit, theatrical meetings are held annually where
they make their creations known with the other theatrical classrooms of the other Andalusian
universities. In reality, it is a quarry of future artists, set designers and theater producers.
The theater company of Fernando Labordeta bets on the creation of its own texts, it is a small
format theater and minimalist scenographic resources loaded with irony and acid humor. Most
of his productions are monologues or dialogues of historical situations in a comic key, such is
the case of "Adolf and Eva"
11
, which recreates what could have been the last moments of Adolf
Hitler and Eva Brown in the bunker before death from both.
10
Universidad de Almería. 2015. Gabinete de comunicación. Noticia. “Teatro, danza y fotografía, las
primeras actividades culturales del campus de la UAL”. [Online]
http://cms.ual.es/UAL/universidad/organosgobierno/gabcomunicacion/noticias/2015OCT28ACTIVIDAD
ESAULATEATRONEWS [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
11
Teleprensa. 2016. “Adolf y Eva” una obra de Labordeta que se estrena en el formato de café-teatro”.
[Online] https://www.teleprensa.com/almeria/adolf-y-eva-un-obra-de-labordeta-que-se-estrena-en-el-
formato-de-cafe-teatro.html [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Fernando Labordeta is committed to the café-theater, in its representations, although it also has
larger-format productions
12
that they perform in the theaters of the province and cultural
centers, along with children's theatrical productions such as "Fairytale Christmas"
13
.
In the following table 3 we can see a sample of gaps in the productions of Fernando Labordeta's
company:
Table 3. Theatrical company of Fernando Labordeta. Theater productions. Own creation table.
Luna Roja Teatro
14
is a theater company that also bets on café-theater. Physical proximity to the
public is their value, that complicity, is what makes them unmistakable and is their hallmark and
a safe bet. The return to the café-theater is their risky bet that gives them success and
exclusivity.
Among his productions we find a great variety as can be seen in the following summary table 4.
This theater company also creates its own texts, by the hand of Antonio Ruiz and Jesús Godoy,
allowing greater freedom when it comes to the gags they introduce in their productions.
Sometimes they collaborate with Fernando Labordeta and there are actresses and actors who
share both theater companies, such as Dita Ruíz
15
.
12
Muñoz, Julia. 2018. Digital 28 Tv. “El ayuntamiento convertirá la calle Reyes Católicos en una “Navidad
de cuento” el 22 de diciembre”. [Online] http://almeriacanal28.es/index.php/ciudad/14432-el-
ayuntamiento-convertira-la-calle-reyes-catolicos-en-una-navidad-de-cuento-el-22-de-diciembre
[Consultation on 04/16/2019]
13
La Voz de Almería. 2018. “La Navidad de Dickens transformará el centro de Almería durante un día”.
[Online] https://www.lavozdealmeria.com/noticia/5/vivir/163952/la-navidad-de-dickens-transformara-
el-centro-de-almeria-durante-un-dia [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
14
Facebook. Luna Roja Teatro. [Online] https://www.facebook.com/teatrolunaroja/ [Consultation on
04/16/2019]
15
Facebook. Dita Ruíz. “Cleopatra”. [Online]
https://www.facebook.com/100014965126262/videos/502576203584546/ [Consultation on
04/16/2019]
Table 4. Red Moon Theater. Theater productions. Own creation table.
Conclusion
In short, the independent theater in Almería is a reality of the cultural life of the city. The
different stage proposals make up a diversity of options for the viewer. The scenic spaces for
independent theater, such as the Tetería Baños Árabes Hamman de Almeraya, the El Zaguán
room, or the Municipal School of Music and Arts of Almería (EMMA), accommodate the different
companies in the city. Although the theaters and houses of culture of the towns of the province
serve as stages for the theater companies that get these spaces. Financing is an important issue
for their survival, but this is limited and scarce, being relegated to the box office, and on rare
occasions, to some aid from local and provincial cultural institutions. We want to highlight the
work of the Julio Robles Cultural Association
16
(ACJR) for new talents with no age limit that
supports and promotes new theatrical and musical talents. Therefore, we encourage everyone
to visit Almería, its tapas, its natural settings for movies and series, as well as its beaches,
monumental areas, and greenhouses, and of course, its theater and its cultural offer.
Bibliography
Asociación Cultural Julio Robles (ACJR) para nuevos talentos sin límite de edad. [Online]
https://acjuliorobles.blogspot.com/ [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
ACJR. “Biografía Adán Torres”. 2019. [Online] http://acjuliorobles.blogspot.com/p/mutis-x.html
[Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Axioma Teatro, 2016. “Una noche en los sueños de Andina”. [Online]
http://www.axiomateatro.es/espectaculo/646 [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
16
Asociación Cultural Julio Robles (ACJR) para nuevos talentos sin límite de edad. [Online]
https://acjuliorobles.blogspot.com/ [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Axioma Teatro, 2013. “El paseo de las damas”. [Online]
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Axioma Teatro, 2008. “Historial”. [Online] http://www.axiomateatro.es/historial [Consultation
on 04/15/2019]
Axioma Teatro. Vídeo “Una noche en los sueños de Andina”. [Online]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=YseZUj6-H_o [Consulta del
15/04/2019]
EMMA. 2019. “Mujeres al viento”. [Online] http://www.emmaalmeria.es/una-desbanda-de-
mujeres/ [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
Facebook. Luna Roja Teatro. [Online] https://www.facebook.com/teatrolunaroja/
[Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Facebook. Dita Ruíz. “Cleopatra”. [Online]
https://www.facebook.com/100014965126262/videos/502576203584546/
[Consultation on 04/16/2019]
La Gaceta de Almería. 2019. “Mujeres al viento”. [Online] http://lagacetadealmeria.es/llega-a-
carboneras-mujeres-del-viento-obra-teatral-inspirada-en-la-desbanda/ [Consultation on
04/15/2019]
Las mujeres de la Chanca. 2017. [Online] https://mujeresdelachanca.wixsite.com/teatro#!
[Consultation on 04/15/2019]
La Voz de Almería. 2017. “Mujeres de la Chanca”. [Online]
https://www.lavozdealmeria.com/noticia/5/vivir/128416/mujeres-de-la-chanca-con-sensi-
falan [Consultation on 04/15/2019]
La Voz de Almería. 2018. “La Navidad de Dickens transformará el centro de Almería durante un
día”. [Online] https://www.lavozdealmeria.com/noticia/5/vivir/163952/la-navidad-de-dickens-
transformara-el-centro-de-almeria-durante-un-dia [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Muñoz, Julia. 2018. Digital 28 Tv. “El ayuntamiento convertirá la calle Reyes Católicos en una
“Navidad de cuento” el 22 de diciembre”. [Online]
http://almeriacanal28.es/index.php/ciudad/14432-el-ayuntamiento-convertira-la-calle-reyes-
catolicos-en-una-navidad-de-cuento-el-22-de-diciembre [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Teleprensa. 2016. “Adolf y Eva” una obra de Labordeta que se estrena en el formato de café-
teatro”. [Online] https://www.teleprensa.com/almeria/adolf-y-eva-un-obra-de-labordeta-que-
se-estrena-en-el-formato-de-cafe-teatro.html [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Universidad de Almería. 2015. Gabinete de comunicación. Noticia. “Teatro, danza y fotografía,
las primeras actividades culturales del campus de la UAL”. [Online]
http://cms.ual.es/UAL/universidad/organosgobierno/gabcomunicacion/noticias/2015OCT28A
CTIVIDADESAULATEATRONEWS [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
La Navidad de Dickens transformará el centro de Almería durante un día
  • La Voz De Almería
La Voz de Almería. 2018. "La Navidad de Dickens transformará el centro de Almería durante un día". [Online] https://www.lavozdealmeria.com/noticia/5/vivir/163952/la-navidad-de-dickenstransformara-el-centro-de-almeria-durante-un-dia [Consultation on 04/16/2019]
Una noche en los sueños de Andina
  • Axioma Teatro
  • Vídeo
Axioma Teatro. Vídeo "Una noche en los sueños de Andina". [Online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=YseZUj6-H_o [
Mujeres de la Chanca
  • La Voz De Almería
La Voz de Almería. 2017. "Mujeres de la Chanca".
El ayuntamiento convertirá la calle Reyes Católicos en una
  • Julia Muñoz
Muñoz, Julia. 2018. Digital 28 Tv. "El ayuntamiento convertirá la calle Reyes Católicos en una "Navidad de cuento" el 22 de diciembre".
Adolf y Eva" una obra de Labordeta que se estrena en el formato de caféteatro
  • Teleprensa
Teleprensa. 2016. "Adolf y Eva" una obra de Labordeta que se estrena en el formato de caféteatro". [Online] https://www.teleprensa.com/almeria/adolf-y-eva-un-obra-de-labordeta-quese-estrena-en-el-formato-de-cafe-teatro.html [Consultation on 04/16/2019]