Written by Chilean author Jaime Silva
Directed by Lina de Guevara
Translated from Spanish by Rosa Stewart.
- Sister Gaspara – Pippa Catling
- Pulga Chilena – Izad Etemadi
- Ñengo – Rob Hunter
- Clara – Petra Kixmöller
- Sister Juliana – Renée Livernoché
- The Historian – John Lucas*
- Mother Superior – Judith McDowell
- Sister Magdalena – Gina Mcintosh
- Pichi-Piuke – Amisha Parikh-Friese
- Sister Baltazara – Carina Pogoler
- Sister Micaela – Kate Rubin
- Carmen – Rosa Stewart
- Sister Ines – Roya Yazdanmehr
- Directed by Lina de Guevara
- Written by Jaime Silva
- Translated by Rosa Stewart
- Adapted by Lina de Guevara
- Produced by Paulina Grainger
- Sound Design – Enrique Rivas
- Lighting Design – Graham Mcdonald
- Lighting – Kristi Mikoda
- Stage Manager, Set Design – Marcus Stusek
- Costumes, Props – Madeleine Mills & Jane Krieger
- Assistant to the Director – Jennifer Pritchard
- Graphic Design – Joey Macdonald
*Appears with the permission of CANADIAN ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION
The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepciõn is set in 1810 and tells the story of a group of nuns who have to abandon their convent, trek through forests and cross huge rivers to escape Chilean troops who are fighting for independence from the Spanish Empire.
To cross the mountainous Mapuche (Chilean Aboriginal people) territory, they decide to allow their Indian servant Carmen to guide them. It soon becomes obvious that the nun’s way of life, which is based on rigid rules & hierarchy, on guilt and fear, will not help them face the demands of the journey. Carmen, with her knowledge of nature and her ancient wisdom, takes charge and helps those who have been oppressed find liberation, and lets the oppressors follow their twisted objectives to the bitter end.
As a counterpoint to the pious environment created by the nuns, there’s a subterranean and shadowy environment surrounding the action, led by fantastical characters like Pulga the Flea, Angel-Demons and ghosts, who, with ribald songs and lascivious dances, serve as narrators of the story. This is an example of Latin American Magic Realism at its best.
Director Lina de Guevara is excited to be directing a play that not only has a relevant and powerful message, but one in which Aboriginal characters have a strong and positive presence on stage, and who are central to the resolution of conflict in the play. It is only very recently that Mapuche characters started appearing on stage in Chilean theatre, and of course, it is the first time they do so in Canada!