Tebas Land, a taut drama that mines the Oedipus myth to question the artistic process of theater authorship, will have its U.S. premiere in Chicago as part of Destinos, 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. Press opening is Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Chicago Dramatists. The play’s U.S. debut is presented by the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) in collaboration with the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Tebas Land, written by internationally acclaimed Uruguayan playwright Sergio Blanco and winner of the prestigious London Award Off West End in 2017, is directed by Argentinian director Juan Parodi.
Esteban Schemberg (left) plays S, and Tommy Rivera-Vega is Martín in Tebas Land.
It stars Chicago actors Tommy Rivera-Vega, last seen in Teatro Vista’s Somewhere Over the Border, and Esteban Schemberg, recently featured in Teatro Vista’s The Abuelas.
Tebas Land depicts a series of meetings on a prison basketball court between S (Schemberg), a playwright, and Martín (Rivera-Vega), a young parricide (a person who kills a parent or close relative). S initially tries to reconstruct the story of the crime, but gradually concerns himself not so much with the reconstruction, but with the scenic representation of the encounters between the two characters.
The question that opens Tebas Land is “how can you kill someone?” The question that closes it is “how can you portray someone?”
Audiences in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Santiago de Chicago, Luxemburg, Florence, Riga, Caracas, Paris, Tokyo and Mexico City have all seen productions of Tebas Land. London’s Guardian Newspaper called it “funny, taut and puzzling…an engagingly treacherous twist on Oedipus.”
The U.S. premiere of Tebas Land will be presented September 22-October 9, 2022, at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. in River West. Press opening is Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.
Tickets, $20-$25, and are on sale now at destinosfest.org.
Tebas Land is performed in Spanish with English subtitles. Run time is 90 minutes. The play is recommended for ages 16 and up.
Esteban Schemberg (left) plays S, and Tommy Rivera-Vega is Martín in Tebas Land.
Play Description: En Españo
Tebas Land cuenta los distintos encuentros que mantienen en una cancha de básquetbol de una prisión, un joven parricida y un dramaturgo que busca poder escribir su historia, encontrando puntos en común con el legendario mito de Edipo.
Escrita por el dramaturgo franco-uruguayo Sergio Blanco y dirigida por el director argentino Juan Parodi, Tebas Land se aleja de la dimensión ética del parricidio, preocupándose no tanto de la reconstrucción del crimen sino en las posibilidades estéticas de su representación y poder finalmente ofrecernos una bella tesis sobre el acontecer teatral. Un revelador encuentro entre dos personas distintas que, mediante la confianza, la necesidad de atención, la mirada y la escucha irán modificándose mutuamente.
Franco-Uruguayan playwright and director Sergio Blanco spent his childhood and adolescence in Montevideo and now lives in Paris. After studying classical philology, he decided to devote himself fully to writing and directing. His plays have been awarded several prizes, including the National Drama Prize of Uruguay, the Drama Prize of the City of Montevideo, the National Theatre Fund Prize, the Florencio Prize for Best Playwright, the International Prize Casa de las Americas and the Theatre Awards for the best text in Greece. In 2017, and then in 2020, his plays Thebes Land and The Rage of Narcissus received a “British Award Off West End” in London. His works entered the repertoire of the National Comedy of Uruguay in 2003 and 2007 with his plays .45' and Kiev. Among his best-known texts are Slaughter, .45' Kiev, Barbarie, Kassandra, Darwin's Leap, Thebes Land, Ostia, The Rage of Narcissus, The Bellow of Düsseldorf, When You Walk Over my Tomb, Cartography of a Disappearance, Traffic, COVID-451 and Divine Invention. His plays have been published and performed in over 20 countries. In 2022, he will create his new text Zoo at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.
Argentinian director Juan Parodi has received the ACE Award 2014 (Argentina) for Best Theater Director for his work in Mau Mau or the third part of the night. He participated in the Festival Internacional de Medellín (Colombia), Festival Internacional de San Sebastián (Spain), Festival Internacional de Isla de Lesbos (Greece), Festival Internacional de Costa Rica and Festival Internacional de Teatro de Buenos Aires (Argentina) among others. To name just a few, he has directed the following theater productions: Rosa brillando, winner of Teatro del Mundo Award; Quiero decir te amo that was part of the 2nd DESTINOS, Chicago International Latino Theater Festival in 2018; La Joven Guarrior; Boquitas Pintadas by Manuel Puig; Cariño Jacaré; Liniers; Quiereme; Fotos de infancias and Cuentos de Colección. He was a founding member and artistic director of the Teatro Anfitrión in Buenos Aires.
Tommy Rivera-Vega (left); Rivera-Vega (right, far right) starred (with left, from left) Claudia Quesada, Amanda Raquel Martinez and Andrés Enriquez in Teatro Vista's recent hit musical Somewhere Over the Border. Photo by Joel Maisonet.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Tommy Rivera-Vega (Martín) is proud to call Chicago home. He was last seen as Woody in Teatro Vista’s world premiere of Brian Quijada’s Somewhere Over the Border. Other credits include Lottery Day, Support Group for Men and Mother Road at Goodman Theatre; Between You, Me and The Lampshade and La Havana Madrid, A View From The Bridge and Momma’s Boyz at Teatro Vista; West Side Story at Drury Lane; In the Heights at Skylight Music Theatre; In the Heights and My Fair Lady at Paramount Theatre; Three Sisters at Steppenwolf Theatre; Kiss of the Spiderwoman at BoHo Theatre; Pippin at Music Theatre Company; CATS at Theo Ubique; and AIDA at Bailiwick Chicago. Puerto Rico credits include Spring Awakening and Footloose at Black Box Theatre. He received his B.A. in Theatre from North Central College in Naperville, IL and is a member of the Actors Equity Association.
Esteban Schemberg (left). Schemberg with Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel in Teatro Vista's 2019 play The Abuelas. Photo by Joel Maisonet.
Esteban Schemberg (S) appeared in The Abuelas produced by Teatro Vista at Victory Gardens Theater. Other theater credits are La Mandrágora (Teatro Payro-Argentina), and La luz es un pozo and Tattoo (Abasto Social Club-Argentina). Schemberg also appeared in film and television in Argentina, the U.S. and Spain. Credits include Ice Cream-Sladoled (River North Pictures-Chicago/Palm Springs ShortFest 2022 Official Selection), La Flor (El Pampero Cine-Argentina), El karma de Carmen (SombraCine-Argentina), Villorio del Caudillo (BandBang Films-Spain), Guapas (Pol-ka Producciones-Argentina) and Soy Luna (Disney Channel, Latin America).
About Destinos, 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival
Destinos, 5th Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Chicago’s annual citywide festival showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America, is now running, September 14-October 16, 2022.
Destinos kicks off Chicago’s Hispanic Heritage Month with five weeks of Latino-centric shows, panels and student performances at downtown venues, neighborhood theaters, and cultural institutions throughout the Chicago area.
The full Destinos 2022 line-up – 13 amazing productions including six world premieres, four U.S. premieres and three Midwest premieres – is set and tickets are on sale at destinosfest.org.
Chicagoans and visitors alike are encouraged to experience new, vibrant solo shows and large scale productions celebrating the Latino experience, playing on Chicago’s top stages in September and October. Visit destinosfest.org to purchase tickets and for full show information. Sign up for CLATA’s weekly e-newsletter for first notice of festival events. Follow Destinos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, all at @latinotheater.
Now entering its fifth year, Destinos is the signature program of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), a transformative cultural engine helping drive the city’s local Latino theater community to a more prominent level. The organization’s goal is to create the country’s leading international Latino theater festival with an emphasis on showcasing Chicago Latino theater artists and companies.
Visiting companies making their Destinos Festival debuts include Teatro Línea de Sombra (México), Teatro Público (Puerto Rico), and La Pájara de San Juan (Mexico/Washington D.C.). Participating Chicago Latino theaters are Aguijón Theater, Colectivo El Pozo, Concrete Content, Teatro Tariakuri, Teatro Vista, UrbanTheater Company and Visión Latino Theater Company. Presenting partners are Goodman Theatre, the National Museum of Mexican Art and Steppenwolf Theatre. Collaborating partners are American Blues Theater and Paramount Theater. Venue partners are APO Cultural Center, Chess Live Theater, Chicago Dramatists, The Den Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and Windy City Playhouse.
CLATA, which produces Destinos, was founded in 2016 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization by Myrna Salazar and Chicago’s three most prominent Latino arts organizations: the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC), and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA).
“In Spanish, the word ‘destinos’ has multiple meanings: destinies, destinations or fate,” explained CLATA’s late Executive Director Myrna Salazar, who passed away suddenly this past August, and to whom the 2022 festival is dedicated. “Destinos showcases Latino theater artists from Chicago, across the U.S. and Latin America to present engaging and thought-provoking stories that transcend boundaries, amplify Latino voices, and diversify Chicago stages to encourage cross-cultural conversation.”
Additionally, CLATA continues to provide local groups ongoing organizational, marketing and financial support, and works diligently to create a permanent home for Chicago’s Latino theater artists. Ultimately, CLATA strives to underscore Chicago’s reputation as one of the most exciting and culturally diverse theater cities in the world.
CLATA gratefully acknowledges foundation support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Ford Foundation, Walder Foundation, Driehaus Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Creative Reaction Lab, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency and National Endowment for the Arts. Supporting partners are Allstate, Choose Chicago, Xfinity, 3Arts, ComEd and Wintrust.
For more, visit destinosfest.org or call (312) 631-3112.
About the National Museum of Mexican Art
Located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, the National Museum of Mexican Art is one of the most prominent Latino cultural organizations in the country and the only nationally accredited museum dedicated to Mexican art and culture. In 2020, the Museum earned the honor of being named one of America's Cultural Treasures by the Ford Foundation.
The National Museum of Mexican Art strengthens artistic and cultural diversity in Chicago while illuminating the rich art and history of Mexico. Its Permanent Collection consists of more than 11,000 pieces dating from 200 BCE to the present day. The Museum has presented over 150 exhibitions, provides arts education to 52,000 students each year, and serves over 187,000 annual visitors from 60 countries. Admission is always free. The Museum is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, call (312) 738-1503 or visit nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.
Click here or above to watch and download CLATA's Destinos 2022 announcement video, TRT :30 seconds