• Inspirations

Theater

"My Diego, My Art" by Sindhu Murthy 

19/04/2014 - My Diego, My Art is a play by the Indian company Mi Amor.

This solo performance is a riveting account of the art and life of one of the most luminous painters of the 20th century, Frida Kahlo. The play is Mi Amor’s holds-no-barred take on Frida Kahlo’s lust for life, her uncompromising honesty in art and her effrontery towards a life-threatening accident, numerous surgical interventions on her body, and several abortions, all handled like a true-blue Mexican, who mocks life’s situations, including death. She arrives at a philosophical compromise that everything is ephemeral except her all-consuming love for Diego. Her story reeks of undaunted optimism, unfolding with dollops of Hispanic music, as well as dance and poetry straight from her personal diary.

Sindhu Murthy, a former journalist with print and broadcast media, and an alumnus of Stella Maris College, where she acquired a Masters degree in International Studies, gave it all up for the love of theatre and wrote her first play, drawing inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s tumultuous life. An actor trained under Habib Tanvir, currently training in Hindustani classical music, Sindhu is most at peace when on stage.

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"Frida K." by Valeria Moretti

Frida Kahlo, the well-known Mexican painter, returns to life in the solo play “FRIDA K.” by Valeria Moretti, put on stage and starred by Enrica Rosso since 2011. The magnetic intensity of her gaze, her unusual beauty and pride, her surprising and disturbing paintings, the accident and the brutality of surgery, her ardent political faith, her turbulent love affairs (from her husband to the liaison with Trotsky, including omosexual relationships), her clothing style, the legend of surrealism ... Everything contributes to make Frida Kahlo a character and a symbol, today celebrated by FRIDA K., investigating in depth the life and personality of the great painter through the voice and the body of Enrica Rosso in an intense performance.
"How to approach an icon of the Twentieth Century that played her life leaving us infinite and hypnotic self-images? Such a personality demands a great sense of proportion and a simple and respectful staging, to express her extraordinary vitality without wishing to imitate the human being.
Working on the sensuality of the painter, so evident in her photographs and in the subjects of her paintings, I found myself, even without choice, using a language that suggests a sweet and seductive rhythm, with exotic nuances, almost cradling except breaking imperiously, like a broken breath, when the body dominates with his wounds. Visually I constructed a dress - costume that, besides folklore, could express the rigor of this extraordinary artist and her magnetic charm.
Using a diary style, my Frida tells her own life to Nina bonita, fictional alter ego that she evocates by drawing it with her fingertips (Frida herself, forced in bed, had invented this game to fill the void of his childhood). Frida is close to death, but she does not fall in the trap of renunciation. On the contrary, she uses her memories to reassemble them in a very personal “snakes and ladders” game, transforming her sufferings with creativity and a surprising strength of will, without loosing her enthusiasm. I felt the urgency to give birth to such an unequivocal love for life in an age that is opaque and superficial. "

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"FRIDA K." By Gloria Montero

Nearing the end of her life, Frida Kahlo, painter, iconoclast and revolutionary, prepares for her first and what would ultimately be her only solo exhibit in her native Mexico, and in so doing she excavates her life in painting, politics and love. Critically-acclaimed but never particularly famous while she lived, Kahlo was the wife of Mexican mural painter Diego Rivera, whose public life and large work often overshadowed her own.
Allegra FultonDaughter of an epileptic Hungarian-Jew forced to emigrate to Mexico, Kahlo suffered polio as a child and was nearly killed in a bus accident in her teens. Nonetheless, she lived a passionate life, never allowing herself to be seen as a victim. Her story is one of survival and defiance in the face insurmountable pain. Frida K. celebrates the triumph of Kahlos experience and her creative transmutation of that pain into beauty.
Ten years after the original production, the dynamic Allegra Fulton revives the role of a lifetime. In celebration of the centenary of Frida Kahlos birth, this co-production with Go Diva Productions Inc. / Citadel Theatre (Edmonton, Canada), and the National Arts Centre English Theatre ( Ottawa, Canada )pays tribute to an artist who brought to the world of international painting the face and reality of womens' experience.
"Frida Kahlo is Theatre. A brave and vigilant narcissist, witty and troubling. A speaker of suffering, she articulates what is taboo and felt in the pain of experience. A perfect match to the passionate, articulate and dramatic talents of Allegra Fulton."Peter Hinton (Director).

link to Allegra Fulton web site

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 "Frida Vice-Versa" by Marian Licha

Frida Vice-Versa is a one-woman show written by Marian Licha and R. Dennis Green, directed by Jessica Lefkow. Marian LichaMarian Licha began working on it in 2001 and performed the first full production of the show in 2005 in New York at the Coconut Hill Latino Playwright’s Festival. Many people are unaware that Kahlo was an art teacher during her long painting career, and the play is set up as a class, with the character reminiscing about her life throughout the play. “She is an icon,” says Licha. “But she was also a very inspiring human being who had a lot of passion and love in her — a lot of spirit".

link to Marian Licha web site

 

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"Frida, un retablo" by Dañel Malán

Frida un retablo"Frida, un retablo" is not only a visual story of an intricately complex artist, but a pursuit of the importance art plays into the fabric of humanity. This magical journey into the juxtaposition of art imitating life/imitating art, is a collaboration by Teatro Milagro Artistic Director, Dañel Malán, New York Theatre artist, Daniel Jáquez and multicultural theatre professor, Karin Magaldi-Unger. Company actors Ina Strauss and Omar Vargas will portray Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Dañel Malán and her daughter, Maya Linda Malán-González will portray the old and young Frida, respectively. "Frida, un retablo", opened at El Centro Milagro on January 18 2002, then tours through the Western States.

link to Milagro web site

 

 

 

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"Back to Back with Frida Kahlo" by Louise Coigley
Brighton Fringe Festival 2004

This tells the intimate and true story of the humour and horrors of massive spinal surgery and convalescence of a teenage girl, who is in fact the storyteller performer of this piece. At the age of twenty one and in incredible pain, she meets and falls for a young man determined to bring the paintings of Frida Kahlo to England for the first time, which he succeeds in doing.Through her relationship with him, the storyteller meets the work and spirit of Frida, who challenges and inspires her to find her destiny. This story involves live Mariachi, poetry and eurythmy, a form of healing movement.
'Back to Back with FK' premiered at The School of Storytelling in England to a  record breaking audience then sold out at The Brighton Fringe Festival in 2004 and has played at The Canterbury Arts Festival, UK and in community theatre in Nova Scotia.
Louise is a trained storyteller, actress and Speech and Language Therapist. Her method of communication with children and adults with special needs: Lis'n Tell: Live Inclusive Storytelling has an international reputation.
Storyteller: Louise Coigley, Mariachi Musician: Victor Garcia, Eurythmist: Glenys Waters.

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"Frida Kahlo: Viva la vida" by Huberto Robles
1 -24 August 2008 - Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The actress Gael Le Cornec fully embodies and embraces Frida in this one woman whirlwind of a production, which is not only a unique take on Frida’s life, but an intimate exploration of her relationship with long time lover and fellow artist Diego Rivera. Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida is one of those unique one-woman shows that despite the tragedy of Frida’s life, the audience leaves smiling. Le Cornec brings a tiny snapshot of this brilliant artist’s story to life and leaves us craving more.
Born in the Amazon and currently based in London, Gael is a trilingual actor & theatre director of French and Brazilian origins.
Written by Huberto Robles, directed by Luis Benkard, design by Sophie Mosberger.
go to Fringe Review site

 

 

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"Viva la vita (Hurray the Life)" by Potlach Theatre
8th March 2008 - Caserta Italy

Inspired by women of the twentieth century. The actor is a traveller in space and time and he uses the character Potlach Viva la Vita FridaKahloand the stories to find his way. He flies with the map of memory and of fantasy, but his feet really draw the earth. Does the actor tell about his life?
The poet speaks of himself through his rhymes. The painter speaks of himself through his colours. And what about the actor? Through the techniques I meet the characters, through the characters I speak of myself.
What Frida Kahlo, painter, and Ingeborg Bachmann, writer, have in common? Frida had her back and her dream broken by the iron of a tram gone haywire, and so she decided to paint, using her mouth when she was immobilized in her bed; to Ingeborg the passionate poetry and the bright wit were the gift distilled by the waste of a world war.
I travel from one to the other and slowly I understand, ever more as I am meeting them and I am seeing myself reflected in them.
link to Potlach Theatre web site

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 "Alas Pa' Volar", theater concert by Angélique Ionatos.

IonatosThe Greek artist Angélique Ionatos recorded Alas Pa'Volar (wings to fly)in 2003. For the very first time Angélique sang in Spanish, performing texts from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's diary, with music composed by Christian Boissel. The album was released in October 2003 and the show, strongly inspired by the record, was directed by Omar Porras at the Abesses Theatre, in October 2003.

read a biography of Angélique Ionatos 

 

 

 

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"La Casa Azul" by Robert Lepage and Sophie Faucher.

Robert Lepage's company Ex Machina presents La Casa Azul, whose former title was Apasionada (Que viva Frida). In the electric calm of a blue-painted room, a dying woman reassembles the images of an extraordinary life. The woman is the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The life is one of struggle - with love, with the body, with Sophie Faucherher country and, most of all, with her art. La Casa Azul is a collaboration between Quebecois playwright Sophie Faucher, who also plays Frida Kahlo, and internationally acclaimed director Robert Lepage. Following an extensive European tour, where the production was played in French, The Lyric Hammersmith's Artistic Director Neil Bartlett has translated the work into English and this production will be the world premiere of that translation.

On Monday October 14th 2002 The Guardian published an interview with Lepage who, among other things, says: "Kahlo was the incarnation of the idea that out of pain can come positive energy, and I was intrigued by how it might be possible to show that on stage". "Though she suffered, it was a suffering that expressed itself in work that was sensual and alive. She was a person who had a huge appetite for life and was full of joy. She wasn't a fragile flower. She was a big, vulgar woman with missing teeth who smoked and drank, had affairs - including one with Trotsky - and gobbled up life." The play opened at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London from October 11 to 26th, 2002

read the complete interview at the Guardian web site

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"Recuerdo" by Rosanne Ramos

"Recuerdo" by San Diego writer Rosanne Ramos explores the connection between Kahlo's experience of pain and one of her paintings, "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale.

RecuerdoOn the stage Kahlo sits in her studio, cleaning brushes and painting, occasionally rising to limp around, while the other woman, Dorothy Hale, upbraids her and demands release. Dorothy Hale was a socialite who lost three husbands by the age of 33; she had artistic ambition but little talent. Kahlo is seen in her studio wrestling with Hale's ghost as she explains why she painted her own face on a shocking painting of Hale's bleeding corpse. The motive: identification. Though she contemplated suicide herself, Kahlo wouldn't do it, so she projected her own pain into Hale's broken body as it lays on the pavement after a suicidal plunge from 16 stories up. The play opened at The Muse Theatre, San Diego, CA on 14th-19th October 2002.

Playwright: Rosanne Ramos. Director: Mark Alan Mendes. Set: Sean Blatomovitch. Lighting: Rick Mitleider. Sound: Peter Hashagan. Costumes: Carolyn Leone-Smith, Helen Shoemaker, Lori Lucas. Cast: Anna Rosemore, Allison Riley.

go here for a review by Anna Marie Welsh on The SanDiego Union Tribune

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"Tres Vidas", chamber music theater work 

Core Ensemble is presenting its new work "Tres Vidas," based on the lives of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni and Salvadoran activist Rufina Amaya, written by Chilean author and scholar Core EnsembleMarjorie Agosin (Fri., March 22, at 8 p.m., in Alverno College's Pitman Theatre, 3431 S. 39th St, Milwaukee). The musical score of this passionate paean to the lives and work of three major Latin American women includes arrangements of popular and folk music from Latin America, including music by master tango accordionist and composer Astor Piazzola and new works by Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Osvaldo Golijov, among others. A singing actress, Georgina Corbo, will portray all three women -- in both English and Spanish -- and the show will be enhanced with images of Kahlo's works, excerpts from Storni's poems and passages of Amaya's testimony about the brutal destruction of her village, El Mozote.

Premiered on March 2002.

Link to Core Ensemble web site

 

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"Frida" a two-act opera

Libretto by Hilary Blecher and Migdalia Cruz, music by Robert Xavier Rodriguez, 1991-1999.

Robert Xavier Rodriguez responded to the undeniable drama of Frida Kahlo's life in his opera, "Frida". Rodriguez completed the score in 1991 and revised it in 1993. "Frida" was commissioned by the American Music Theater Festival.

Rodriguez operaFollowing its premiere in Philadelphia, John Rockwell in The New York Times named it "The best opera/musical theater of 1991". Subsequent performances followed in Boston (American Repertory Theater), Burlington (Vt.), New York (Next Wave Festival), San Francisco and the Houston Grand Opera.

The suite "Concert Suite from Frida" is derived from Rodriguez's opera and completed in June 1993, when Rodriguez accompanied Angelina Reaux, the lively Latin-American soprano playing the role of Frida, at the piano for the premiere performance in Dallas. The music ensemble "Voices of Change" presented the world premiere of the suite with instrumental ensemble in February 1999. The Concert Suite is a digest of the full opera, condensed to a monodrama for Frida that zeroes in on events that shaped her destiny.

Rodriguez is responsive to the nuances of Mexican culture that were so important to his heroine. He succeeds in bringing her to life through rich musical characterization that shows her genius and her mania, her tenderness and her fury, her passion for life and for Diego, and her ultimate redemption and deliverance through death.

"Concert Suite from Frida" is published in a CD that contains another Rodriguez's work, "Tango", which is a comic send-up of the original tango craze based on press clippings and pontifical pronouncements from 1913-14. It is sung in Spanish by Mexican tenor Raphael Alvarez.

Link to Robert Xavier Rodriguez web site

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"Goodbye, My Friduchita" by Dolores C. Sendler

 

"Frida Kahlo painted in many colors, but her story will always be rendered in purple. Prose, that is. With Goodbye, My FriduchitaMy Friduchita (the Directors Company), playwright Dolores C. Sendler freely indulges the lefto-feminist hagiography Kahlo frequently inspires. Kahlo had everything that makes for a role model these days (not counting her partially German ancestry). She was a communist, a self- mythologizing artist, a lover of Trotsky, and a Mexican nationalist who, by virtue of her abusive marriage to muralist Diego Rivera, lived the glamorous life while remaining an outsider.... " (taken from The Village Voice)

The play opened in New York, July 28 - August 3, 1999.

Read Curtain Up review

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"Helen & Frida" by Ann Finger

Based on a short story by Ann Finger, Naomi Goldberg's play - developed in the Mark Taper Forum's Other Voices program - depicts a fictional love affair between Helen Keller and Frida Kahlo. Tackling the subject of disability and sexuality, the play features a wheelchair dance designed in the spirit of Kahlo's art and the way it reflected her disabilities.

Premiered at UCLA's North Campus - Los Angeles - June 23-28 1998

Follow this link for more info