Latin American Theatre
Translations by Prof Charles Philip Thomas

Mauricio Kartun

Country :Argentina

OTHER PLAYS by Mauricio Kartun

1973: Civilización...¿o barbarie?- Colaboración con Humberto Rivas
1976: Gente muy así 1978: El hambre da para todo 1980: Chau Misterix
1983: La casita de los viejos
1983: Cumbia morena cumbia 1987: Pericones
1988: El partener 1991: Sacco y Vanzetti (Dramaturgia sumaria de documentos sobre el caso


1983: Premio Argentores, mejor obra Teatro Breve, Cumbia morena cumbia.
1987: 2º Premio Nacional y Municipal, Pericones
1988: Premio Meridiano, 2º Premio Municipal, Nominación Premio María Guerrero, Nominación Premio Quinquela Martín, Mención Especial Premio Casa de Las Américas, El Partener
1992: Premio Asociación de Cronistas del Espectáculo, Sacco y Vanzetti
1993: Lejos de aquí- Colaboración con Roberto Cossa.


My work on this Sacco and Vanzetti project is what we authors call a dramaturgy, a reworking of other people's materials--usually of fiction--to give them a new theatricality, or to simply integrate them when--as in this case--documentary materials are processed.

The original idea had been to recycle the Sacco e Vanzetti by Roli and Vincenzoni, a well-done piece from the '60s, of whose true potential Jaime Kogan, manager and director of the project, had convinced me. But its very same nature as a documentary work--as its authors characterize it--led us to its original source texts: the records of the trial, the interrogations, the argumentation, Sacco and Vanzetti's letters, and the innumerable written documents, journalistic and fiction, about the case. From that point on it was my own view of the materials which reconstructed the process and gave it new form. With this large stack of materials, I then began my task. I was inspired by Howard Fast's novel, dazzled by the lucidity of the Libertarian thinkers and moved by the quantity of notes and studies that the anarchist libraries gave us. In this way I composed--I did the dramaturgy--for this new Sacco and Vanzetti. I composed, I insist, because outside of the plot treatment of some scenes, there is no fiction in the work strictly speaking, but rather a dramatic composition of authentic situations, and original texts which I find more moving and expressive than any plot.

An author will find few pleasures like this present one of unearthing the hidden piece and bringing it back with all the possibilities of its new expressiveness: the poetic essence of an epistolary fragment, the unaccustomed theatricality of an action at the trial or at an interrogation, or the moving dramatic action almost concealed among the sentences of an argumentation. This is an intense work of restoring, a décapage: that technique of stripping the coverings from a painting, layer after layer in search of the most valued motif, hidden behind the last painting.

To cite all the sources would be a trying task and--it seems to me--contradictory, since it has precisely been a case of making something totally new from these fragments, individually and from another genre. However, I can't fail to mention--besides those already referred to above-- the works having to do with the case from Gregorio Selser and Diego Abad de Santillán, and the very complete recompilation of documents published by Acción Directa.

-- Mauricio Kartun

Country :Argentina

Mauricio Kartun
Works  in Translation by
Prof. Charles Philip Thomas