• Inspirations

Theater

Theater plays inspired by Frida Kahlo's life and art

"Hasta siempre Frida", 2023

written and directed by Maurizio Nicastro. Guitar by Fabio Falaguasta. Danila Stalteri acting as Frida.   
 
Thanks to videomapping technology, the protagonist, entering a 3D scenic cage, interacts with the image of herself, her dreams and nightmares. This pièce travels inside Frida Kahlo's soul to find the reasons and contradictions of her choices, it shows her being fragile and unshakable at the same time, her ability to transform pain and suffering into exquisite creativity to the point of "illuminating a flower, hidden, of poignant beauty".

"After entire seasons in comedy, becoming Frida Kahlo was one of the most intense experiences of my career. Putting aside the fact that there is no such thing as a 'comic' or 'dramatic' actor, entering Frida's tortured body, broken heart, lacerated soul, and at the same time her unbreakable strength, allowed me to plumb even deeper my own being as a woman and an artist, at times misunderstood' - said Danila Stalteri in explaining her investigation of the character - 'Even I in my small theatrical world am sometimes seen as a mad and visionary woman, and like Frida I too am fuelled by an indescribable passion for my art. One cannot help but love Frida and come to know her even more deeply and pay homage to her in the theatre!"
 
Visit here Theater 7 Off website (in Italian).

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"To DIE:GO in Leaves by Frida Kahlo", 2023

by Maryam Baig, translated in Spanish by Frida Espinosa Müller. Directed by Jeffry Farrell.

  

In the Cara Mía Theatre's production "To DIE: GO in Leaves by Frida Kahlo" two actresses plays the role of Frida Kahlo. Each Maryam Baig and Frida Espinosa Müller interpretation of Kahlo is unique. Müller has translated Baig's 2003 original play into Spanish, nearly 20 years after Baig first wrote it. Despite the fact that the two women were born on opposite sides of the world, they connected with Kahlo.

We can all recognize a part of ourselves in Frida Kahlo because she is so truly, blatantly vulnerable, according to Baig.
Baig, who was raised speaking Urdu and was raised in Karachi, Pakistan, will take on the English-speaking character of Kahlo. Kahlo will be portrayed by Müller, a Spanish-speaking actor who was born in Mexico City and raised there. Müller and Baig are keen to point out that Kahlo's well-known double self-portrait, "The Two Fridas," is suggestive of their dual approach to the part.
The theme of juggling several identities as a gender-fluid, mixed-race individual with impairments is frequently explored in Kahlo's artwork. Because to the fact that the character is being played by two women, Baig and Müller may express Kahlo's diversity through their own viewpoints and experiences.
While pursuing a degree in visual arts at UTD, Baig wrote "To DIE: GO in Leaves by Frida Kahlo" for her senior thesis. She didn't know much about Kahlo's life at that time. She started reading through Frida Kahlo's journals, correspondence, and artwork, including "A Few Little Nips," "Girl with Death Mask," "What the Water Gave Me," and "Henry Ford Hospital." Baig claimed that she purposefully avoided reading about the renowned artist in biographies, movies, or newspaper pieces.
I love biographies, but often biographers will make comments or suppose how something had happened, thus coloring it with their own paintbrush,” she said. “I wanted to know what Frida wrote, what happened to her body and what she painted.”
In the beginning, Baig made a timeline of Kahlo's significant life events and overlaid her own life map onto it.
I was trying to feel her in my own body and in my own life and see what I might have done at that age,” she said. It was a way for Baig to “grasp this larger than life icon.”
Since 2005, Müller has performed at the Cara Mía Theatre and contributes her own perspective to Baig's creative works. Like Baig, Müller turned to Kahlo's journals for inspiration after translating the play. In the end, she included snippets from the artist's journals and letters to the script.
 
Müller and Baig both mentioned how certain events in their youth had a connection to Kahlo. Similar to how Frida contracted polio when she was six, Baig became terribly ill with the mumps when she was around six years old.
Similar to the painter, Müller is a mestiza with German, Spanish, and indigenous ancestry who was born and reared in Mexico City. Similar like Frida Kahlo, one branch of her family hails from Oaxaca, and the two even have the same first name. Müller was accustomed to hearing her father declare, "I have my two Fridas," the name of her mother.
Müller was able to draw on her own culture as a Mexican woman through her translation. She claimed that Kahlo lived in the post-revolutionary era of Mexico, when people were reconnecting with their indigenous origins and shaping our contemporary conception of Mexican culture.
With the Spanish performance, we bring the Mexicanidad of who was Frida from the time and places that she lived,” she said. “It is not only Spanish flavor, but the Mexican flavor because we have many different countries, many different cultures that speak Spanish.”
Although Kahlo and Müller both speak Spanish, she claimed that each person has a distinct speaking style. She worked hard to reproduce Kahlo's particular voice because of this.
We hear her own way to put together words and ideas, which I think is very beautiful and very unique,” Müller said.
 
Click here for Cara Mía Theatre website.

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"Frida Kahlo: a ribbon around the bomb", 2023

by and with Francesca Cassottana. Original music by Lemmo, Lighting design by PLASMA, Visuals by Kamilla Lucarelli.

   

In "Frida Kahlo: un nastro attorno alla bomba" Francesca Cassottana narrates in the first person the story of Frida, her thoughts and choices, truly coming into contact with this artist who is still an extraordinarily topical character today. She will do so through an original dramaturgy and with some sentences taken from diaries and notes by the artist herself and contained in the book "Frida. A biography of Frida Kahlo' by Hyden Herrera.

Frida is in the first instance a woman who loves and is able to fight for art and politics, a woman who goes against conventions, dynamic, full of energy, fighting against her destiny but above all able to deal with pain. As the artist tells her story, from the accident that scarred her forever to her difficult and intense relationship with Diego Rivera, we can understand how her pain is universal and affects everyone. Her uniqueness lies precisely in this: managing to transform pain into a creative act. Not succumbing to evil but living, laughing, imagining.

On stage there will be two representations of Frida Kahlo: one narrating through words, the other through music. The protagonist will oscillate between two worlds: the dreamlike one of her feelings and the concrete one of narration. These two voices construct the plot of a single life. Through the use of objects and shadow plays, one will get the feeling that the two Fridas are not alone but accompanied by different characters, the same ones that marked and determined her life.
 
Visit here I Franchi theater company's website (in Italian).

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"Frida, a bomb wrapped in silk ribbons", 2022

by Laura Murari, with Laura Murari directed by Andrea Castelletti.

 
"Frida, a bomb wrapped in silk ribbons" - produced by Modus for Orti Erranti Theatre - reveals the life of Frida Kahlo through her emotions and the transposition into a story of some of her most significant works. A text taken from various writings and researches on the revolutionary Mexican painter and from a careful analysis of the emotions and thoughts underlying her works, all rendered in the form of a theatrical story.
 
A monologue that goes beyond the monologue's dimension to become a pictorial work on stage, thanks to the sets created by Luca Altamura and Paola Muccio, the costumes by Laura Consolini and the make-up by Anna Penazzo, inspired by Kahlo's paintings. All of this is supported by original Mexican music of the time, the result of the musical advice of Pablo Sartori and performed live on stage by Antonio Canteri and Claudio Manzini.

Frida Kahlo was a clear example of the women strength, an icon of emancipation and affirmation. Herwords were a shattering echo, a tangible sign of a force that overcame all physical and spiritual pain thanks to her subversive, inexhaustible and explosive love for life.
Click here for more info (in Italian) and logistic details (Modus Theater in Verona - Italy).
      

 

 

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"Viva la Vida - Frida Kahlo e Chavela Vargas", October 2020

by Valeria Moretti, with Francesca Bianco and Eleonora Tosto, guitar Matteo Bottini

 

This theatrical tribute dedicated to the singer Chavela Vargas and Frida Kahlo is a Teatro Belli production directed by Carlo Emilio Lerici. 
It is an exciting show, full of suggestions, allowing people to immerse themselves in the fascinating history, between art and life, of two extraordinary women.
The show opens with Frida Kahlo's real voice describing the love of her life, the painter Diego Rivera. An extremely rare recording, perhaps the only existing audio recording of the artist, which the Fonoteca Nacional del Mexico recovered and digitized in January 2019 and decided to make public in June 2020. The words are fragments of "Retrato de Diego," a text Frida Kahlo wrote in 1949 for her husband. The audio dates from 1953-54.

Frida Kahlo is 18 years old when a bus handrail pierces her back during an accident. She risks dying, but she manages to survive and is forced to stay in bed for months. It is then that she begins to paint, starting to portray herself, the only subject she can see, reflected on a mirror on the ceiling. This is the starting point of her story to Chavela Vargas, mythical Mexican singer, in a poetic and visionary journey that, interweaving music and theater, leads us into the life of one of the most charismatic figures of Mexican culture. From her love with Diego Rivera, whom she herself called "the second serious accident" in her life, to the revolutionary years and her relationship with Trotsky.
 
Francesca Bianco, who gives voice to the painter, and Michela Flore alternate singing in an exchange that leads us into dreamlike atmospheres, accompanied on the guitar by Matteo Bottini, in which art, music and life appear inseparable.
When they were alive, the two artists already aroused curiosity and interest. Frida, the painter, still magnetizes us now for her beauty and pride, for the poetic nature of her clothing, for her surprising art, for her flaming political faith, for her turbulent love affairs: from her husband Diego Rivera (married, divorced, remarried) to the liaison with Trotsky, plus some female "digressions". Chavela also had a costume to face the world scene: the poncho and when she died it was that poncho that her immense admirers who filled the church and the streets wanted to be placed on her coffin.
 
Click here for an interview (in Italian) to the director Carlo Emilio Lerici.
The audio version of the show is available here.
 

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"Viva la Vida" , March 2020

by Fabio Camassa, Fabiana Gargia, Alessia Pelagatta - Vis Comica theater company
 



Read here an interview (in Italian) by the Metropolitan Magazine to 4 women , the two authors,  the First actress playing Frida and the Second actress playing la Lorona.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"Viva la Vida", 2020

Freely based on the monologue by Pino Cacucci
Adaptation and direction by Gigi Di Luca, with Pamela Villoresi acting as Frida
Stage music by Lavinia Mancusi
Body painter Veronica Bottigliero
Scenes by Maria Teresa D’Alessio
Costumes by Roberta Di Capua and Rosario Martone in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples 
Production by the Teatro Stabile di Napoli - National Theater 
February 2020 

A fulminating monologue that traces the sufferings of Frida Khalo's forced imprisonment, the lucid artistic delusions of a painter hungry for life and color. The fiery synthesis of a full and tormented existence, the parable of a great painter from the extreme summit of her days.
On stage Pamela Villoresi describes the voracity with which Frida Kahlo devoured herself. Consumed by physical pain, Frida clings with all her life, in an intimate monologue based on the inner strength of this woman, on the passion for art, for Mexico, for all human relationships lived with impetus and intensity.
On stage, alongside with Pamela Villoresi, who gives voice and body to the famous Mexican artist, there are Veronica Bottigliero, a body painter who paints the signs of the art of Frida on her naked body and who represents the Pelona, ​​symbolic mask of the death, and Lavinia Mancusi, who plays the singer Chavela Vargas, the artist's last lover.
"Viva la vida - explains director Di Luca - is a scream of pain that brings to light the more feminine
aspect of Frida Khalo, through a symbolisms that recall its multicultural and ethnic roots, going beyond
the biographical narration and bringing out the soul of Frida woman, Mexican, painter and revolutionary".
"It is a tribute to Frida Khalo - says Villoresi - it is a sort of inventory of his life and his art".

Read here an interesting interview to the director Gigi De Luca (in Italian).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Frida  ... a Self Portrait", 2019

by and with Vanessa Severo

Severo has worked on Frida for several years, researching the artist after a friend said he saw Kahlo in her (“even without the unibrow,” Severo says). She has continued to explore Kahlo’s life — including a trip to her Casa Azul, or Blue House, in Mexico City, the home her father built and which she says made her a painter — and to hone this 75-minute piece (first produced in 2014 at the Living Room Theatre).

“Frida was a woman ahead of her time — rebellious, openly bisexual, brave, angry, bold, unapologetic and honest about it,” Severo said. “I wanted to bring Frida into today, and I wanted women to walk away knowing that today is a good day for your voice to be heard.”

In 2019 she represented her Kahlo interpretation, directed by Joanie Schultz, at OriginKC, KC Rep’s New Works Festival.

"A mixture of humor, pathos, biography and personal experience, Frida is a nonlinear montage, fluidly pieced together with monologue, dance, music (composer Thomas Dixon), movement (consultant Stephanie Rae Roberts), costumes (Katherine Davis), props, and the script’s many distinctive voices. Those voices include not just Kahlo’s but also those of Kahlo’s father; her lover and husband, muralist Diego Rivera; a doctor; and Severo herself, who juxtaposes her own personal search into Kahlo with the story she tells. “In order to tell her story, I had to tell mine,” she says in the play’s program notes." from Thepitch article

Read here the interesting review by KC Studio.

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Frida Kahlo", 2019

with Titti Nuzzolese and Peppe Romano
directed by Mirko Di Martino (Artistic Director of  the independent Italian theatre TRAM Teatro, Ricerca, Arte e Musica)
assistant director Angela Grimaldi
production Teatro dell’Osso 2018/2019

"I never painted dreams. I painted my reality ”, repeated Frida Kahlo several times. Our show starts from this sentence to tell a private, authentic and painful, moving and truthful portrait of Frida: not the icon of art and fashion, but the woman, the real Frida, the Mexican Frida of the first mid-century. The intense interpretation of Titti Nuzzolese, flanked by Peppe Romano as Diego Rivera, draws a portrait of Frida far from the recurring hagiography of the "great unfortunate artist", of the woman "in love with her man". Frida was much more than this and, in a certain sense, much less: she was a woman who managed to impose a public image different from the private one, an artist who developed her style slowly and even unconsciuonlsy in a certain way. Mirko Di Martino's dramaturgy, attentive to documents and testimonies, highlights Frida's complex personality, in which conflicting ideas and feelings coexisted: she wanted to show herself to the public as a free and revolutionary woman, but in private she remained closed in the role of the devoted wife who endures everything; she wanted to be an established painter, but she renounced offering her works to the public."

Taken from the TRAM website.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Frida - Stroke of Passion", 2019

 16/02/2019 - Written and starred by Odalys Nanin, Director of Macha Theatre, Los Angeles, California, USA.

    

This play, written and starred by Odalys Nanin - Director of Macha Theatre, explores the mental, emotional and physical conditions during the last week of Frida Kahlo's life. Exposing her love affairs with famous Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, dancer Josephine Baker, Mexican diva Maria Felix, Leon Trotsky, a Cuban spy and her complex passionate love for Diego Rivera. It would peel away the secret cover up and reveal what or who killed Frida Kahlo.
The show is playing from 8th to 23rd February 2019 at Macha Theatre, Casa 0101, 2102E. 1st Street, Los Angeles 90033.
"Nanin embodies the spirit of Frida in a nuanced performance and transformational portrayal. Sandra Valls stands out as the famous Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, and one of Frida’s lovers.
 As Frida’s life comes to an end so does the play with an unforgettable wake and procession that will stay with you long after the play has ended. Chavela is there to honor Frida with accented her beautifully haunting song as the cast of characters in Frida’s live all pay tribute to an icon in the art world, who inspired a nation by representing their culture, while bold examining the issues of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society.
 The small procession of Frida’s funeral attended by all her loves, beginning with her “Toad Face” Diego Rivera (Oscar Basulto). Also joining in are Frida’s other lovers Tina Modotti (Mantha Balourdou); Josephine Baker (Ebony Perry); Maria Felix (Marjorie Burgos); Cuban Teresa Proenza (Kesia Elwin); and her Nurse Judith (Tricia Cruz)." (taken from Latinheat Entertainment)

Check out here the website of Macha Theatre for more info.

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"Frida Kahlo - Viva la Vida", 2018

see images at the right side column.

with Elisa Ranucci
directed by Beppe Ranucci
production Pilar Ternera

"Frida Kahlo. Viva la vida!”, is a monologue freely taken and reworked from the book by Pino Cacucci “Viva la vida!".
We all know more or less the story of Frida Kahlo, but breathing it in a theater makes it as real and raw as it actually was. Through her interpretation, the actress makes us relive the anguish and artistic strength of the painter, who relives in the text, costumes, monologues and paintings projected on stage. A dramatic, romantic and historical show at the same time. Exciting for art lovers and surprising for viewers who approach her life for the first time. The background music takes us back to Mexico where the actress has found life and artistic inspiration. The inner monologues that take voice through the actress touch on the highlights of Frida Kahlo's life.
The actress tells us about the accident that marked her life forever, the impossibility of having a normal life, her mad love for the artist Diego Riveira and the raw pain of not being able to crown her love with a son, her betrayals, the betrayal of her sister to whom she was very close and the unbridgeable need for art as a world in which to take refuge. The actress gives life to all this, bringing to life in some way not only the personality of Frida Kahlo but also that of the people who have marked her life. The show gives us a complete vision of the tormented life of the Mexican painter and at the same time leaves the audience a hymn to life whatever happens in the course of existence.
The songs of Chavela Vargas highlight the salient moments of the whole show.

Taken from Pilar Ternera Production website (Italian)

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"Frida K. Vita di merda con pittura", 2018

1/02/2018 - Text by Serena Nardi taken from Frida Kahlo's writings


directed by Serena Nardi
with Sarah Collu and Serena Nardi
choreographies Lara Guidetti
video Vittorio Bizzi
original music by Alessandro Cerea
scenes and costumes Officine Red Carpet Theater
production Odd Days Theater

 

Director's notes
Frida and Death. The text and the staging start from here. As Artaud headlines: "The theater and its double". Because there is a continuous and inexorable double in the life of Frida Khalo.
Frida and Frida
Frida and Pain
Frida and Diego
Frida and the Son never born
Frida and White
Frida and Silence
Frida and Death....
The show went on stage at the Teatro Libero in Milan from 1 to 6 February 2018, coinciding with the great exhibition "Frida Kahlo. Beyond The Myth"   at MUDEC.

Check out here the website of Teatro Libero for more info (in Italian)

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"Viva la Vida - Le due Frida", 2014

22/12/2014 - Theatrical adaptation by Lucia Mattei of Viva la Vida! by Pino Cacucci

Viva vida le due frida

The show went on stage at the Teatro dell'Orologio in Rome in the 2013/2014 season, coinciding with the great exhibition dedicated to Frida at Le Scuderie del Quirinale.
Strongly supported by the Institute of Italian Culture in Mexico and the Museo Frida Kahlo "Casa Azul", the show was also represented last April in Coyoacan, Mexico City.

Viva la Vida! The two Frida, is a mix of voice and expressive movement. It's a passionate and poetic work, a "visual tale" of the intimate life of Frida Kahlo, paying tribute not only to her paintings but also to the masterpiece of her own life. When due to a terrible accident she saw Death dancing around her, Frida Kahlo clung to life with greater strength and tenacity; and although aware of the impossibility of escaping suffering, she wanted to live a passionate life. Desirous and insatiable of every aspect of human existence, she painted her own story, she painted her own eyes: those eyes are able to defy death, even today, and continue to look at us from her self-portraits.

Check out here their FB page

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"My Diego, My Art", 2014 

"My Diego, My Art" by Sindhu Murthy 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.

Click here for more info

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"Frida K.", 2011

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 Kahlo, a Revoluçao!", 2009

Directed by: Daniel Colin
Acting and Dramaturgy - Juçara Gaspar
LIVE Soundtrack – Luciano Alves
Creation of Light - Carol Zimmer
Scenography Lara Coletti
Costumes - Rô Cortinhas
Body Preparation - Daniele Zill
Production: Juçara Gaspar, Lara Coletti / Cia Dramática

 

 

Born as a 20 minute piece, after a few years it became an hour-long monologue, with a live soundtrack in voice and guitar by Luciano Alves. The script began to be written in 2007, to fulfill the exercise of an extension course at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), but it was only completed in 2009. To do so, it had the partnership of Luciano Alves, responsible for the track sound of the work, and Lara Coletti, the production's set designer.

For Juçara Gaspar, the show continues to win new fans because it is renewed every season. “Seeing this montage, generated with so much appreciation and growing up in adolescence and without a date to stop, is a constant and full joy! The professionals who started the play follow together and are strong. This is another gift. In addition, it has the Frida Kahlo theme, which is inspiring and never ends”, she says. “My comrades, this is the revolution”.

"The life and work of the powerful Mexican painter increasingly encourage and suggest the approach of themes that need to be encouraged, such as female protagonism, accessibility and inclusion, artistic freedom and denunciation of a sexist and patriarchal society. The reception of this work by the public shows us that Frida's aspirations are in line with contemporary and necessary issues."
(from the Facebook page of the theatre company)





 

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"Frida Kahlo: Viva la vida" by Huberto Robles - 2008

1 -24 August 2008 - Edinburgh Festival Fringe

23 April – 4 May 2019, Old 505 Theatre / Level 1, 5 Eliza St, Newtown, NSW, 2024
Kate Bookallil as Frida Kahlo

Feb. 2020, The Vaults - Londres
Gael Le Cornec as Frida Kahlo - click here for the video

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 Huberto Robles website

 

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"Viva la vita" (Hurray the Life) - 2008

by Potlach Theatre - 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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"Frida K." by Gloria Montero - 2007

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 Fulton Daughter 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).

Frida K. -A Dialogue for a Single Actress- written by Gloria Montero for her daughter actress Allegra Fulton, premiered in 1994. Nominated in Canada for the prestigious Chalmers Award, the production won two Dora awards. The National Arts Centre, Ottawa, mounted a new production in 2007 which then toured to the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton and was nominated for a Stirling Award, for the best production of the season. The Spanish production of Frida K. opened in Madrid's Festival de Otoco (1995), and was subsequently mounted at Barcelona's Teatre Artenbrut, moving later to the Sala Muntaner, winning a Critic's Prize. Since then the production has toured Spain and, chosen by the Ministry of Education and Culture, was presented at the Festival Internacional de Teatro, Havana, Cuba. Frida K. has been acclaimed by critics and public in Canada, New York, Mexico, Spain, Prague, Poland, Latvia and Sweden.

link to Gloria Montero blog

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"Frida Vice-Versa" by Marian Licha - 2005

Frida Vice-Versa is a one-woman show written by Marian Licha and R. Dennis Green, directed by Jessica Lefkow.

 

Marian Licha Marian 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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"Back to Back with Frida Kahlo" by Louise Coigley - 2004

Brighton Fringe Festival 2004

This show 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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"Alas Pa' Volar" theater concert  - 2003

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.

link to Youtube video 

 

 

 

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"Frida, un retablo" by Dañel Malán - 2002

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 YouTube video

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"La casa Azul" by Robert Lepage - 2002

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 - 2002

"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 M