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What Did You Think of Historia de Amor?

Thank you attending Teatrocinema’s production of Historia de Amor. The combination of the stage craft and the story itself bring up a lot of important discussion points on many different levels. If you haven’t had a chance, do take a moment to read blogs by our Co-Artistic Directors and the Teatrocinema to gain insight to how and why this piece was made. Those can be found here.

We would also like to thank Emerson College’s Violence Prevention and Response team for providing us so many great resources for how to have these difficult conversations. You can find some of those resources here.

How did the show resonate with you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.



  1. David WooddellApril 23, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Thank you,
    The cinematic and animated effects were startling, amazing. Transporting and employed to full effect. Continued to surprise throughout production. Vertiginous.
    The story is important, all the more so as the theatre was full of sympathetic and awkward laughter for the narrator. The audience needs this.
    The translation is rough and sometimes ambiguous. Especially with verb tense.
    The acting was superb.
    The music was an essential aspect of production. Dramatic and well suited to the extreme and vivid comic book aesthetic.
    Great theatre.

    • An amazing piece of theater, brilliantly presented.

      However, I was not impressed by the play itself. The explicit slide right up front saying that the play was about men’s brutality to both women and society was inappropriate – if that was the playwright’s message, we should have been able to deduce that from the production, not by being told so. It’s an old adage that one should demonstrate, not assert, and the assertion was out of place.

      Also, having the male protagonist do 99% plus of the talking didn’t work for me. It didn’t really shed much light on the mentality of a rapist/stalker. We weren’t supposed to sympathize, but were we supposed to understand something about him? I didn’t get any better understanding of such a brute, other than his self-absorption.

      And I certainly would have like to understand why the female character eventually succumbed to him to the extent of marrying him – maybe giving her something to say (or even do) would have made it a better-balanced play.

      Maybe I needed to know something about Chilean politics? If so, perhaps the play could have provided it.

      But agin it must be said, it WAS fabulous theater.

  2. This was a stunning technical achievement–the likes of which I have never seen. That alone is worth the admission. It’s too bed that the narrative is a bit simplistic and obvious…no revelation, no expanding on the well-worn ideas around mysogeny and the women involved.

    Agree that the translation was tough, as was the need to read subtitles rather than take in expressions and body language, which are so important in theater.

    Live the ambition, not sure if it all comes together.

  3. The piece was over for me after the first five minutes: the remaining 95 simply produced more of the same — and at the exact same pitch: a psychopath, his silent partner, and lots of visual tricks that were themselves repetitive and hardly illuminating of much of anything except technical skill. As a “play,” it delved into nothing, and became a kind of endlessly-repeated topic sentence — next to which “American Psycho” is genius.

    This was, for me, the most disappointing experience I’ve had at ArtsEmerson — which has been extraordinary. And, I’m sure, will continue to be.

  4. Mary NorcrossApril 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I loved it and was surprised there wasn’t a huge standing ovation from the audience.
    The actor who was narrating for over 90 minutes non-stop was superb! I thought he represented all of the dominating factors in her life that held her in thrall: husband. parents who just wanted a traditional life for her, an ineffectual government.
    The staging was remarkable! The music created a jarring atmosphere. I have never seen the graphic novel techniques done on stage before and I loved it!
    All in all the best so far!

  5. David WooddellApril 24, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I believe the passivity and acquiescence of the victim were in part the narrator’s perception. Something he used to justify himself. And by only presenting his point of view, the writer shows how willing we are to blame and abandon a silent victim.
    She didn’t create the situation so she can’t be held accountable for an inability to cope. She did run, relocate. She sought a boyfriend. She did use birth control. She was failed by those who should protect her, society and parents. Hopelessness overcame her. She chose the path she thought would lead to less violence.

  6. Judith SpragueApril 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I was deeply disappointed by this show. The technical precision was remarkable. That, however, in no way could make up for the dull and repetitive storyline and script which were not only offensive, but also simply shallow and without redeeming value.

  7. The presentation was spectacular. Story-wise, it did seem a bit one-sided. I would have liked to hear the woman’s side as to why she dropped charges, and eventually gave in to her oppressor. Stockholm syndrome?

  8. David WooddellApril 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Rather than repetitive, think of the play as relentless. Oppression, the subtext of the play, is brutish, not contemplative and deep. The revelation of the story is that a victim, left without recourse, compromises and accepts her fate. The frustrating thing for the audience is having to watch this occur, and realize that such victimization is ennabled by our way of life.
    In the big picture, we ennabled Pinochet.
    Little picture, we leave the poor to fend for themselves.
    There is no revelatory transformation of the rapist, because he had no need to. He could go on being evil with impunity. The banality of evil.


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