“Our works come from a place of crosses”

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His grandmother took him to the San Martín theater when he was only seven years old. How can Mariano Pensotti not be fascinated, excited and nervous, who is now presenting his latest creation together with his group Marea in the same area: Los años. In the cast are: Mara Bestelli, Marcelo Subiotto, Bárbara Massó, Paco Gorriz and Julián Keck. There will be live music by Diego Vainer. The functions will be from Wednesday to Sunday in the Martín Coronado room.

—How many times did you premiere abroad first and then in Buenos Aires?

“This is the third. It had happened to us with Burning Brilliant in the Forests of the Night, which was first seen in Germany, because it was a co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer and later we presented it here at Sarmiento. And it also happened with Cineastas that we premiered it in Brussels, at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, and then also went to Sarmiento. With the pandemic everything was postponed. We have never had so much uncertainty. It is very strange because Los años is a very Buenos Aires work.

Why is it called The Years?

—I was interested in telling the story of the same character but at different stages of his life, at 30 and 60 years old. I wanted viewers to be able to see these two times simultaneously and contrast them. He started writing it before the pandemic, at first it was past and present; but during 2020 I started to rewrite it and I wanted to imagine the future, that is, in 2050. After what happened I was interested in imagining what we will be like in thirty years.

—Can one imagine Argentina for that date?

— (Laughs) That was one of the biggest challenges, because nobody knows if we will continue to exist. The level of uncertainty is very large for the world. As a group we couldn’t work for a year and I think humor was an ally. There are many things that we imagine with a humorous look. For example, it is proposed that there were several green governments, the forests got out of control and deer are pests. A far-right party called Nueva Colonia appears that proposes to return to being subjects of Spain, to form part of the European Union. It is one of the small provocations that this work attempts, we play with optimism and pessimism. Unresolved issues such as extreme poverty appear. It is said that the great art is the theater and that it has a large public. Perhaps by thinking fictionally about the future we can reflect on it. Usually we are looking more to the past.

—Your training does not appear on your page: why?

“I’m not interested in showing scrolls, I want people to see our works, no matter where they come from.” I had a very eclectic education, I did a high school with an orientation in fine arts, then I studied cinema. Our group -Marea- is made up of a set designer (Mariana Tirantte), a musician (Diego Vainer) and a producer (Florencia Wasser). That is why our shows come from a crossroads place, sometimes there are installations or cinema.

—Cinema appears more and more in your proposals, you even released Cineastas (2013)…

—From the cinema I have always been interested in taking certain narrative and audiovisual procedures and applying them to the theater. In Los años I needed to add a film because it had to do with the plot. I like the cross between an ephemeral art, like theater and cinema that always require more permanence.

—The Marea group created it in 2005 and many of the actors repeat themselves. Would you like to have your own stable cast?

“I’d love to, it was once a dream.” There are many actors and actresses who repeat themselves, such as Marcelo Subiotto, Javier Lorenzo, Pilar Gamboa, Juan Minujín and others. But there are no financial means to maintain a stable cast. Our interpreters are extraordinary, since they also think like directors. I was able to work abroad with other actors and it was less interesting. In Los años I had the opportunity to direct younger actors, they are no longer from my generation and I discovered excellent performers like Bárbara Massó and Paco Gorriz.

—How do you get co-productions from international festivals?

—It was by chance, almost randomly. We started to travel from the first FIBA ​​​​with the show Marea (2005), after fifteen years they already know us, that’s why when we have a new project we present it abroad. Right now we are slowly putting together a work and we don’t know if we will have co-productions. We were very lucky and continued, but extremely fragile. The subsistence of the group is complex. We were and are persistent, like all Argentines.

—Did you have the opportunity to live abroad?

—All I can think of is because I live here. I think from here. I am the son of a specific cultural tradition, Argentine and Buenos Aires. With all the problems we have in the country, it is the place I choose to live and to continue fighting. The fact that we are presenting a play today that is not a classic, nor does it have famous actors in the Martín Coronado room of the San Martín theater I experience as a small victory and I hope it is replicated. There are several groups that have maintained their creative structure such as Lola Arias, Krapp or Piel de lava.

—How is it directed in a state theater?

—Several of our plays were rehearsed and created at the Sarmiento theater. What interests me the most is the public that goes, for the price of their tickets. They are broader and more diverse viewers than in independent rooms. I’ve been obsessed with people watching us for a while now. In recent years I think about it more. It is a very democratic viewer, very open, which allows it to reach more people from anywhere. Our show will dialogue with everything they saw here. The years speak of the past from a stage with so much history, which perhaps allows us to imagine a future.

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